There have been a number of turnaround fortunes in New Zealand's capital this season, but none more prominent than a 22-year-old midfielder's.
Mark Rudan was full of praise for Alex Rufer after locking the Kiwi down to a Wellington Phoenix contract until the end of the 2019/20 season.
Rufer's extension comes a day after 36-year-old goalkeeper Glen Moss signed terms on the same length deal, as Wellington attempt to ensure an element of stability given the ongoing threat of Roy Krishna and Rudan's departures.
Five-cap New Zealand international Rufer has been a star-turn for the Nix this season, as his combative and intelligent displays alongside Mandi Sosa in the heart of Wellington's defence have allowed his side to play a flamboyant, fact-paced and aggressive style.
They're performances that have played a large role in shooting Rudan into the spotlight, so the Aussie coach had no hesitation in doing the same for his (newly secured) midfielder.
‘‘Considering he is only 22, he plays with such composure and intelligence, but I still believe he can go further,’’ Rudan said.
‘‘I knew he had the potential, from his previous time at the club and he is another that took control of his future, got his head down and worked hard.''
Rufer - who first signed for Wellington at 17-years-old - was simply happy to be fulfilling his potential.
‘‘I've always had confidence in my own ability and I’m happy I’ve been able to express that fully this year under Mark," Rufer said.
‘‘He has instilled the confidence I was perhaps lacking in previous seasons and believe I can now progress even further.’’