Phoenix re-sign trio

Key trio Andrew Durante, Vince Lia and Manny Muscat have re-signed with the Wellington Phoenix.

Key trio Andrew Durante, Vince Lia and Manny Muscat have re-signed with the Wellington Phoenix.

Skipper Durante, the winner of the Joe Marston Medal in 2007/08, has extended his deal with the Hyundai A-League side for another three seasons, while foundation member Lia and Maltese international Muscat will remain in Wellington until at least the end of the 2011/12 campaign.

The signings follow that of New Zealand midfielder Leo Bertos, who penned a three-season deal earlier this month.

"We're delighted that Vinnie, Manny and Andrew have agreed to remain here at the Phoenix for future seasons," Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said.

"Andrew's our captain and he came here from Newcastle on a two-year deal and he's now agreed to a further three years. That shows that he sees the club going places, that he enjoys the set-up and the city. By keeping these sorts of players we maintain stability and build a core around which we can continue building a competitive squad."

Durante felt the professionalism of the club had helped him to thrive in his time so far in the New Zealand capital.

"It's a fantastic set-up here and it's improving all the time," the Australian said. "I came to Wellington from a club that probably wasn't as professionally run as the Phoenix and I'm thriving on that."

"We've got a great owner in Terry Serepisos, who's done wonders for football, and as players we all see his commitment and ambition. I want to a part of it when this club achieves the success that's bound to come."

Muscat, whose stellar rise from injury replacement player to full-time professional and Maltese international came courtesy of the Phoenix, said he was still pinching himself.

"I'm over the moon. Two years back I was playing in a local league with Green Gully now I'm extending my professional career. It's amazing. The club's great, the playing group is awesome - I've been happy here since day one."

Lia had his first two seasons with the Phoenix disrupted by injury but has cemented a starting spot in Ricki Herbert's side during the current campaign.

"I was out for all of last season and the club showed me a lot of support, so I'm happy to repay that faith by re-signing for another two seasons," he said.

"There are only six foundation members left and I'm stoked that I can keep my career going here in Wellington."