Gameiro set for Wellington debut

Young Australian striker Corey Gameiro looks set to get his first taste of Hyundai A-League action against Brisbane Roar this Sunday.

Young Australian striker Corey Gameiro looks set to get his first taste of Hyundai A-League action against Brisbane Roar this Sunday.

The 20-year-old, who has signed on loan with Wellington Phoenix until the end of the season, is expected to start the must-win clash at Suncorp Stadium as Jeremy Brockie is suspended.

Gameiro, who signed with English Premier League side Fulham as a 17-year-old, has spent the last four months on loan from the London club at Dutch side FC Eindhoven before making the trip Down Under.

He was part of the Young Socceroos side that qualified for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup which will take place in Turkey from June 21 to July 13.

"I need game time and I need some experience," Gameiro explained of his decision to join the Phoenix.

"I've got the Under-20s World Cup in Turkey coming up so for me it was a good opportunity to come here and get some game time.

"It's closer to home because we've got a few camps in Australia coming up and it's difficult to fly from England back and forth.

"Also the club is looking for something different at the moment ... I want to try and help the club out as much as I can and hopefully help get a run of results."

At Fulham the Australian-born Gameiro, whose father is Portuguese, has been playing in the reserves. But going on loan has allowed him to get first-team experience, which he will need if he wants to eventually crack the top leagues.

"You get to be in and around the first team where results mean a lot whereas in the reserves is more of a development thing. If you don't win it's okay because you're trying to push the right message to the younger kids," he said. "Here and in Holland results are what you're out to play for."

Gameiro, whose deal with Fulham runs out at the end of the season, sees his time in Wellington as a stepping stone to hopefully bigger things.

"After sevens weeks (at the Phoenix) if I go to the World Cup that's the biggest stage in the world so every scout is going to be there looking for the next best young players," he said.

"I go there as a free agent at the moment because I haven't re-signed with Fulham. If I don't get many options from that then we'll see what happens for next season to stay in Wellington because at the moment they've treated me very nicely.

"But at the moment it's a stepping stone. Next season I don't know where I'm going to be."

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has been impressed by what he has seen since Gameiro's arrival this week.

He was the quickest in speed testing on Thursday and works hard in and around the box.

"He breaks the line. He naturally gets behind a front striker. We probably haven't had quite that pace to do that. I've liked that side of things," said Herbert.

Gameiro added: "I'm just one of those lucky people if it's going to fall to someone it's going to be my foot. Hopefully I can get a couple of chances and see if I can put them away."

The Phoenix desperately need goals. Since the start of the year they have managed just four in seven games.

They also need a win at Suncorp to keep their flagging hopes of making the finals alive.

More importantly they need a far more committed performance than the one they produced in the embarrassing 5-0 loss at Central Coast last Thursday.

Goalkeeper Glen Moss is due to make his first start of the season in place of Mark Paston, while experienced trio Leo Bertos (groin), Ben Sigmund (suspension) and Tony Lochhead (illness) will return to the back four.

"I think some of the players that have come in have come in at a tough time for them," said Herbert of his decision to return to his New Zealand trio.

"But these guys are experienced. There is a hell of a lot to play for. It's a big away fixture."