Vukovic to step up

Danny Vukovic says he is ready to slot in goal for Wellington Phoenix against Brisbane Roar on Friday night if incumbent keeper Mark Paston is ruled out of the Hyundai A-League match in Brisbane through injury.

Danny Vukovic says he is ready to slot in goal for Wellington Phoenix against Brisbane Roar on Friday night if incumbent keeper Mark Paston is ruled out of the Hyundai A-League match in Brisbane through injury.

Vukovic has endured a tumultuous few weeks after being axed by Turkish club Konyaspor because they had too many overseas players on their books.

But the 25-year-old former Central Coast Mariners' shot stopper has not found himself in limbo too long thanks to the Phoenix.

And, although he only joined his new team-mates in Wellington on Tuesday, Vukovic is confident he can get up to speed by Friday if Paston fails to recover from a groin strain.

"I'm ready to play whenever," the Australian said. "I played six or seven trial games overseas against some good opposition so I've had a bit of game time."

"I'm in the best shape of my life. I had my hardest pre-season in Turkey so I've had good preparation."

Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante certainly has no concerns should Vukovic be called upon for the Suncorp Stadium clash - Wellington's first away game of the season.

"It's a fantastic signing," the centre back said. "He was probably in the top three best keepers of the season for the last four or five seasons."

"To have him on board it could be perfect timing as we're not sure what's happening with Pastie at the moment."

"I've known Danny for a while. He's a great character and will fit in very easily in this squad."

"He's got a good attitude and good work ethic and if he does have to slot in this weekend we will be very confident with him at the back."

Vukovic is just happy he can put the debacle in Turkey behind him.

"It was disappointing. I signed a contract the first day and when you sign a contract you expect it to be honoured," he said.

"If I wasn't to like the place or the team I'd still be expected to play the three years of my contract."

"It's in the hands of FIFA now and I'm just looking to put it behind me and get off to a good start here."

He has also made it clear he intends to push Paston hard for the Phoenix No.1 jersey, despite the incumbent 'keepers' heroics for the All Whites in the recent World Cup.

"I want to play as many games as possible. I've been No.1 keeper at the Mariners for five years and I definitely don't want to sit on the bench," Vukovic said.

"I'm not coming here expecting to play but I'm going to do everything I can to play and we'll see how we go."