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Phoenix add pair of young Kiwi talents on one-year deals

The Phoenix have followed up yesterday's contract extension with David Ball with two more signings this afternoon.

Clayton Lewis of New Zealand celebrates after scoring a goal. Source: Getty

Defender James McGarry and All White Clayton Lewis will join the Wellington club.

The Phoenix announced both signings today with the duo signing one-year deals to play for the Phoenix next season.

McGarry, 22, returns to the Phoenix after spending four years at the club between 2014 and 2018 where he spent most of his time in the reserve team.

Most recently though, he spent two seasons playing for Eredivisie club Willem II in the Netherlands, where he made six appearances.

McGarry said that it “means a lot” to be able to join the Phoenix for the upcoming season.

“The potential to come back to the Phoenix was on the cards with Libby leaving, so when the opportunity came up I kinda grabbed it with both hands – it’s a good opportunity to come back and get some experience with a good side that I watched a lot of last season.

“I know a lot of the players on the squad, obviously [Alex] Rufer, [Louis] Fenton and [Oliver] Sail from when I was last there, and I’ve played with others in the national squad – so it’s going to be easy to get along with the squad.”

Lewis, 23, joins the club having spent last season with Auckland City.

Lewis said that he is looking forward to playing in the A-League next season with his hometown team, albeit from an Australian base.

“To be able to join the Phoenix has always been kind of a dream of mine, I was born and raised in Wellington so it’s an exciting opportunity for me – I can’t wait to get started.

“I’ve played with quite a few of the boys [on the squad last season] in Alex Rufer, Oli Sail and Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, I’m looking forward to working with these players and obviously Ufuk [Talay] as well.”