Carlos Hernandez's visa issues getting sorted
Phoenix fans fretting over Carlos Hernandez's whereabouts need not worry.
The club's star recruit had been due to report for pre-season training on June 19 but visa difficulties mean he is yet to be sighted at Newtown Park.
A Phoenix spokesman yesterday said Hernandez was now due to arrive and start training early next week and there were no concerns about the situation.
The former A-League MVP has been holidaying at home in Costa Rica after completing his season in India with Prayag United. The 31-year-old is crucial to the Phoenix's hopes of success under new coach Ernie Merrick, who knows Hernandez well from his Melbourne Victory days.
Phoenix captain Andrew Durante said the team were looking forward to the arrival of Hernandez, who was regarded as a laidback and funny personality. Durante said his ability to shield the ball, maintain possession and score goals would be a major boost for last season's wooden spooners.
The Phoenix open their season at home to Brisbane Roar on October 13 and will start playing low-key pre-season games later this month.
The club's school of excellence players - minus Tom Doyle, who has been let go - will also report to training next week. Merrick needs to sign at least five players before the start of the season but there are no announcements imminent.
He was keeping a close eye on the under-20 World Cup in Turkey, at which New Zealand lost all three games against Uzbekistan, Uruguay and Croatia.