Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Agent talks on clubless Kewell's behalf, Culina reportedly nears Sydney FC deal and much more
Harry Kewell's agent says his client is not "overly frustrated" as the Australia international's search for a new club continues. The 33-year-old has not found a new home since returning to England after severing ties with Melbourne Victory in June, and there is growing concern over Kewell's ability to do so. "It was Harry who made the decision to leave Australia and return to England [where his mother in law is gravely ill] and I wouldn't say he is now feeling overly frustrated," Erksine told The World Game. "There was been interest for Harry from various clubs, but the negotiations from there have not been particularly easy. There has been some game-playing by some clubs." Erskine said Kewell was keeping himself fit and has intimated his client still has the support of Australia coach Holger Osieck.
Former Australia international Jason Culina is edging towards a contract at Sydney FC. The former PSV Eindhoven and Gold Coast United midfielder has not played a competitive match since the 2011 Asian Cup, and made an ugly exit from former club Newcastle Jets on the eve of the 2011-12 A-League season over concern about his ability to ever recover from a long-term knee injury. But the 32-year-old has worked his way back to fitness with Sydney FC physio Stan Ivancic, and perhaps into the plans of Sky Blues coach Ian Crook. "Jason is progressing very well and we expect that in a couple of weeks discussions will take place," his agent Leo Karis told Four Four Two Australia. "He was offered the opportunity to do his rehab with Sydney but there was no formal agreement to play with Sydney. But once medical staff there and Jason feel the time is right a discussion will take place."
Brisbane Roar have revealed captain Matt Smith's new three-year deal at the club includes a two-year coaching option at the end of his playing days. The 29-year-old English-born central defender, who is in the process of gaining Australian citizenship, will begin work on acquiring his coaching badges while playing in order to be ready for life after football. Smith said via club statement he wanted to play for "as long as [he] can", but wanted to remain with the club when he did hang up the boots. "The option of continuing to build the culture of this club, not only from a playing perspective but from a coaching perspective, really appealed to me," he said. "When the club asked if I'd be interested in coaching here after my playing career, it was something I was very excited about."
Wellington Phoenix remain in the market for a new foreign striker but will not rush into any signing, despite the start of the 2012-13 A-League season fast approaching. Phoenix open their new campaign on October 6, with coach Ricki Herbert looking to augment a front line that consists of Paul Ifill, Jeremy Brockie and Benjamin Totori. "There's no doubt about it, we are still keen on an overseas striker," Phoenix general manager David Dome told The Dominion Post. "We haven't given up on that. Ricki's fairly specific on what he wants so we're keeping our eyes open for a striker that meets that criteria. And if one comes along, and we think he's good value, then we will have a look at it."