Taylor and Rufer pen long-term deals with Wellington

Wellington Phoenix have extended the contracts of captain Steven Taylor and vice-captain Alex Rufer, the club confirmed on Wednesday.

Taylor, 33, has penned an additional two-year deal that could see the veteran English defender play the remainder of his career in New Zealand.

Rufer, 23, has signed a three-year extension. The seven-times capped All White was named vice-captain of the Phoenix in pre-season and joined the club as 17-year-old in 2013.

The new deals ensure that both players will sport Wellington colours until at least the 2021/22 Hyundai A-League season.

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"Obviously these are two very important, core players of the group – and maintaining our players creates consistency and builds the club for the future, which is vital," said Phoenix boss Ufuk Talay.

"It’s great that our players want to be here and help build towards something special; they have a lot of belief in what we’re trying to achieve, not just short-term but long-term as well.

"Taylor is a natural leader and a very influential player for us, he leads by example both on and off the field – he brings an abundance of experience to the club and obviously he’s an important player for us moving forward with the direction this club is heading.

"Rufer is a young talented player who has captaincy qualities as well; he had a great season last year and this season he’s been very good and influential for us – and he’s still a young player so it’s great to have him committed to a three-year deal with us."

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