Wellington Phoenix sign striker Krishna, Lujic

Last updated 11:37 07/01/2014
Roy Krishna
MARTIN HUNTER/Photosport.co.nz
WELLINGTON BOUND: Auckland City striker Roy Krishna is poised to become the first Fijian to play in the A-League after joining the Phoenix.

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Auckland City striker Roy Krishna is poised to become the first Fijian to play in the A-League after joining the Wellington Phoenix.

Krishna, 26, is contracted to the Phoenix till the end of the 2013-14 season as an injury replacement for Paul Ifill, who ruptured an Achilles tendon in the 1-0 win over Sydney FC.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was delighted to land the prolific striker, who previously trialled with the club under Ricki Herbert but was never signed.

"When we played Auckland City pre-season the two players who stood out for me were Albert Riera and Roy Krishna," Merrick said.

"Riera did a good, simple job in midfield winning the ball and passing it well, and he has made the transition from ASB Championship to A-League with some top-class performances.

"Krishna was quick with close technical skills and an eye for goal, and when I researched his record I was impressed. He seems the sort of player capable of taking the next step and scoring goals in the A-League."

Krishna has scored 14 goals in 22 appearances for Fiji and at former club Waitakere United he netted 72 times in 103 games.

But Merrick said Krishna would have to fight for a starting spot.

"At the Phoenix everyone works hard to get a place in the starting team," Merrick said.

"If you do well at training you get on the bench; come off the bench and do well and you get a start. Roy will get every opportunity; it is up to him now to grasp it."

Krishna said he had always dreamt of playing for the Phoenix.

"I can't wait to get to Wellington and start working with the team," Krishna said.

"I love scoring goals and my goal is to get in the team and do just that. I am up for the challenge and really pleased that Auckland City have allowed me to take up this opportunity. They always said that if a professional club came for me they would let me go and they have kept their word."

Krishna will start training with the Phoenix tomorrow.

Northcote City striker Milos Lujic has also joined the Phoenix, signing a two-week contract as a replacement for Reece Caira who is in Oman with the Australian under-22 squad.

Lujic, 23, scored 19 goals in Northcote's title-winning campaign last season, earning him a reputation as one of the most lethal strikers in the Victorian Premier League.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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