Signing news: Young gun Waine locked in with Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix have confirmed that 18-year old  Academy graduate Ben Waine has signed with the club on a two-year Hyundai A-League deal.

In what has been a drew month for the teenager, Waine has inked his first professional contract after debuting for the New Zealand Under 20 side at the FIFA World Cup in Poland.

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Waine, who has been involved with Phoenix's academy since 2017, scored two goals in the match against Honduras.

And it seems to have impressed coach Ufuk Talay who has promted the youngster to his first-team squad.

"I’m extremely happy to have signed the contract here and to be able to continue playing in this professional environment, Waine told Wellington's official website

"I have learnt so much over the last twelve months in the Academy and the first team and I want to continue my development here."

Waime scored eight goals in the 2018/19 ISPS Handa Premiership and impressed enough to earn his first Hyundai A-League appearance in March against Newcastle Jets. 

The impressive teen came off the bench in the Round 23 clash to make his Hyundai A-League debut in front of his family at Westpac Stadium.

Waine’s Hyundai A-League debut added to his senior debut in the FFA Cup back in August 2018. He went on to make another two appearances on the way to a Hyundai A-League Elimination Final.

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Talay was impressed with Waine’s appearance late on in the season and is keen to help the young striker develop further.

"He showed in the last few games of the season that he has the instinct of a natural number nine but also a willingness to learn.

"When you bring a youngster into a professional setup, they have hunger and desire to improve their game so I’m looking forward to shaping his development in the coming year."

Waine is the fifth player added to Phoenix's full-time squad since Talay took the reins from Mark Rudan, joining the likes of Jaushua Sotirio, Luke DeVere, Stefan Marinovic and Walter Scott.