Higgins gloves up for Phoenix

GOLD COAST United keeper Scott Higgins has joined Wellington Phoenix FC as a short-term injury replacement for Mark Paston.

The 32-year-old Higgins will join the Phoenix for at least four weeks and will get another taste of Hyundai A-League action, having previously played for Queensland Roar and Adelaide United before signing on with Gold Coast United, which will enter the competition next season.

Regular Phoenix stopper Glen Moss will be elevated to the starting lineup in the absence of Paston, who is likely to be out of action for four weeks after badly bruising his ribs in last weekend-s match against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Higgins, a 2.03m giant, will arrive in Wellington tonight (Wednesday) and will train with his new teammates for the first time on Thursday. He will be on the bench for Saturday night-s match against Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium.

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said Higgins had come highly recommended.

“We actually had a number of goalkeepers who contacted us after learning about the status of Mark and his injury but we settled on Scott. He-s a proven performer, he-s played with several players already in our squad and he was thrilled to come here.”

Pignata said early discussions with former Manchester United keeper Mark Bosnich to join the Phoenix short-term had been promising.

“We spoke with Mark but ultimately he felt it would be better for him to remain training in Sydney rather than coming over here and potentially not playing. We couldn-t guarantee him the starting keeper-s spot – Glen is our number one now – and Mark would have only been here as a backup.”