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Krishna Hopes To Turn Kiwi

Auckland: There could be more good news on the way for Wellington Phoenix fans as the club looks to build a quality squad to challenge for next season’s A-League title.
22 Mar 2016 11:21
Krishna Hopes To Turn Kiwi
From left: Albert Riera, Kwabena Appiah, Blake Powell and Roy Krishna of the Wellington Phoenix during one of their many engagements. Photo: Zimbio

Auckland: There could be more good news on the way for Wellington Phoenix fans as the club looks to build a quality squad to challenge for next season’s A-League title.

Newshub understands the club has made enquiries with Immigration New Zealand about whether Fijian striker Roy Krishna and Spanish midfielder Albert Riera can attain New Zealand citizenship, which would free up two valuable import slots on the playing roster.

“Both Albert Riera and Roy Krishna have been in this country a long time so it would be terrific. If they get citizenship it would be first class,” coach Ernie Merrick said.

The club has previously been through the process with Brazilian import Daniel. He gained New Zealand citizenship after spending five years in Wellington, but was let go by the club the following season.

After five years working as a Paramedic in his native country, Riera came to New Zealand for a holiday and joined Auckland City FC in 2011. His performances saw him sign with the Phoenix two years later, and he’s become a fixture in Merrick’s first XI.

“I have applied for my residency and I’m waiting for that… so and then we’ll see what can happen,” Riera said. The 32-year-old says he’d like to play for the All Whites if he can gain citizenship.

“Why not? I love playing football, I’ve been here five years and I feel like home right now and if it comes to this option I have to accept it.”

The Phoenix currently have one import slot available, but could bloom to three should the club gain citizenship for Riera and Krishna.

It would mean Merrick could cast the net far and wide in his search for the attacking player, and two defenders he says would complete his squad.

– Newshub

leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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