Rigters eyes Phoenix clash

Uncertainty could still be playing on the minds of Wellington this weekend in the wake of their recent ownership troubles, according to Gold Coast United striker Maceo Rigters.

Uncertainty could still be playing on the minds of Wellington this weekend in the wake of their recent ownership troubles, according to Gold Coast United striker Maceo Rigters.

A consortium of businessmen known as Welnix Ltd are now in control of the Phoenix, and are quickly trying to bring about a sense of stability to the club after Terry Serepisos last week stepped down and relinquished his ownership.

The financial crisis may be over but coach Ricki Herbert is still scrambling to complete the necessary signings to bring his roster to the required minimum of 20 players - meaning whatever squad he brings to Skilled Park on Sunday could well be unsettled by the new additions.

Former Blackburn Rovers marksman Rigters - who spent a number of days on trial with the Phoenix in August but could not agree to terms - hopes United will capitalise on that in his debut for the glitter strip club.

"I've heard they've been having some troubles with ownership and it might be playing on their mind," the Dutchman said.

"That could work for us - or against us. You never know, with football."

Rigters had a taste of the unpredictability of football - and the unpredictability of Wellington in the final weeks of Serepisos' reign - during his time with the Phoenix.

After one training session and scoring their only goal in their 5-1 friendly loss to Brisbane, his trial was cut short after the realisation that the New Zealand club could not match his contractual demands.

That did little to please Rigters, who was annoyed by apparent miscommunication between player and club - but in retrospect, he said the breakdown in talks probably came as a result of their ownership crisis.

"I didn't know about the problems the club had, but that might have been the reason," he said.

"I wasn't there for long. They promised me one thing and when I got there, after 36 hours on a plane, they gave me something else."

"I'm a man of my word and I expect people to be like that as well. We were talking about contracts and we didn't make it in the end. But that's football."

But Rigters, who was top scorer at the 2007 UEFA Under-21 Championship, was full of praise for the players at the Phoenix and expects a tough time of it on Sunday.

"I liked the guys there and I look forward to seeing them again - I know they have a good team," he said.

"They were a very professional club and the players were great professionals, mature and it was all good."

"The training was hard too. Of course, the first game for me is against them and I'll try and make some goals."

"I'm not 100 percent fit, but I'm almost there and I'm ready to play 90 minutes."

United have also named Dutch midfielder Paul Beekmans and Kiwi shotstopper Glen Moss as deputies to captain Michael Thwaite.