Fenton loves his Tawa AFC roots
Louis Fenton hopes his latest injury set back will be dealt with quickly.
The 23-year-old Wellington Phoenix defender has had an injury-hit five seasons as a professional footballer and he is once again forced to the sideline.
During a pre-season match in China about six weeks ago, he said he heard a crack and felt immediate pain in his pubic bone.
‘‘I played on, but it didn’t settle down and there’s inflammation there,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m running again, but I can’t kick a ball yet, so I’m the guy doing laps [of Newtown Park] while the rest of the guys are into proper training.‘‘
Fenton said he was gutted to learn he would miss the season opener, against Melbourne City at Westpac Stadium on October 8. He was hopeful of making the second round fixture, away at Perth Glory on October 16.
After shoulder injuries in 2013 and 2014, Fenton said he could see light at the end of the tunnel.
Even at 23, he said he felt much older and it was time to kick his career into another gear, and that included making regular starts for the All Whites.
‘‘You never want to miss the first game, especially as it’s in front of a home crowd.
‘‘It’s my favourite part of the year. I’ve had a few setbacks over the years and a lot of time on the sideline, but it’s part of sport. Once I’m back out there, it’s up to me to make the time count.’’
Tawa born and bred, Fenton has fond memories of his formative years at Tawa AFC.
He said it was a brilliant family club with dedicated coaches and volunteers and he loved being part of it for a dozen years.
With friends still playing for Tawa, he enjoys going back to watch matches at Redwood Park.
‘‘I was back [this winter] to see a few games and you always get welcomed back in. The club has always been very good to me.’’
In 2009, Fenton was part of the Tawa AFC top side that endured a long season to win promotion to the Central League.
‘‘It’s still one of the happiest memories I have playing the game - we won the [Capital Premier] league and then went through the playoffs. It was a great team and [striker and seasoned pro] Pete Withers is still one of the best players I’ve played with.’’
HEAD TO THE GAMES
The first three home games are: Melbourne City, October 8; Syd- ney FC, October 23; Newcastle Jets, November 5.
All registered Capital Football junior players can receive a Junior Nix card to attend those games for free, plus a pass for one adult to the first game. A junior membership for the remainder of the season is $20. Full details at junior clubs.
Louis Fenton can’t wait to get on the field for this year’s A-League season.