The rise of Ridenton at Wellington Phoenix

On a day when Sarpreet Singh caught the eye with his dazzling opening goal on starting debut, Matt Ridenton showed why he’s having a breakthrough season with Wellington Phoenix.

Ridenton’s been around the Phoenix squad for a few years now, slowly improving and developing since making his Hyundai A-League debut as a teenager in 2013.

While he’s been involved in the first-team regularly over the last few seasons, it’s the 2017/18 campaign where the 21-year-old has really established himself.

He’s featured in all 20 matches under Darije Kalezic this season – starting 19 – and been a consistent performer in a rollercoaster campaign for the Kiwi outfit.

This season, the Auckland-born playmaker has contributed two assists, made 24 interceptions, 100 ball recoveries and has a passing accuracy of almost 76% from his 642 passes.

And Ridenton was excellent again in Phoenix’s 2-1 win over Perth Glory on Saturday afternoon and was close to man-of-the-match honours along with Diego Castro.

The box-to-box midfielder finished the game 41 passes, the most of any Phoenix player, 63 touches and a game-high seven crosses.

If he can keep up his current form, it seems it won’t be long before he becomes a regular with the All Whites as well, adding to his one cap more than two years ago against South Korea.