Phoenix retain McKain

Wellington Phoenix defender Jon McKain has knocked back six other A-League clubs to extend his stay in the New Zealand capital by two years.

Wellington Phoenix defender Jon McKain has knocked back six other A-League clubs to extend his stay in the New Zealand capital by two years.

The 27-year-old Australian was identified as a key retention target after a terrific Hyundai A-League season - his partnership with fellow centre back and skipper Andrew Durante being essential to the Phoenix's charge to a Preliminary final.

With 12 international caps, McKain - along with Durante - was rewarded for his excellent form with selection to Pim Verbeek's squad for an Asian Cup qualifying match against Indonesia earlier this month.

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata was thrilled to secure his services for the next two seasons.

"Jon's been sensational for us this season since coming back from injury and he's formed a great partnership at the back with Andrew Durante, who is also contracted for the next two seasons," Pignata said.

"Jon was very much in demand with six A-League clubs chasing him."

"He's an excellent player, but he's enjoying Wellington and being part of the club and that's what ultimately made it a pretty straightforward decision for him."

McKain joined the Phoenix in 2008 after spending several years playing in Romania's Liga 1.

He has played 37 games for the Phoenix and scored twice this season.

McKain said he was happy to be staying in Wellington.

"I know it took a while to get things over the line but it wasn't a stalling tactic - there were a lot of factors to consider on top of football, including the fact I have a young family," he said.

"But as a team we had a great second half of the season and that ultimately convinced me to stay."

"We made the finals series, so I'm happy to remain at the club and push for bigger things next season."

Knowledge that the bulk of the 2009/10 squad would be returning also played a part in McKain's decision.

"The group of players we have here is fantastic. You won't find a better bunch. Not only do we get on well on the pitch, but we're all great mates off it," he said.

"We've re-signed the core of the guys that have been around this season and produced good results, so now the club can recruit more players who can push the pedal a bit."

Meanwhile, midfielder Michael Ferrante and defender David Mulligan have not had their contracts renewed.

Pignata said discussions were continuing with striker Eugene Dadi and midfielder Adrian Caceres.