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Wellington Phoenix forwards Greg Draper and Adam Kwasnik will not have their contracts renewed by the club for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season.
Draper has spent two seasons with the Phoenix, having signed with the Wellington club as one of the three mandatory under-20 players required on the club’s roster.
The promising young striker has had limited opportunities with the Phoenix – a situation compounded by the Wellington club’s shut-out from Football Federation Australia’s new National Youth League.
Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said it was unfortunate that the club had been forced to make such a tough decision regarding the 20-year-old.
“Ultimately it became apparent that it was very unfair on Greg not to be giving him the gametime he needs to develop further as a footballer. Greg is a tremendous talent for the future but, given that we don’t have a team in the National Youth League, the opportunities for him to play good, competitive football were few and far between.
“It was decided that the best course of action for Greg was to help him into a situation where he will be playing more regularly and the club will do everything possible to achieve that.”
Pignata said the Phoenix would seek to help Draper join a team in the Australian state leagues or the New Zealand Football Championship.
“It’ll do Greg a power of good to simply be playing football. We’ve got some good contacts with state league clubs in Australia and we’ve already made some approaches regarding Greg. I think he will really show his potential when he starts playing more regularly.”
Midfielder/striker Kwasnik joined the Phoenix from the Central Coast Mariners on a one-season deal at the start of the 2008/09 season. He played 12 games for Wellington, starting seven times.
“Adam worked very hard during his time here and was a valuable contributor during the season. He is a quality player and a fine professional and it’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out for him and for the club. I’m certain he will do well in the future and the club wishes him all the best.”