Why Wellington Phoenix newcomer Nicholas Pennington is the perfect fit

-

Talented midfielder Nicholas Pennington is joining Wellington Phoenix and the A-League Men for all the right reasons.

Having lost skilled midfielder Cameron Devlin and their playmaking magician Ulises Dávila, it is no secret that the Nix needed to fill a void in the middle.

So what about a young Italian-born Australian youth international, who is looking to showcase his skills in the country he wishes to represent? Oh yeah and he’s pretty good at football too? Yeah that’ll do just fine thanks!

Well, say hello to Pennington, Phoenix and Australian football fans. He is a 22-year-old midfielder, who has already amassed over 100 professional games while playing in Italy collecting 15 goals and 15 assists along the way.

So why the move?

Well with his eyes set on some new scenery and finding an opportunity to develop his game, all while hoping to better his chances to play for his national side, it was really a no brainer when Pennington received the call from Nix coach Ufuk Talay.

“I signed very shortly after they [the Phoenix] called, they convinced me very easily,” he said.

“They were very honest with what they were offering, they showed me what their football was like and what my opportunity was here. I thought about it on my own and I just thought it was a very good opportunity and I was ready to go.”

Embed from Getty Images

Pennington is eligible to play for the Socceroos thanks to his father who was born in Perth, and he has already shown he has ability to play at an international level, having been named in their U23’s preliminary squad in June last year.

However, he hopes this was just the beginning of a long journey playing international football, so when he was offered the chance to play in the top league of the country he wishes to represen, it sweetened the deal.

“Of course, that’s one of my main goals to play for the Socceroos,” he said.

“It will be a dream to go and play for the national team.”

Embed from Getty Images

Along with the added benefit of playing plenty more football in Australia and across the ditch in New Zealand, Pennington also believes that coach Talay and the Phoenix organisation can help him take his game to the next level.

“I looked at the team and I saw that a lot of young players and that play really nice football so I was like, this is a good opportunity for me to get even better,” he said.

But in all honesty it seems that the short-handed Phoenix need Pennington just as much as he needs them. A box-to-box player known for his massive engine and skills on both the offensive and defensive end, the timing couldn’t be better for the Phoenix after recent departures.

Embed from Getty Images

“I definitely think I can help the team out,” Pennington said.

“I’ve played a lot of matches in Italy with quite a few [football] cultures, so I’m used to changing the way I play or even my position. I think I can definitely adapt quite quickly to the culture here and do my best to help the team.”

The Phoenix and their fans will be crossing their fingers hoping this is true. It would be a perfect scenario if Pennington is able to build chemistry quickly and use his work rate to offer the Nix some much help on both sides of the ball.

 

Now it is just a matter of waiting and watching. Has Talay has gone and found another hidden gem and brought them and their talents to the league?

If the answer is yes, we could be seeing a lot more of this young man over the next few years as he makes his bid for both international selection and A-League Men’s glory with the Nix.

Let’s just hope in two years Macarthur FC or Western United don’t poach this one away from us too >:(

Feature Image Credit: Wellington Phoenix 

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Harry Bartle
Harry Bartle
Harry is a young Journalist based in Wellington. He will be covering the Wellington Phoenix during the 2021/22 season for the Football Sack and has a love hate relationship with Ulises Davila

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required