Alex Smith.
Alex Smith. Getty Images Sport - Hagen Hopkins

Smith working hard for contract

WELLINGTON Phoenix utility Alex Smith has just under four weeks to prove he is worthy of a fulltime contract.

The English-born American was signed as an injury replacement until the middle of January, but produced an eye-catching display in last Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Melbourne Victory in Australia.

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Smith began his Phoenix stint in a defensive midfield role but, after a brief spell out of the matchday squad, has been pushed further forward into a more attacking position.

With talisman Paul Ifill out for another couple of weeks with a groin injury, Smith shapes as a solid replacement.

The 26-year-old netted his first A-League goal in the loss to the Victory and looked dangerous in the front third of the field, particularly when Daniel and Dani Sanchez were introduced to the action.

Smith said he wanted to extend his stay in Wellington after bouncing around various Australian clubs at different levels for the past few years.

"That's the goal, so I've just got to keep playing well and see what happens and that side of things usually takes care of itself," he said.

>> Read more at NZ Herald


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