Phoenix want Brockie to return on agreed date

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 15/07/2013
Jeremy Brockie
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
IN DEMAND: Jeremy Brockie has mentioned the possibility of extending his loan spell at Toronto FC.

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The Wellington Phoenix are expecting Jeremy Brockie to report to training as scheduled next month despite the star striker making noises about extending his loan spell with Toronto FC.

Brockie was lured to Toronto by former All Whites team-mate Ryan Nelsen and played the full 90 minutes in yesterday's 3-0 MLS loss to Sporting Kansas City.

Brockie was the one bright light in the Phoenix's miserable 2012-13 season, scoring 16 goals to finish second on the A-League's golden boot standings.

He has two years remaining on his Phoenix contract and under the terms of his loan agreement is due to report to pre-season training on August 26.

But Brockie told the MLS website he was open to extending that stay.

"If the possibility to extend the stay can happen, then I will be more than happy to because I am loving my football here," Brockie said.

"I'm really enjoying being part of this club. It is a nice change from the A-League, where I've been for 7-8 years now.

"If there is a possibility, whether it is soon or in the long-term, I'd love to come back to this club."

While Brockie moved to Canada with the Phoenix's blessing, the club is not willing to extend his loan spell.

"As far as the club is concerned nothing has changed and we expect to have Jeremy back to resume training on August 26," said Phoenix general manager David Dome.

The loan was signed off before new Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick joined the club.

Merrick has big plans for Brockie and views him and Paul Ifill as two cogs of his first choice front three.

While Brockie is enjoying competitive games, Merrick also needs time to integrate him into his system ahead of the season opener on October 13.

Brockie said he would try and persuade the Phoenix to extend his loan but those pleas seem likely to fall on deaf ears.

Toronto coach Nelsen reported that talks with the Phoenix were a possibility.

"He is one of those guys that fans in Wellington love and that the fans in Toronto are enjoying as well because he gives everything," Nelsen said.

"Obviously, any type of player like that is one that you would like to stick around."

Brockie is not the only Phoenix player out on loan, with Michael Boxall and Lewis Italiano both at Oakleigh Cannons in the Victorian Premier League. Italiano is due back on September 1 and Boxall a day later.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix have confirmed the signing of New Zealand under-20 captain Luke Adams.

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The centre back has signed a one-year deal with the option for a second.

- The Dominion Post

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