UPDATE: Midfielder Nicholas Pennington leaves Phoenix for A-League rivals

posted in: A-League (Men), News

Midfielder Nicholas Pennington is leaving the Wellington Phoenix after three men’s A-League seasons, having agreed a two-year deal to join rivals Perth Glory.

The Australian midfielder joined the Phoenix in 2021 on an initial two-year deal from Olbia Calcio 1905 in Serie C, the third division in Italy where he was born and raised.

Pennington (25) made 36 Isuzu UTE A-League appearances over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, but was limited to just 15 starts.

He re-signed with the Nix for the 2023-24 campaign and established himself as a key member of the side which narrowly missed out on the Premiers’ Plate and fell just short of the A-League grand final.

Pennington featured in 25 of the team’s 29 league matches last season, making 22 starts, and he scored the opening goal in Wellington’s 2-0 win over Western United in February.

Pennington told Perth Glory’s website: “There were a few factors that made up my mind in terms of signing for Perth Glory,” he said.

“Firstly, having an ex-Socceroo like [Glory Football Director] Stan Lazaridis putting a lot of faith in me to help turn things around from the last few seasons meant a lot.

“Secondly, I saw the atmosphere at HBF Park when I played for Wellington against Glory last season and it was amazing, even with the team struggling.

“I think if we give the fans some results, they will have our back.

“And lastly, even though I grew up in Italy, my dad was born in Perth and lived in Glen Forrest when he was young, so why would I go anywhere else in Australia?

“I’m looking forward to working hard and I’m sure the effort put in by the club will deliver results.”

Nicholas Pennington … looking forward to joining Perth Glory.

Lazaridis said: “He’s a big signing for us, particularly in the midfield area where I felt we were lacking that box-to-box drive last season.

“Nicholas has got a great engine. He’s a smart player who can provide excellent link-up play with the forwards, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him compete for a place in our new-look midfield.

“I think the members and fans are going to love him, the team are going to love him and I believe that he is a player who, after a couple of years with us, is ultimately destined to play in Europe once again.”

Pennington leaves the Phoenix with fond memories.

“This last year especially was amazing, and I’m gutted we didn’t win anything in the end,” Pennington said.

“I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the Phoenix and Nix fans. I know it’s something everyone says, but it’s true.

“I wish everyone luck for next season.”

Announcing his departure, the Wellington Phoenix thanked Pennington for his contribution to the club.

More football stories