Phoenix re-sign Lia to two-year deal

April 20, 2012

Vince Lia's dream of playing for New Zealand could possibly be over but that hasn't stopped him committing to the Wellington Phoenix for another two years in the A-League.

A founding player at the Phoenix, Lia confirmed on Friday he had signed the contract extension and is already looking forward to next season.

"It was a pretty easy decision, to be honest," Lia, 27, said.

"With this group of players, I feel there could be something special happening in the future.

"We've had a good season and feel we can do even better over the next couple (of seasons).

"We have the nucleus of a strong squad and, if we can just add a bit more quality and depth, I honestly believe we can be a top-two club.

"As well as the playing side of things, the new ownership group has ensured there is stability off the field so there is no reason why quality players shouldn't want to come here.

"I think this is going to be a very good football club."

After five years in Wellington, Lia has applied to become a New Zealand citizen, hoping it will enable him to play for the All Whites.

That scenario is in doubt with him having previously played for Australia's under-20 and under-23 sides but he hasn't given up all hope.

"The main thing is to get a New Zealand passport and I haven't heard how that is going lately," Lia said.

"FIFA is on record as saying they will listen to each case individually so there is still a chance of it happening.

"While that (playing for the All Whites) didn't come into it when I was making my decision, committing myself to New Zealand for another two years can't harm my cause.

"If it happens, then it is a bonus. The main thing is I am at the Phoenix for another two years and I am delighted about that."