Dynamic young midfielder Gianni Stensness has committed to the Central Coast Mariners, signing a contract extension keeping him at the club until 2022 after a strong start to the season.
Stensness joined the Mariners on a one-year contract in August this year, and the new deal will keep him with the Club through the Hyundai A-League 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.
Speaking after inking his new deal, the 20-year old thanked the club for putting faith in him as a young player.
“I’m very happy to have extended my time with the Mariners,” Stensness said.
“It has been a great few months since joining the Club which has encouraged me to extend.”
“The club has believed in me, and I’ve thrived off that, and I want to continue to be in that positive environment.”
Dreams coming true on the central coast. ?
— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) November 27, 2019
Prior to his time with the Wellington Phoenix Stensness was a part of the Mariners’ Academy setup, and said his extension owes to his time as a young footballer working with the club.
“It’s special for me to extend my contract with a club that played a significant role in my development,” he said.
“I want to give back to the club not only for their recent support and belief in me, but also for my time in the youth ranks here.”
“I look forward to further growing as a player here and doing my part to grow the team, get results, and strive to get this club back to its former glory.”
“It’s a particularly positive environment that Staj has encouraged and fostered, he believes in young players, and wants a fit, energetic playing group.”
Stensness has represented New Zealand in under-age squads and helped his country qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at a tournament earlier this season.
Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic praised the impact of Stensness so far this season, and pointed to the Mariners’ Academy for its role in his development.
“As a Club we’re very excited to have extended Gianni, and having come on trial a few months ago to now being an integral part of our starting XI it’s clear he has a bright future here,” Stajcic said.
“The Central Coast Mariners Academy provided a launching pad for Gianni earlier in his career, and it’s great to see another young player shining on the professional stage after being given a chance here.”
Stensness has started in all seven of the Mariners’ Hyundai A-League matches so far in the middle of the park, helping to break up opponent’s attacks with a tackle success rate of over 60%, and getting the Mariners moving towards goal with his accurate distribution and forward running.