VERSATILE defender Manny Muscat will become a fulltime member of the Wellington Phoenix next season after signing a one-year deal with the New Zealand-based club.
VERSATILE defender Manny Muscat will become a fulltime member of the Wellington Phoenix next season after signing a one-year deal year with the New Zealand-based club.
Muscat, 23, was drafted by the Phoenix as a replacement for Vince Lia, whose Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season was ended by a knee injury sustained in a 2008 Pre-Season Cup match.
Formerly with Green Gully in the Victorian Premier League, Muscat has impressed during his time with the Phoenix and has shown his ability to foot it in the Hyundai A-League.
Wellington Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert said Muscat had quickly become a valued member of the playing squad since joining the club as a short-term replacement in July. Muscat has played six matches for the Phoenix at right back.
“Manny was brought in to do a job for us and he-s done that admirably. He has impressed me with his work ethic, commitment and attitude and I-m thrilled that the club has been able to secure his services for next season.”
Muscat said securing a fulltime contract with the Phoenix was the realisation of his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
“It-s very exciting for me. The club has shown its faith and it-s my job now to repay that. I try to do week in, week out what the club brought me here to do and I-m thrilled that the club has rewarded me.
“My aim was to come to Wellington, work hard and hope for an opportunity. Thankfully I was given that opportunity. My aim for the future is to continue working hard and improving my game.”
He was happy to call Wellington home for another season at least.
“From the coaching staff, to the players, to club management and the fans of the Phoenix – everyone has been fantastic. It-s a very welcoming club and I-ve settled in well, so it-s great.”
The signing of Muscat brings to 13 the number of current Phoenix players contracted by the club for next season and beyond. As well as Muscat, the re-signed players are: Daniel, Ben Sigmund, Tim Brown, Tony Lochhead, Andrew Durante, Jon McKain, Leo Bertos, Michael Ferrante, David Mulligan, Vince Lia, Troy Hearfield and Costa Barbarouses.