Phoenix bolster defence with West Australian Lowry

Wellington Phoenix have signed defender Ryan Lowry from Western Australia NPL club ECU Joondalup SC and the 22-year-old can’t wait to start the next stage of his career.

Lowry signed a one-year contract and will arrive in Wellington on Friday, ready to take part in the Phoenix’s intra-club game at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

"This is a great opportunity for me and I am really grateful to the club and coach Ernie Merrick for giving it to me,” Lowry, brother of Perth Glory’s Shane Lowry, said.

"At my age I might not get another chance like this and I am determined to make the most of it."

Lowry, who prefers playing in the centre of defence but can also play fullback, trained with the Phoenix at the club’s recent training camp in Townsville and returned to Wellington with the squad for further trials.

"I really enjoyed being in the professional environment and everyone made me feel welcome," he said.

"I enjoyed working with Ernie and he has already taught me a lot in the short time I was with the squad.

"With the quality of players around me I will continue to improve."

During the off-season Phoenix goalkeeper Lewis Italiano played for Joondalup and Lowry says he probably owes him a few beers for alerting the Phoenix coach to him.

Head Coach Ernie Merrick was pleased to secure Lowry as he had to create depth in the squad.

"That is important, especially in the Fifa windows where we lose players to the All Whites," Merrick said.

"Also players get injured and suspended during the season and Ryan is a good all round confident defender who can cover different positions.

"He has been playing senior football in the Western Australia NPL for three years at a club that has developed a lot of good players, and had two years in Perth Glory’s Academy as well as Leicester City’s Academy when he was younger."