Soccer: Brockie wants good times to roll

By Michael Brown

Jeremy Brockie. Photo / Getty Images
Jeremy Brockie. Photo / Getty Images

Goals for Jeremy Brockie normally come in clusters and the Wellington Phoenix striker hopes his latest haul doesn't dry up any time soon.

The 25-year-old has scored four in his last three games - doubles in the 3-0 defeat of Newcastle last weekend and 4-3 defeat to the Melbourne Victory a fortnight earlier - to sit fourth equal early in the race for the A-League golden boot.

It came on the back of the 18 he scored in pre-season - an extraordinary number even though many were against inferior opposition - and the nine he scored for Newcastle last season (his best in five A-League seasons).

It's why his barren run at the start of this campaign was a concern for some. He failed to score in his first four games before his spectacular strike against Melbourne.

"It was a little bit of a relief to get the first one," Brockie said. "I wasn't getting down on myself or frustrated. I just knew once the first one went in the confidence would grow and would hopefully flow from there.

"I had pretty big expectations on me after the goals I scored in pre-season but I made it quite clear they wouldn't count for much if I didn't carry on in the season. The first couple of games didn't go to plan, goal-scoring wise, but we got a good couple of results.

"I knew I just had to bide my time. Normally once the first one goes in, they come in clusters for me. I just made sure I kept my head down, worked hard and I'm happy I'm scoring goals at the moment. Hopefully I can add to that tally this weekend."

The Phoenix have spent the majority of the week in Perth where they take on the fourth-placed Glory tomorrow night. They are in a much happier place after last weekend's 3-0 defeat of the Jets in Newcastle, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Many in the Phoenix have talked about challenging for the A-League title this season, given the stable nature of the club, squad they have assembled and quality of attacking players they have. But they fell to the bottom of the table during their lean run and they head into this weekend's round of games only two points above Sydney FC in last.

The Perth game at least represents the end of a difficult stretch that will see them play four of five games away. After this weekend they can look forward to four of their next five in Wellington.

It's a place Brockie is enjoying after joining the club on a three-year deal when his Newcastle contract expired. It's a move that agrees with him, not least of all because he's playing and training in front of All Whites coach Ricki Herbert every day and is closer to friends and family.

But he will largely be judged by goals in the same way the team is by results.

Wellington are likely to employ against Perth the same 4-3-3 formation and lineup they did against Newcastle, even though Belgian striker Stein Huysegems has recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of last week's game.

Herbert has a history of sticking with a winning formula and might look to use Huysegems and Solomon Islands international Benjamin Totori off the bench.

Possible Phoenix lineup for their A-League football game against Perth Glory in Perth on Saturday (11.45pm NZT): (4-3-3) Paston; Bertos, Sigmund, Durante, Lochhead; Lia, Muscat, Smith; Ifill, Brockie, Fenton. Subs (from - one to be omitted): Moss, Boyd, Huysegems, Totori, Clarke.

- APNZ

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