Muscat signs deal with Phoenix

01:43, Jan 31 2009
VERSATILE AND VALUED: Replacement defender Manny Muscat - seen contesting the ball with Queensland Roar player Sergio Van Dijk - has signed a one-year contract with the Wellington Phoenix.

Versatile defender Manny Muscat will become a fulltime member of the Wellington Phoenix next season after signing a one-year deal year with the A-League soccer club.

Muscat, 23, was drafted by the Phoenix as a replacement for Vince Lia, whose season was ended by a knee injury sustained in a pre-season match.

He was formerly with Green Gully in the Victorian premier league.

Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert today said Muscat had become a valued member of the squad since joining the club as a short-term replacement in July.

He has played six matches for the Phoenix at right back.

"Manny was brought in to do a job for us and he's done that admirably," Herbert said.

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"He has impressed me with his work ethic, commitment and attitude and I'm thrilled that the club has been able to secure his services for next season."

Muscat's signing brings to 13 the number of Phoenix players contracted by the club for next season and beyond.

Along with Muscat, the re-signed players are Daniel, Ben Sigmund, Tim Brown, Tony Lochhead, Andrew Durante, Jon McKain, Leo Bertos, Michael Ferrante, David Mulligan, Vince Lia, Troy Hearfield and Costa Barbarouses.

- NZPA