Riera Signs New Phoenix Contract

Outstanding Spanish midfielder Albert Riera has signed a new two-year contract that will keep him at the Wellington Phoenix till at least the end of the 2016-17 Hyundai A-League season.

Given his form for the Wellington club since joining it at the beginning of last season, it would have been no surprise had other A-League clubs shown interest in signing him, but they would have been wasting their time had they done so.

“No one has approached me but it wouldn’t have mattered if they had,” Riera said.

“The Phoenix gave me an opportunity I never expected and there is no way I would have turned my back on the club.

“From the moment I arrived in Wellington the boys made me feel at home and they are now all my friends.”

Riera also feels coach Ernie Merrick is building something special and wants to be a part of it.

“Ernie is so honest with you and doesn’t beat around the bush,” Riera said.

“He has put in place a reserve side and an Academy and brought in some fine young players.

“They are skillful and full of energy and it is important that they train with the senior players who they can learn off.

“It isn’t only good for the young players but also the senior ones as it is good to have someone pushing you so you can’t take things for granted.

“We are all aware that they are just waiting for the chance to show Ernie what they can do.”

Riera believes the team is getting better all the time despite not picking up any points on the road trip to Adelaide and Perth.

“The two teams we played are first and second in the league and we should definitely have got something from the Adelaide game,” he said.

“We were so upset to lose the way we did but we are improving all the time and that is a good signal for the future.”