Ifill, Lia returning from injury for pre-season

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 13:38 28/09/2012

Relevant offers

Football

Argentina star Carlos Tevez's father kidnapped Liverpool sign Belgian World Cup star Divock Origi Thai soccer refs forced to swear oath to Buddha David Moyes linked with West Ham job Kevin Fallon leaves school coaching gig All Whites target quits as Bahrain manager German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer enjoys break New Phoenix recruit is ready for NZ adventure West Ham manager Sam Allardyce facing sack 'Cheer up’ coach tells despondent Winston Reid

Wellington Phoenix veterans Paul Ifill and Vince Lia will return from injury tomorrow and play in the club's final pre-season game against Manawatu.

The duo both completed a training session at Newtown Park today and Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert said they would each probably get 45 minutes of action in Palmerston North against the national league stragglers.

Ifill, 32, suffered a small tear in his right knee's medial collateral ligament as well as ankle bruising in a pre-season game against Petone on September 11.

Herbert said the club's all-time leading goalscorer needed to prove his fitness tomorrow to be considered for the Phoenix's A-League opener against Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium on October 6.

''Paul's good, you can normally tell with him, he's got some good banter around this morning so he's feeling good,'' Herbert said.

''I think he'll be OK, he looks fine, he just hasn't really had the matches now. He did a little bit in India [on the club's pre-season tour] but he's missed quite a bit of work so he'll be marginal I'd say for Sydney.''

Lia, 27, missed the tour of India with his knee injury and while the defensive midfielder will feature at Memorial Park tomorrow he almost certainly won't against Sydney.

''At first we thought it was only going to be a couple of weeks so that's kind of lingered on, it's probably been a few months now,'' Herbert said.

''But it's been good, we've got a couple of extra bodies back this week so pleasing. They'll both play. I'll probably give them 45 minutes, I think, to see where they're at. They've done well today so fingers crossed.''

Herbert also confirmed Mark Paston was likely to wear the goalkeeping gloves in round one ahead of All Whites team-mate Glen Moss.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best player at the World Cup?

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Mario Goetze (Germany)

James Rodriguez (Colombia)

Neymar (Brazil)

Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

Manuel Neuer (Germany)

Toni Kroos (Germany)

Angel di Maria (Argentina)

Miroslav Klose (Germany)

Mesut Ozil (Germany)

Sami Khedira (Germany)

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content