McLaren poised to tackle Roar

Former Queensland Roar defender Stuart McLaren is set to make a surprise return to the Hyundai A-League after being signed on a short-term contract by Perth Glory.

Former Queensland Roar defender Stuart McLaren is set to make a surprise return to the Hyundai A-League after being signed on a short-term contract by Perth Glory.

Provided Football Federation Australia rubber stamps the deal before kickoff on Sunday, McLaren could find himself fronting up for the Glory against his former side.

A chronic ankle injury cut short the veteran's 2007/08 season, with his last professional match being Queensland's 1-1 draw with the Wellington Phoenix on December 14 last year.

McLaren became captain/coach of the Brisbane Strikers side in the Queensland State League and it was thought his playing days in the A-League were long over.

But an undermanned Glory outfit needing cover after an unfortunate run with injures has shown faith in the 33-year-old.

The reaction in the Roar camp to the news was positive, with coach Frank Farina wishing him former charger the best.

"I'm happy for Stuey, he's probably going to be a little bit underdone in terms of the pace of it, but I'm happy for him, he's got a four week deal," Farina said.

"I hope he does well, just not on Sunday."

"It's good to see him back, you never like to hear of injuries that could potentially end a player-s playing days."

Farina was aware of the advantage that McLaren's inside knowledge of the Roar's setup could give Perth, but accepted it as part of the game.

"That's the nature of the beast when you are playing against a former-player, but Stuey's a good lad."

Roar captain Craig Moore suggested that the number of Glory players sitting on the sidelines meant that McLaren would be a sure starter, if available.

"I think he'll need to play, unfortunately Perth do have a lot of suspension and injuries and all that sort of stuff." Moore said.

"I'm pretty sure that Stuart will come into the starting eleven straight away."

Moore thought McLaren would be in reasonable shape despite his extended layoff from the game, but did add that his lack of match-fitness could well be an advantage for the Roar on Sunday.

"You can't beat playing week in, week out and that's something that he hasn't had, and if he is a starter, hopefully it's something we can capitalise on."