Wellington Phoenix are proud to announce that 18-year old Wellington Phoenix Academy graduate Ben Waine has signed with the club on a two-year deal.
Waine who has been involved in the Academy since 2017, also debuted for the New Zealand Under 20 side at the FIFA World Cup in Poland, scoring two goals in a single game against Honduras.
The young striker scored eight goals in the 2018/19 ISPS Handa Premiership and impressed enough to earn his first Hyundai A-League appearance in March against Newcastle Jets.
Waine came off the bench in the Round 23 clash to make his Hyundai A-League debut in front of his family at Westpac Stadium.
Waine’s A-League debut added to his senior debut in the FFA Cup back in August 2018. He went on to make another two appearances on the way to a Hyundai A-League Elimination Final.
Despite only just turning 18, Waine is convinced he can make an impact in Head Coach Ufuk Talay’s plans for this season.
“I’m extremely happy to have signed the contract here and to be able to continue playing in this professional environment.
“I have learnt so much over the last twelve months in the Academy and the first team and I want to continue my development here.”
Talay was impressed with Waine’s appearance late on in the season and is keen to help the young striker develop further.
“He showed in the last few games of the season that he has the instinct of a natural number nine but also a willingness to learn.
“When you bring a youngster into a professional setup, they have hunger and desire to improve their game so I’m looking forward to shaping his development in the coming year.”
At a Glance
2017-19 Wellington Phoenix Academy – 34 appearances | 8 Goals | Coach: Paul Temple
2018-19 Wellington Phoenix – 3 appearances | Coach: Mark Rudan
2019- New Zealand U-20s – 3 appearances | 2 Goals | Coach: Des Buckingham