Sigmund extends Phoenix stay

Wellington defender Ben Sigmund has signed a new one-year contract with the Phoenix that will take him through to the end of the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season.

Sigmund, who will turn 34 on Tuesday, the day after the Phoenix restart their campaign against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, said he was delighted the club wanted him to continue.

“I thought hard about it and decided I wasn’t ready to stop playing just yet,” he said.

“After talking it through with Ernie (Merrick) we both felt I could contribute to another season.

“Actually I feel I’ve got better with age because I have matured as a player and as a person and Ernie has had a lot to do with that.

“I feel blessed that he came to the Phoenix when he did or this might not have happened.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said he was pleased that Sigmund had decided to continue and suggested that there was no reason next season had to be his last.

“Ben is becoming, if he isn’t already, a legend at the Phoenix and is an iconic character,” the coach said.

“He feels he has never been the most skilfull of players but he always gives 100 per cent and is very coachable.

“The partnership he has formed with Andrew Durante is formidable and very important to the team.