A-League club Wellington Phoenix have locked in sixth-all-time appearance holder Louis Fenton on a one-year deal, ahead of at least two more likely departures.
Fenton will re-join the club for his ninth consecutive season, an equal record among current Wellington players with Alex Rufer. The right-back made 23 appearances last season, starting 18 of them.
He joins Steven Taylor, locking in to the Wellington backline.
But after losing Ulises Davila to Macarthur FC despite offering the Mexican striker the most valuable contract in the club's history, Wellington are also set to lose two other big names.
Cameron Devlin is set to join Newcastle Jets, as the club seeks to rebuild under a new coach after Craig Deans stepped down from the role into an unspecified backroom capacity.
Meanwhile, Tomer Hemed is rumoured to be exiting Wellington after his wife posted on Instagram that he'd signed for another club, likely to be an A-League team, after his sensational form recently.
Apparently Tomer Hemed’s wife posted that “Tomer has signed a contract with another club and next year we‘ll go to...” before letting people guess the country/club. She also said they’re staying in Australia— A-League Hub (@AleagueHub) June 8, 2021
Her current Instagram stories have guesses about their next destination https://t.co/xY6lyU3SRl
Ufuk Talay said that Fenton has done everything in his power to earn the new deal.
“Louis was given the opportunity this season to play more minutes at right back, and to his credit he took that opportunity and did everything we needed him to do,” said Talay.
“We welcome Louis back to the Phoenix as we prepare for season 2021/22 - we’ll need his experience and him playing at his best.
Meanwhile, Fenton committed himself to the club that's solidified his professional career.
“I’m a Wellington boy and I’ve been at the club for a while now – so the longer I stay at the Phoenix the prouder I am, as I understand how tough it can be to stay with one club for so long,” said Fenton.
“This season was a lot different for me compared to others, I’ve never had to experience having to move away from friends and family to play for the Nix, it’s made a lot of the boys closer – we didn’t have those friends and family around so we spend a lot more time together.
“We definitely bonded as a team; we showed a lot of fight and you could see that on the field, especially coming from behind a lot of times and scoring late in games.
"But it was very disappointing to not make the top six as our goal was to play finals football and compete for the [A-League] trophy this year.
“Missing out on the Finals this year has just made me hungrier for success – the boys have already said that the goal next year is not just to play finals football but to win it all and I’m the same, it’s all about getting the wins and seeing how far we can go."