Lia in Top Form


Wellington Phoenix midfielder Vince Lia is in the best form of his life and the latest Opta statistics released by the FFA confirm how good he has been this season.

The stats also show that the Phoenix are playing exciting, attacking football with the club having four players – including a defensive midfielder and a fullback – in the top 20 players who have made the most passes in the opposition half.

Not surprisingly Brisbane-s Thomas Broich (781 passes with a 77.7% success rate) and Luke Brattan (686 and 77.1%) head the standings, but Lia is right on their heels with 638 passes and a 75.4% success rate).

Carlos Hernandez is in eighth spot with 527 and 78.2%, Manny Muscat 15th (426 and 72.5%) and Albert Riera 18th (424 and 77.1) per cent.

“Amazing! We must really be playing front half football,” a smiling Lia said when shown the statistics.

“In the past I could never have imagined having four of our players in the top 20 of that stat.

“It shows what we are doing is working and the good thing is that besides playing some good stuff we are also defending well – doing things right at the top while not sacrificing anything defensively.”

Lia, the only surviving player from the birth of the Phoenix, is playing with a smile on his face these days and enjoying every moment.

“It is the first time I have had an uninterrupted pre-season and it is the best I-ve felt,” he said.

“Goals is the next thing I have to improve on as I-ve only scored twice for the Phoenix.

“Two in the next 10 games is my target!”