The former All Whites defender Ben Sigmund has signed a new one-year contract with the Wellington Phoenix that will take him through to the end of the 2015-16 A-League season.
Sigmund, who will turn 34 on Tuesday, the day after the Phoenix restart their campaign against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, said he's delighted the club wants him to continue.
He said he thought hard about it and decided he wasn't ready to stop playing just yet.
"After talking it through with Ernie we both felt I could contribute to another season," he said.
"Actually I feel I've got better with age because I have matured as a player and as a person and Ernie has had a lot to do with that."
Sigmund said he feels blessed that Merrick came to the Phoenix when he did or his maturing as a player might not have happened.
"He sat me down and told me it isn't acceptable not to be disciplined on the field, and you don't see me giving away silly free kicks round the box these days or getting cheap yellow cards."