July 9, 2012
WPX/WELLINGTON - Outstanding central defender Ben Sigmund has committed himself to the Wellington Phoenix for the next three years.
Sigmund, 31, had one year left on his contract, but has had two more years added on to take him through to the end of 2015.
Winner of the Phoenix Player of the Year award for the past two seasons, Sigmund had no intention of playing anywhere else providing the Wellington club still wanted him.
“I could have looked at other options, but honestly there is nowhere else I wanted to be,” Sigmund said.
“My family is here and I love this club so why move if they want me to stay.
“They have looked after me with an improved contract and it being for three years gives me security for the family.”
Sigmund arrived at the Phoenix in 2008 from ASB Premiership franchise Auckland City on a one-year contract and has gone on to play 91 times for the club.
“Ricki (Herbert) recognised my potential and gave me the opportunity to play in the A-League for which I was grateful,” Sigmund said.
“Six years on I am still enjoying playing for Ricki and I am proud to say that I’ve made a career out of football in New Zealand.
“Hopefully New Zealand kids can look at that and realise there is an opportunity for them to do the same.”
Head coach Ricki Herbert said he was delighted Sigmund had committed himself to the club.
“Ben has had a couple of excellent seasons and played a leading role in us reaching the playoffs in the last three years,” Herbert said.
“It is also testament to the culture at the club that he wants to continue playing for it.”
The former Canterbury United and Auckland CIty player has played 24 internationals for New Zealand.