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Phoenix sign young Australian defender

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/09/2016

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick's influence has played a key role in Nathan Burns's career turnaround, the Socceroos striker believes. © Getty Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick's influence has played a key role in Nathan Burns's career turnaround, the Socceroos striker believes. Wellington Phoenix have boosted their defensive stocks in signing Australian 22-year-old Ryan Lowry on a one-year contract.

Brother of Perth Glory defender Shane, Lowry comes from Australian NPL club Joondalup, where Phoenix keeper Lewis Italiano spent time playing in the A-League off-season.

He will provide cover for Wellington as they juggle likely All Whites commitments for defenders Andrew Durante and Tom Doyle.

Lowry, who prefers playing in the centre of defence but can also play fullback, trained with the Phoenix at the club's recent training camp in Townsville and returned to Wellington with the squad for further trials.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick says Lowry's arrival will help create depth in the squad.

"That is important, especially in the FIFA windows where we lose players to the All Whites," he said.

"Also, players get injured and suspended during the season, and Ryan is a good all round confident defender who can cover different positions."

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