All White Hogg ready, willing, able

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013
Ian Hogg
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
IT'S TIME: Eight years after he was a trainee at Arsenal, and after two Olympic Games campaigns, 23-year-old Ian Hogg has signed his first professional football contract with the Wellington Phoenix.

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All White Ian Hogg is ready should his professional club debut come tomorrow against Perth Glory at Auckland's Eden Park.

The new Wellington Phoenix A-League recruit presents coach Ricki Herbert with an easy filler for the void left by Tony Lochhead's suspension.

Hogg, who has been a professional player since August, when he signed for Major League Soccer side Portland Timbers, is yet to make a professional club appearance despite already having four senior international caps.

He hopes it comes tomorrow.

"I'd be keen to start on Saturday, of course. Tony getting red-carded is unfortunate for him but gives someone else an opportunity," Hogg said.

"If I do get the opportunity, I'm ready to go and show the fans what I can do. I know I have to work hard and prove myself.

"Ricki has a chat to me now and again. He knows what I can do and if he feels like I can add to the team he will put me in.

"I feel like I've been doing all right in training, it's a good standard so you're always on your toes.

"But I feel really good."

Should Herbert give Hogg the nod, it would be somewhat serendipitous for his first Phoenix appearance to be made in Auckland, having spent a significant portion of his semi-professional career at Auckland City.

Some City players are thought to be intending to watch the Phoenix and, hopefully, Hogg, hours after their national league game against Waitakere United in Auckland.

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- The Dominion Post

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