Louis Fenton has achieved one of his footballing dreams by landing a professional contract - although he thought the initial call from his gaffer last week was a wind-up.
The 19-year-old former Tawa AFC striker was handed a three- year contract with the Wellington Phoenix last Tuesday, joining fellow Football School of Excellence member Tyler Boyd onto the senior playing staff. The duo were put through their paces in the off- season and both impressed at training and on the Phoenix's tour of India.
But that didn't mean Fenton took manager Ricki Herbert's phone call seriously.
'I didn't know Ricki's voice on the phone and really thought it was a wind-up. Once I realised it was a genuine call I was buzzing and I'm still buzzing now after getting a contract.
"This has been the best year of my life - just training with the Phoenix was great, but now to hopefully be pushing for a place in the playing squad is awesome."
Fenton has been playing recently for the Melbourne Knights in the Victoria State League. After he got Herbert's call he booked his flights back to Wellington.
'I will never stop working hard because that's the way I am, and I want to prove to Ricki that I am ready to play in the A-League if he needs me.
"If I get a chance, I have nothing to lose, they [the opposition] won't know anything about me and it would be nice to surprise a few people."
Tawa AFC president Mike Wood says the club is delighted for Fenton, who was identified years ago as a player with huge potential, and has worked hard.
"He's been outstanding and does his job well, last year for Team Wellington he looked the goods and he deserves his shot with the Phoenix. We were all praying that he got that contract and were so happy he did."
- Kapi-Mana News