The Wellington Phoenix have taken a second big step today towards their upcoming A-League season after managing to sign star forward David Ball to a contract extension which will keep him in the yellow and black until the end of the 2022/23 season.
In his first season with the Phoenix, Ball played a big role in the club’s third place finish, scoring six goals and contributing four assists in 25 matches.
The 30-year old was awarded the Hyundai A-League Player of the Month Award for February and the Huawei Player of the Year Award.
Ball said in a statement he loves Wellington and is excited at the prospect of calling the capital home – even with the squad announcing earlier today they will be based in New South Wales for the start of the 2020/21 season.
“I’m really excited to be at the Phoenix for another three years, it was an easy decision for my and the family, there’s plenty of reasons for wanting to be here – it’s a fantastic place to live, we’ve got friends for life here now and it feels like home.
“The people and fans have been fantastic - it’s a credit to the club how they’ve treated me and my family, that goes a long way for me.”
Ball added that what the club achieved on the pitch last season after relocating to Australia speaks for itself.
“I’ve had a season to understand the league and I know what I can bring to the team; a lot of people have seen what I can do, and I know there’s so much more still to come.
“I’ve enjoyed playing as a 10 up front and filling in wherever else coach needs me to, and while first and foremost I’m a team player, I’ve set some goals for myself next season to ensure we’re a successful team.”
Ball also said he is looking to his overall future with the Phoenix.
“We’ve got a really talented group here which I’m excited to be a part of, I want to create something special over these next three years.
“I feel I can also fill some of the void left by others leaving in terms of leadership, in terms of being a presence in the locker room and being open, honest and accountable.”
Phoenix Head Coach Ufuk Talay says that retaining Ball is a big morale boost for the club.
“We’re delighted that David has committed to the Phoenix for the next three years, he’s a key part of our squad and a fan favourite," Talay said.
“We see him playing a prominent role with this club not only with his football ability, but also as a role model for the younger players to look up to – he’ll be one of our leaders next season and a focal point of our offence.
“David embodies everything that the Wellington Phoenix stands for – someone who is committed, works hard and is an ideal team-mate – and I’m excited to see how far he can take the Phoenix towards our goal of bringing home the A-League trophy.”