Young midfielder Gianni Stensness has signed a contract extension with Central Coast Mariners to keep him at the club until 2022.
Stensness came through the North Shore Mariners and the Mariners' academy, but debuted in the A-League last season for Wellington Phoenix.
The 20-year-old joined Central Coast this August and has featured in all seven A-League games for the club this campaign.
"I’m very happy to have extended my time with the Mariners,” Stensness said. "It has been a great few months since joining the club which has encouraged me to extend.
"The club has believed in me, and I’ve thrived off that, and I want to continue to be in that positive environment."
Born and raised in Australia, but with a New Zealand father, the defensive midfielder has made four appearances for the New Zealand Under-20s.
Stensness said he is keen to give back to the Mariners.
"It’s special for me to extend my contract with a club that played a significant role in my development," he said.
"I want to give back to the club not only for their recent support and belief in me, but also for my time in the youth ranks here.
"I look forward to further growing as a player here and doing my part to grow the team, get results, and strive to get this club back to its former glory.
"It’s a particularly positive environment that Staj has encouraged and fostered, he believes in young players, and wants a fit, energetic playing group."
Central Coast coach Alen Stajcic praised the impact of Stensness so far this season.
"As a club we’re very excited to have extended Gianni, and having come on trial a few months ago to now being an integral part of our starting XI it’s clear he has a bright future here,” Stajcic said.
"The Central Coast Mariners Academy provided a launching pad for Gianni earlier in his career, and it’s great to see another young player shining on the professional stage after being given a chance here."