Hyundai A-League young player to follow: Matthew Ridenton

One of the most encouraging features of Wellington Phoenix's up-and-down season has been the consistent improvement of young midfielder Matthew Ridenton.

The Auckland City product has enjoyed a breakout season under Darije Kalezic, starting 15 of a possible 16 matches.

It's well-earned reward for the patience exhibited across his four years at the club, having arrived in 2013 as an U17 international.

He's since gone on to win a senior cap for the All Whites and was part of the squad which triumphed at the 2016 OFC Nations Cup.

And with a club coach who has pledged to "invest in his development," Ridenton is now truly beginning to flourish.

The 21-year-old is tidy on the ball, diligent in his defensive duties and possesses the physical tools to go box-to-box.

While a learning curve came in the recent draw with Western Sydney - where he spurned a late chance to snatch all three points - he bounced back to lay on an assist and play 90 minutes in Wellington's valuable 3-2 win away to Newcastle Jets.

The mature response suggests one of the bright prospects of New Zealand football - and son of former All White Michael Ridenton - will soon take up a more prominent role for the national team, just as he's doing for Phoenix.