The Wellington Phoenix have confirmed that Clayton Lewis has signed a two-year extension with the club, keeping him in the yellow and back through the 2022-23 A-League season.
Wellington-born Lewis joined the Phoenix in October 2020, playing in all 22 matches – including 20 starts – in his first A-League season.
Known for his endurance and passing vision, the 24-year-old midfielder has registered 39 key passes for the Nix (second only to Ulises Dávila’s 42) and is third in minutes played with 1,712. Lewis also registered his first A-League goal earlier this year, during the Phoenix’s 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory on 24 March.
Wellington Phoenix Coach Ufuk Talay says that Lewis has been an important part of the Phoenix this season and the Club is pleased to retain his services.
“Clayton has done well for us this season, he’s shown good character and passing range, he’s been solid for us,” says Talay.
“And I’ve asked a lot of him playing as a number 6, and to his credit he’s adapted well and continues to grow as a player and a person.
“I believe Clayton will be an important part of our squad going forward.”
Lewis says the opportunity to re-sign with his hometown club was an easy decision to make.
“It means a lot to me to re-sign, growing up and watching the Club, always being a fan and now this season I’m putting the jersey on – that’s quite a big thing for me and to be able to walk out at Sky Stadium with the fans out there this Saturday is going to be special,” says Lewis.
“I didn’t really expect to play as much as I have done, so obviously I’m really happy about that and I’m really enjoying it.
“I think playing in the 6 is a little bit different to my usual position, but I get the ball a lot more and I can showcase my passing abilities from a little bit further back, so I’m definitely enjoying playing in this position.”
Lewis says that his relationship with Coach Talay has helped him become a better player.
“I’ve enjoyed working under Uffy, as playing as a 6 he demands a lot more defensive work form me so it’s something I’ve had to learn and grow into – but it’s something he and the assistant coaches been helping me along with every step of the way.
“I appreciate everything they’re doing, and I hope to continue working with Uffy and he can progress me into an even better footballer.”
Lewis is also looking forward to playing at Sky Stadium for the first time this Saturday.
“To be here [in Wellington] at the moment, and to have an opportunity to play in front of the home fans is pretty crucial for me – and it’s sounding like on Saturday we’ll have a big crowd out.
“And then I can look forward to the next couple of years with the Phoenix.”