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Phoenix grab Litfin from Gold Coast City

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Wellington Phoenix have again raided an Australian national premier side, signing 21-year-old midfielder Ben Litfin for one year.

Litfin has scored 19 times in 20 games for Gold Coast City and coach Ernie Merrick believes he will fit the bill for a goal-scoring midfielder in the A-League.

"I had been hearing about Ben from South Melbourne coach Chris Taylor who has developed many A-League players over the years and is a good judge of young players," Merrick said.

"Ben has had a good grounding with two years in Brisbane Roar's youth team and I believe he went close to getting a professional contract with the club."

Litfin is the fourth player Merrick has nabbed from Australia's premier league sides, but while the club still wanted to give contracts to New Zealanders, Merrick said his first responsibility was the Phoenix's performance.

Litfin spent three days training with the Phoenix and says he is better placed to make the most of his shot as a professional player.

"I believe I will be better off the second time around because when it didn't go my way at the Roar I didn't know how to handle it," he said.

"This time I am better prepared."

Litfin arrives in Wellington on Monday.

The Phoenix lost their opening A-League match to Melbourne City 1-0.

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