Riera and Boxall get longer run

Last updated 14:23 15/01/2014

Relevant offers


McGlinchey's Phoenix debut ends in defeat McGlinchey feels at home with the Phoenix Phoenix delighted with McGlinchey's signing Phoenix close to Michael McGlinchey deal Michael McGlinchey completes Phoenix move Michael McGlinchey, Louis Fenton for Phoenix Phoenix reserve team to play in national league Phoenix name 17-man squad for FFA Cup game West Ham United's NZ tour was 'a trip too far' New Phoenix recruit is ready for NZ adventure

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has extended the contracts of Spanish midfielder Albert Riera and defender Michael Boxall by a year.

Riera, 30, was originally told he was being signed as midfield backup, but soon found himself in the starting line-up.

"I was quite happy to come to the club as backup because I knew it would give me the chance to show what I was capable of and to fight for a starting spot," Riera said.

"I was surprised to go straight in but I am enjoying it and that is down to Ernie.

"He is so positive and talks to players a lot. In one game we were really struggling in the first half and thought we would be told off at halftime.

"Instead he came in and told us to start smiling and to enjoy ourselves.

"He is a top-class coach and a top-class person."

Boxall, 25, would agree with Riera's summation as Merrick has given the defender a new lease on life.

Last season Boxall rarely got a look in, and while it was disappointing the player accepts he wasn't totally blameless.

"My mind set has changed a lot from last season," Boxall says with refreshing honesty.

"I have put in more work and it is good to see it paying off and people paying attention to it.

"I had a conversation with Ernie about where the club is heading and where he sees me fitting in and I liked what he said.

"The change of coach seems to have done me a world of good."

A central defender, Boxall has had to play in the unfamiliar role of fullback in recent games but is adjusting well and keen to continue.

"With the players around me, and Ernie guiding me, I think I can do the job he wants," Boxall said.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post


Special offers
Opinion poll

How will the Phoenix go in 2013-14?

Prepare cabinet for silverware

A top 4 finish is possible

Mid-table at best

Will remain towards bottom of league

Vote Result

Related story: Wellington Phoenix off-season scorecard

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content