Chen returns home

Chinese player Jiang Chen's loan period at Wellington Phoenix has come to an end, the striker returning to Tianjin Teda for the Chinese Super League club's pre-season build-up.

Chinese player Jiang Chen's loan period at Wellington Phoenix has come to an end, the striker returning to Tianjin Teda for the Chinese Super League club's pre-season build-up.

Chen joined the Phoenix at the start of the season after Wellington's pre-season tour of the People's Republic earlier this year.

Despite being highly rated by Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert, Chen found it difficult to earn a starting position up front as he was behind Paul Ifill, Chris Greenacre and Costa Barbarouses in the pecking order.

Chen played two games off the bench for the Phoenix but club chief executive Tony Pignata said the young striker had still been a valuable part of the club's campaign.

"Jiang is a talented young player and he contributed a lot to the club both on and off the field. His work-ethic and commitment was exceptional and, as a club, we're sad to see him go home," Pignata said.

"But Tianjin Teda have high hopes for Jiang, and based on what he's shown here he'll be a big success in the Chinese Super League."

"Ricki and the coaching staff have found Jiang a pleasure to work with and he made a lot of friends here in Wellington and won a lot of fans as a player and a person."