Phoenix eye personnel boost in January transfer window
Mark Rudan will look to add more than just another import to bolster his squad in January.
With Fijian striker Roy Krishna gaining New Zealand citizenship on Thursday, the Wellington Phoenix coach can add another overseas player to his squad when the transfer window opens on January 3.
His squad sits at the minimum of 20, so he has three spaces he could fill in January.
He said he plans to target Kiwis for those two other spots.
‘‘At the same time that we’re looking for a visa player because we’ve got that spot, I haven’t discounted, and have been watching, the local premiership as well.
‘‘There are some players there that I’ve been making a list of who I’d like to bring in in January, if they want to come in. I’ll be speaking to a few of them.
‘‘So it’s not just about an overseas player. I’ve been quite impressed with some of the local talent.
‘‘But the A-League is a different beast and a different environment as well.
‘‘But they’ll be getting a phone call sometime soon and there is a couple of weeks break there in the league, so an opportunity to have a look at them in our environment as well. That process will start very soon.’’
In terms of an import, Rudan would not divulge which position of the field they are targeting, but one would imagine the priority would be a goal-scorer, given they have scored the fewest goals in the league with four in six matches.
His phone had been running hot since Krishna’s citizenship was announced.
‘‘Since Roy’s news, even more so now, which is great,’’ he said of interest from agents and other clubs.
The process now would be to go back to their database of transfer targets and start working their way through that list.
‘‘We’ve been keeping tabs on those players in terms of how they’re playing week-in, week-out.
‘‘We’ve got a list there already and then through the contacts we made we go out to them and say these are the kind of players we’re looking for in terms of players and skillsets.
‘‘Without going into too much detail about what position or what skillset, the process has started and we’re getting feedback in regards to that.
‘‘It’s got to be the right player, the right fit for us and someone that’s ready to play, more importantly.’’
The Phoenix still have four more games to navigate before the transfer window opens, starting with an away trip to play Sydney FC tonight.
They have called in 43-year-old goalkeeper Ante Covic as injury cover for Filip Kurto, who is out with concussion. Covic will backup Oliver Sail, who is 21 years his junior.
Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante knows Covic well, having won an A-League title with him at Newcastle Jets in 2008.
‘‘He’ll come in to help Oli out,’’ Durante said.
‘‘Oli is obviously young, so having an experienced head next to him in the warmups and before the game is going to be invaluable for him.’’
Rudan said Kurto had passed every concussion test this week, but they had taken a safety-first approach and decided to leave him out of the squad this weekend.
Rudan will be without suspended backup defender Ryan Lowry, while Sydney FC have welcomed back Daniel De Silva and Siem de Jong to their squad.
Forty-three-year-old goalkeeper Ante Covic has been brought in as injury cover for the Phoenix.