May 14, 2012
AUCKLAND – The return to New Zealand of All White Jeremy Brockie capped an eventful weekend for kiwi footballers around the globe.
Brockie, 24, has signed a three year deal with the Phoenix after time spent with Queensland Fury, Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC and New Zealand Knights in the A-League.
Despite scoring nine goals last season, many of them contenders for goal of the season, Brockie’s contract was not renewed by Newcastle and instead he leapt at the chance to move back home.
“I had offers from elsewhere but once the Phoenix showed interest there was only one place I wanted to be,” Brockie said.
Nelson-raised Brockie who turned out for Canterbury United, Hawke’s Bay United and Team Wellington amongst his professional stints was excited about the return.
“It is going to be exciting playing for a professional club in my own country in front of my friends and family.”
In China, Chris Killen’s Chongqing claimed a 0-0 draw with top of the table Shanghai Tellace to move up to second in China League One while Michael Fitzgerald and V-Varen Nagasaki drew 1-1 with lowly Honda Lock but stay in third place in the Japanese Football League.
In continental football, Ivan Vicelich led Auckland City to a 1-0 win over AS Tefana in Tahiti in the second leg of the O-League final, claiming a 3-1 win on aggregate to book a place in December’s FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
On a dramatic final day in the English Premier League on which last-gasp Manchester City claimed their first league title since 1968, Ryan Nelsen came off the bench to play 40 minutes for Tottenham as Spurs beat Fulham 2-0 to clinch fourth place behind the two Manchester clubs and Arsenal.
They now face a nervous wait to see if they qualify for Champions League football next season with Chelsea able to claim England’s fourth spot if they win this year’s continental final against Bayern Munich next Sunday morning (NZT).
Two days before that, Ria Percival will be playing in the final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League with her Frankfurt side meeting defending champions Lyon in Munich.
Frankfurt had a cup final on the domestic front to warm up for their tilt at a fourth continental title but lost 0-2 to Bayern Munich in Koln in the final of the DFB Women’s Cup.
Percival was also in the news midweek with Jena announcing they had secured the Football Ferns signature for next season.
Percival will join fellow Football Fern Amber Hearn at Jena who, with two games left in the Frauen Bundesliga are still three points above the drop zone, a situation not helped by a 0-1 loss to Hamburger SV.
However, it would take a remarkable last season rally for Jena to be caught by Lokomotive Leipzig who lost 0-5 to Bad Neuenahr with Sarah Gregorius on the score sheet against international teammate Anna Green.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Smith and Wolfsburg kept the pressure on leaders Turbine Potsdam with a 3-0 over Freiburg this morning. Wolfsburg are just one point behind Potsdam and with two games remaining the title race look set to go down to the wire.
After a long Russian winter season, Kosta Barbarouses is celebrating promotion to the top flight with Alaniya Vladikavkaz who drew 2-2 draw away to Ural to confirm second place. Barbarouses was not involved on match day.
In Scandinavia, two Football Ferns were involved in a top of the table clash in Sweden, with Ali Riley’s LdB Malmö beating Kirsty Yallop’s Vittsjö to hang onto first place.
In Norway’s first division, Kris Bright’s Bryne lost 4-1 to Bodø/Glimt while in Finland, Chris James and Kuopion Palloseura lost 0-2 to Helsingin Jalkapallokub
Back in England Aroon Clansey returned from injury for Liverpool but cound;t prent the Reds falling to a 3-0 loss to league leaders Arsenal.
Across the Atlantic, Dan Keat made his first appearance for the LA Galaxy this season in a 1-1 draw with Montreal Impact on Sunday.
In front of a record Candian crowd of 60, 860, Keat turned out in the unfamiliar role of centre back for the Galaxy who escaped with a point thanks to a trade mark David Beckham free-kick.
Next on the schedule for Keat and his team mates is a visit to the White House on May 15 to meet President Obama, an annual honour afforded to the MLS Champions.
Lower down the league pyramid, Anthony Hobbs debuted for Portland Timbers U-23 in a 3-0 win over Fraser Valley Mariners in the USA Professional Development League, and Michael Boxall appeared for Vancouver Whitecaps’ U-23 in a 2-1 loss to their Seattle Sounders equivalents.