Football: McGlinchey likely to play for Phoenix tomorrow

By Daniel Richardson

Michael McGlinchey. Photo / Getty Images.
Michael McGlinchey. Photo / Getty Images.

All Whites midfielder Michael McGlinchey may turn out for the Wellington Phoenix in a pre-season friendly tomorrow as the contractual dispute around him rumbles on.

The Central Coast Mariners and the Phoenix both believe they have the 27-year-old under contract in a messy situation that is likely to be settled by arbitration in the near future.

The Professional Footballers Australia organisation are involved, while Football Federation Australia are aware of the problem, although no clear resolution is in sight.

The Phoenix will meet Wellington club side Olympic in the capital tomorrow and Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said McGlinchey could feature for the first time after he began training with them recently.

"I think he'll get some game-time tomorrow night," Merrick said. "We want to give most of the boys a run tomorrow night."

Asked if he could elaborate any further on the McGlinchey situation, Merrick said he was unable to.

"I've got no comment to make. We are just treating everyone the same and preparing a team to play two wonderful games against EPL sides and looking forward to that."

The Phoenix host English club sides West Ham and Newcastle United in New Zealand next week.

Meanwhile, Phoenix midfielder Albert Riera hopes to swap shirts with Italian great Andrea Pirlo after being named in the A-League All Stars team to meet Juventus in Sydney next month.

"He's one of my heroes," Riera said.

A year ago Riera was playing for Auckland City but was spotted by Merrick and given a chance at the Phoenix and the Spaniard was one of the club's most influential players last season before a serious groin injury disrupted his campaign.

Riera has recovered well from surgery and expected to be back at full fitness in the next few weeks.

- APNZ

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