Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Neill linked with Saudi move, London calls for McGlinchey and much more
The World Game believes Lucas Neill could have an offer from reigning Saudi Premier League club Al Shabab on the table. The Australia international captain has been clubless since his one-year deal with United Arab Emirates Pro-League club Al Jazira ended in June, with an unnamed Qatar-based agent telling the website "an offer was on the table for the player and the decision was his". The agent warned, however, that the former Blackburn and West Ham defender would be unable to command the sort of money - reportedly AU$1 million tax-free - he did at Al Jazira.
Central Coast Mariner Michael McGlinchey wants to emulate New Zealand's 2010 World Cup exploits at the London 2012 Olympics. The former Scotland youth international changed allegiances to the nation of his birth in 2009 and was part of the squad that drew its three group games at the World Cup in South Africa. Having been selected as one of three over-age players for London, along with Ryan Nelsen and Shane Smeltz, the creative midfielder wants to help his country through a group also containing Brazil, Belarus and Egypt. "To be honest, I never thought I would get the chance to be involved in an Olympic team," he told the Mariners' website. "I was always aware there could be three overage players, but it did come as a great surprise when I got the call from Neil Emblen to say he wanted me in his squad. The Olympics is something I used to love watching when I was younger. To have the opportunity to play at the games is something I will cherish forever. I'm really looking forward to the chance to play at the Olympics and hopefully create more memories like we had at the World Cup."
Meanwhile, the Mariners will host a fan forum next Monday at Mingara Recreation Club. The club's general manager of football Lawrie McKinna will MC the event for the 2011-12 A-League premiers plate winners, with the panel for the forum including coach Graham Arnold and chairman Peter Turnbull. "We have been looking for an opportunity to hold a fan forum for some time and want to use the evening to speak with supporters who have questions to ask us and ideas to share with us," Turnbull said via club statement. "… We need to ensure our supporters have the opportunity to meet with club officials regularly so they can express their views to us one-on-one. We invite all interested fans to come along."
Perth coach Ian Ferguson has been impressed by the standard of the facilities at his side's pre-season base in Nelspruit upon the Glory's arrival in South Africa. Perth will spend their camp at Ingwenyama Resort, where Chile were based during the 2010 World Cup. Ferguson and his men visited Mbombela Stadium on Monday to watch a pre-season cup game between South Africa Premier Soccer League clubs Orlando Pirates and Sundowns, with Glory to take to the field on Tuesday to take on AmaZulu in the first of three friendlies for the tour. "It's a fantastic stadium," Ferguson said. "It was good to get a first-hand look at the facilities and Bidvest, who we'll play next week. Now we are all excited about our opening game here on Tuesday night against Amazulu, a team we played last year."