Signing news: Ridenton makes Phoenix return

Wellington Phoenix’s all-action, attacking style was a key factor in Matt Ridenton’s decision to re-join the club for the 2020/21 Season.

Ridenton began his career at Phoenix in 2013, spending five years at the club and making 72 appearances.

The 24-year-old has had short stints at both Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar recently but jumped at the chance to return to his hometown club under Ufuk Talay.

“Ufuk has bought a great playing style to the squad, I watched the team grow last season into a really good ball possession team – probably the best team alongside Sydney FC and Melbourne City to watch, which is a real credit to the coach and the players,” Ridenton said on Wellington’s website.

“As a player I like to get on the ball, so I’m really looking forward to being a part of that style and hopefully helping the team.”

“I really appreciated the opportunity the Nix gave me in my last season [the 2017/18 season] to get some consistent game time and show what I could do.

“Hopefully this season I can show Ufuk and the team the development I’ve made since then while playing in Australia.”

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Ridenton will add some much-needed quality and depth to Wellington’s midfield following the departures of Matti Steinmann and Brandon Wilson.

He not only has more than 100 games of A-League experience but has also notched six caps for the New Zealand All Whites.

“It’s always good to add another talented young Kiwi player into our ranks, as well as someone with Matt’s level of experience – both internationally and in the A-League,” Talay said.

“He’ll have every chance to contribute next season and to show his skills; I know he’s got a solid work-rate and a wide passing range which we hope will fit into our style of play.

“And I’m sure Nix fans will be happy to see him back in the yellow and black too.”

Ridenton, who has been based in Brisbane since the end of his Roar contract, will join up with his Phoenix teammates at their base in Wollongong on Saturday.

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Matthew Ridenton
Matt Ridenton began his career at Phoenix in 2013