Moss strikes deal with Melbourne

GOALKEEPER Glen Moss will play out the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season with the Wellington Phoenix before heading across the Tasman to join Melbourne Victory, it was confirmed today.

Moss has signed a two-year deal with Victory and will join his new club ahead of the 2009/10 season.

The New Zealand international stopper has so far played 26 matches for the Phoenix, in addition to nine matches for the New Zealand Knights in the 2005/06 season, and has regularly sparred with fellow All Whites representative Mark Paston for the coveted starting goalkeeping spot in the Wellington lineup. Moss has kept three clean sheets in his 35 Hyundai A-League matches to date.

Moss shot to prominence with the Phoenix in their inaugural season in the Hyundai A-League, having joined the club after a failed attempt to land a long-term club contract in Europe. He has thrilled Phoenix followers with his athletic ability and shot-stopping prowess, and was named the Wellington fans- favourite player in 2007/08.

The Hastings-born 25-year-old has spent much of his career playing in Australia, having represented clubs including Sydney Olympic and Gold Coast City. Moss holds dual New Zealand and Australian citizenship.

Although No 1 Victory custodian Michael Theoklitos is off-contract at the end of the 2008/09 season, Victory are keen to retain Theoklitos as part of a three-man goalkeeping unit alongside Moss and Mitch Langerak for next season.

Wellington Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said Moss had been a fantastic player for the club.

“He-s been great. Last season he came here as the No 2 keeper but took his chance when Mark Paston was injured before the start of the competition. We-re disappointed that he-s going but we-re sure he-ll continue to give his all for the Phoenix for the remainder of the season.”

Pignata said the club had been in negotiations with Moss for some time, having recently agreed contract terms.

“We got a long way down the track in our negotiations. All the bases were covered and we were at the stage where all he needed to do was sign, so it-s disappointing we couldn-t finalise it and he ultimately chose to go to Melbourne.”

Moss is currently in Lautoka, Fiji, for the All Whites- international against Fiji on Wednesday.