Rigters turns Phoenix down


Ricki Herbert’s search for a striker continues after Maceo Rigters turned down a contract offer from Wellington Phoenix.

Herbert had hoped to sign the Dutchman for the upcoming A-League season to bolster his forward stocks.

Paul Ifill, player-coach Chris Greenacre and young Australian Mirjan Pavlovic are the only forwards currently on the Phoenix roster.

But Rigters, who scored the Phoenix’s only goal in the 5-1 pre-season loss to Brisbane Roar, has failed to agree terms and is heading back to Europe.

“I can confirm that we are not continuing negotiations,” a club spokesman said ahead of the team’s departure to Australia for a pre-season fixture against Melbourne Heart in Shepparton on Friday.

Negotiations are still ongoing with Spaniard Dani Sanchez and the club are confident of adding the attacking midfielder to the 16 players already signed for the new season.

Herbert is required to have a minimum of 20 players on his roster and still has two under-21 spots to fill as well.

Defender Bryan Bran, who plays in the Victoria Premier League for Oakleigh Cannons, is a candidate for one of those spots and will get game time with the Phoenix against the Heart.

Wellington’s opening A-League game is against Gold Coast on October 9.