Goalkeeper Lewis Italiano hasn’t appeared in an A-League game for the Wellington Phoenix since joining the club, but has shown enough in training and “A” team games to earn another contract.
Initially signed on a one-year deal, the 1.89m 22-year-old today signed for another 12 months.
Goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould, who coached Italiano at Perth Glory for one season, has been impressed with the way he has gone about his work and is pleased he has committed himself for another year.
“Lewis has a good presence about him and commands his box aerially,”
“He has a laid back, super personality and a lot of things are water off a duck’s back to him which is a good trait for a goalkeeper to have.”
Italiano said he was “buzzing” after having his contract extended as he was enjoying being at the club.
“Gouldy is a brilliant goalkeeping coach and Mossy is great to work with,” Italiano said.
“Mossy encourages me and there is always a bit of banter going on which keeps you smiling.”
While admitting it does get a little frustrating being on the bench, and knowing that it would take an injury or sending off for him to get on the field he is quite happy to bide his time.
“As a No 2 keeper you have to wait for your moment to arrive. Mossy had to go down the same path when he started out,” Italiano said.
“My job is to keep pushing him and to be ready should the chance come.”
Italiano’s Phoenix career got off to a disjointed start when he sustained an ankle injury in the last minutes of his final loan game for Victoria Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons.
It meant weeks of rehabilitation rehabilitation and when Moss was away with the All Whites for the first game of the A-League season the spot between the posts went to Team Wellington keeper Jacob Spoonley.
That is all behind him now and he will be ready to grab it with both hands when an opportunity arises.