Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Phoenix end tour of India in shock defeat, while Holman has no doubts over Herd's future for club and country
|Compiled by KIERAN JONES
The Wellington Phoenix were surprise losers in the final of the North-East Super Series in India on Saturday, going down 3-2 to Shillong Lajong at Nehru Stadium. While it may have been the Phoenix's fourth game in nine days in their testing tour of India, Jeremy Brockie did not seem tired from the schedule as he headed truly in the fifth minute. Wellington then conceded twice before half-time, one goal due to a horrible defensive error from Tony Lochhead. A Paul Ifill penalty levelled the scores after the break, but a long-range goal seven minutes before time saw the hosts seal victory. "It has been a tough trip but we got four good games under our belt and finished the tour with no injuries," Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert said. "We got a good workout today, especially in the first half, which was what we needed... Louis [Fenton] was really impressive today and I would have to say he has been the player of the tour overall."
Australian Brett Holman has backed his Aston Villa teammate Chris Herd to become a hit at both club and international level. Herd declared on Friday he wanted to play for Australia under Holger Osieck, despite withdrawing from three consecutive Socceroos squads and doubts over his international allegiance. But Holman said he believed Herd had plenty of potential. "You can see he has a lot to give and down the track, as he develops, you can see he will be a big player for club and also country," Holman told The World Game. "He's box-to-box and can run all day, has a good leap on him and can sneak in for a goal or two." Herd is yet to debut for the Socceroos, but Holman said there were reasons behind his absence. "I've seen a bit of Chris now. He had a rough pre-season with injuries and that always makes it hard to get your fitness levels up," he said.
Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold said winning Tuesday's clash with NSW Premier League side Rockdale City Suns was less important than fine-tuning the side heading in to the season proper. Arnold believes the friendly match at Bluetongue Stadium will be a good chance to test his side's fitness before the Mariners' first A-league game against the Western Sydney Wanderers on October 6. "The result is not important to us. For us, it is about getting as many minutes into the legs of our players as possible," Arnold said. "As with all matches against state league opposition we know the game will provide a good test for our players, which is exactly what we want.
Queensland Premier League outfit Sunshine Coast FC is the latest club trying to get entry in to the A-League. The club, based in Kawana, has asked for support from Football Queensland and has ambitions of joining the Brisbane Roar in Australia's top-flight. Sunshine Coast managing director Noel Woodall told Four Four Two Australia he believed his club - in the running for a place in forthcoming second-tier Australian Premier League - could build a sustainable model for success. "It is our ultimate objective to seek an A-League licence at the end of the next five-year plan, assuming plan objectives have been met," Woodall said. "We have set about at Sunshine Coast FC to build a viable club without the need for the ongoing financial support of a benefactor... We've employed two staff members who as part of their duties are to progressively work on the development of our A-League model, particularly the development of our financial base for future sustainability."