Fred returns with Phoenix

ONE of the Hyundai A-League’s best-ever players is returning to the competition, with confirmation today that Wellington FC Phoenix has secured the services of Brazilian star Fred as a guest player.

ONE of the Hyundai A-League-s best-ever players is returning to the competition, with confirmation today that Wellington FC Phoenix has secured the services of Brazilian star Fred as a guest player.

Fred will be eligible to play six matches for the Phoenix, starting with the Wellington club-s clash with the Newcastle Jets at Westpac Stadium Sunday week.

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder was the driving force behind Melbourne Victory-s championship-winning side in 2006/07, playing 20 matches and scoring four goals. He had a hand in five of the Victory-s six goals in their 6-0 grand final win against Adelaide United in 2007.

Fred was voted The World Game-s best Hyundai A-League player in the second season of the competition and was recently named at No 2 by Australian FourFourTwo magazine on its list of the 20 best imports to have played in the competition to date.

Following his debut season in the Hyundai A-League, Fred signed with American Major League Soccer club DC United, where he continues to showcase his stellar talents. He joins the Phoenix from DC United on short-term loan.

Phoenix chairman and owner Terry Serepisos said the signing of Fred had reaffirmed the club-s bold ambitions and its growing ability to attract world-class players.

“It-s confirmation that the Phoenix is here for the long haul. Given the professional approach we have taken from day one, the club-s profile and reputation continues to go from strength to strength internationally, and that-s why we have been able to sign a player the likes of Fred.

“We took our time to identify what type of player we required and to find a person who would be able to contribute. We believe Fred will prove invaluable in maintaining our good momentum throughout the middle and latter stages of this season.”

Wellington Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said confirmation of Fred - full name Helbert Frederico Carreiro da Silva - as a guest player was a major coup for the New Zealand-based club.

“Terry led eight months of good discussions with DC United and Fred-s agent, Steve Panopoulos, and everyone involved is thrilled that it-s finally happening. Fred was sensational for Melbourne and it was unfortunate the he was lost to the A-League after just one season, so we at the Phoenix are grateful to DC United and Steve for helping to make this possible.

“It-s fantastic for the Phoenix and the competition in general to get a player of Fred-s calibre back - albeit for six games.”

Fred is scheduled to arrive in Wellington on Monday and will begin training with his new teammates ahead of the match against Newcastle on Sunday, November 23. There will be added buzz when his former team, the Victory, takes on the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium the following Friday.

Fred-s final game for the Phoenix will be in round 17 against the Queensland Roar in Brisbane.

Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert said Fred was an exciting and proven performer who would have no problems settling into the Phoenix set-up.

“He was a very, very good player in the A-League with the Victory and has the pedigree. He-s technically very good and can attack defenders at pace. Not only did does he score goals but he-s often instrumental in creating them - as he did in the 2007 grand final when he basically ran the show and destroyed Adelaide single-handedly.

“He-ll fit in well. He-s aware of the A-League and he knows what it-s like to live in this part of the world, so this won-t be new for him.

“I-m looking forward to working with him.”