Glory sign former Phoenix midfielder with family ties to Perth: ‘Why would I go anywhere else?’

Perth Glory have bolstered their midfield stocks with the signing of Nicholas Pennington from Wellington Phoenix on a two-year-deal.

The 25-year-old was a key contributor to Wellington’s second-place finish last season, starting 22 games under Giancarlo Italiano in the club’s best-ever Isuzu UTE A-League campaign.

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Pennington made 61 appearances for Wellington across three seasons but has elected to join the club’s Distance Derby rivals on a contract that will run to the end of the 2025-26 season.

“There were a few factors that made up my mind in terms of signing for Perth Glory,” Pennington said.

“Firstly, having an ex-Socceroo like (Glory Football Director) Stan Lazaridis putting a lot of faith in me to help turn things around from the last few seasons meant a lot.

“Secondly, I saw the atmosphere at HBF Park when I played for Wellington against Glory last season and it was amazing, even with the team struggling. I think if we give the fans some results, they will have our back.

“And lastly, even though I grew up in Italy, my dad was born in Perth and lived in Glen Forrest when he was young, so why would I go anywhere else in Australia?!

“I’m looking forward to working hard and I’m sure the effort put in by the club will deliver results.”

Nicholas Pennington.

An Australian youth international, Pennington was born in Italy where his football journey began at Serie A side Cagliari as a youth player. Pennington reached Cagliari’s U19 squad before a loan move to Olbia Calcio 1905 where he played 90 games in Serie C prior to his move to the Phoenix.

Glory Football Director Stan Lazaridis believes Pennington is sure to return to Europe in the future – and that his stint in Western Australia will be the catalyst for a return abroad.

“He’s a big signing for us,” Lazaridis said, “particularly in the midfield area where I felt we were lacking that box-to-box drive last season.

“Nicholas has got a great engine, he’s a smart player who can provide excellent link-up play with the forwards and I’m really looking forward to seeing him compete for a place in our new-look midfield.

“I think the members and fans are going to love him, the team are going to love him and I believe that he is a player who, after a couple of years with us, is ultimately destined to play in Europe once again.”

Glory players under contract for 2024-25:

Oli Sail, Cameron Cook, Robbie Cook, Josh Risdon, Riley Warland, Anas Hamzaoui, Kaelan Majekodunmi, Andriano Lebib, Zach Lisolajski, Jacob Muir, Luke Bodnar, Jarrod Carluccio, Trent Ostler, Mustafa Amini, Brandon O’Neill, Nicholas Pennington, Jaylan Pearman, Khoa Ngo, Adam Zimarino, Adam Taggart, David Williams, Nathanael Blair.