|By GARETH MORGAN
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has confirmed that he would he happy to roll out the red carpet should the club succeed in their audacious bid to bring David Beckham to the A-League..
Having angrily rejected speculation linking Harry Kewell with a move to nib Stadium earlier this month, the Scot is far more receptive to the idea of signing the former England captain, who recently announced his intention to end his five-year spell at LA Galaxy.
"I feel that if we could get Becks here it would be phenomenal for the club and for Perth and it would be a fantastic coup for the A-League," he said.
"He is a player of great quality who is still playing at a high level, who takes care of himself and does the right things and the right training.
"If you are just bringing a 37-year-old out here for a holiday and to be paraded in front of the crowd when really he's finished, then I'd be against it.
"But if you've got a player who's still playing at the very top level and doing it week in week out which he is, it's a different story.
"I'm sure there was a lot of negativity surrounding [Alessandro] Del Piero and his move to Sydney [FC], but he's probably been their best player.
"These are quality players and if they are still playing at the top level and we can bring them in, then I'd say it's a massive tick for the A-League."
Of more immediate concern to the Glory boss, however, is steering his side back into the winners' circle following last week's shock home defeat at the hands of Western Sydney.
Wellington Phoenix will provide the opposition at nib Stadium on Saturday and Ferguson is expecting a stern challenge from Ricki Herbert's men.
"It's going to be a difficult game," he said, "because they have players that can hurt you.
"[Jeremy] Brockie's on fire at the moment and [Paul] Ifill looks as if he's coming back into form as well.
"They've got [Andrew] Durante and [Ben] Sigmund back together at the heart of the defence and [Manny] Muscat sitting just in front of them, so they are a very solid unit.
"They were bottom of the league and now they've jumped up to sixth spot and they'll be coming here full of confidence.
"They are a quality side as they showed against Newcastle last week."
Ferguson vowed to make personnel changes after Western Sydney brought Glory's run of seven successive home wins to an end and it looks likely that Jacob Burns, Shane Smeltz and possibly Steve Pantelidis will all feature in the run-on side against Phoenix.
"Shane came back on Tuesday night and we got a good session out of him on Wednesday," he said, "and Jacob's been back in training now for quite a while.
"I'd like to speak to the players first about who's in and who's out, but there's a fair possibility Jacob will be back in from the start.
"To be honest we've missed that drive that he brings.
"With Shane, I think because of the injury he's only started one game for us and he's been away with the national team as well, so it's been a bit disruptive for him and us. "But he's our marquee player and we do want to get him back playing.
"He's the top scorer in A-League history and we've got to get him out there, get some game time into him and get some goals out of him."