Smeltz slams trade talk
Smeltz slams trade talk

Shane Smeltz has rejected suggestions he is set to join a growing band of players that have left Perth Glory in recent weeks.

Irish striker Billy Mehmet and Australian youth international Jesse Makarounas left the club earlier this month to pursue greater opportunity elsewhere, and Dutch defender Bas van den Brink was released by mutual consent on Monday.

Van den Brink left citing uncertainty over his position beyond this season and is set to join Indian club Churchill Brothers SC.

Rumours have been rife in recent weeks that Smeltz was preparing a move to China during the January transfer window, but a Glory spokesman said the club was yet to receive an offer for the striker.

Smeltz has more than a year left on his contract and said he was committed to the club at least until the end of the season.

"To be honest, I don't know where they've come from," Smeltz said of the latest transfer rumours.

"I think that's exactly what they are, they're just rumours.

"They obviously keep popping up but I think it's just the timing of the month and I'm certainly focused on the job at hand here."

Smeltz missed last Saturday night's loss to Brisbane with a groin injury and is battling to be fit in time for Saturday's clash with last-placed Wellington Phoenix at Auckland's Eden Park.

The New Zealand international continued his rehabilitation away from the main group yesterday and is on track to return in next week's game against Melbourne Heart at the latest.

"We've taken the right steps to make sure I get over it quickly and hopefully I'll be as healthy as I could be for the remaining games of the season," Smeltz said.

"I've picked up a couple of little niggles this season because of my pre-season, which was full of international games."

Glory captain Jacob Burns and Dean Heffernan trained away from the main group yesterday after missing the Brisbane game with back injuries and remain in doubt for the trip to Auckland.

Liam Miller and Josh Risdon will return from suspension.

Young defender Jack Clisby is expected to retain his place in the starting 11 against Wellington.

Youth team players Storm Roux and Blamo Quaqua have also been promoted to Glory's roster.

Glory travel to Auckland tomorrow - a day earlier than usual - in a bid to overcome the effects of the flight before Saturday's game.

"To be honest, I don't know where they've come from … they're just rumours." " *Shane Smeltz *on talk of him leaving Glory

The West Australian

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