Wellington Phoenix midfielder Michael McGlinchey says there’s no bad blood between him and Friday’s opponents Central Coast after their off-season transfer drama.
Phoenix and the Mariners had a standoff over McGlinchey after he tried to move to Wellington following a loan spell in Japan despite still being contracted to Central Coast.
Both parties thought they had found loopholes to secure his services but eventually the Mariners released McGlinchey despite the FFA stating he was contracted to them until 1 January 2015.
Such was the animosity of the fallout, Mariners fans booed McGlinchey, who made more than 120 appearances for the club, on his return to Gosford in October.
The New Zealand international has gone on to play a key role in Wellington’s title charge, while the Mariners have endured a poor campaign missing the finals for the first time since 2009-10.
McGlinchey will come up against his former club for the third time when they meet on Friday night at Westpac Stadium.
“It’s just one of these things where it was time to move on, but I’ve got no bad blood against anybody there,” McGlinchey told FourFourTwo.
“I had some fantastic times there. We were very successful.
“We finished in the top two three years in a row and won the Grand Final. I’ll always look back there with happy memories.”
He added: “There’s still some boys there who I’ve been friends with for a long time.
“It’ll be nice to see John Hutchinson play one of his last couple of games. I’ll be looking forward to it and I’m sure the boys will be too.”
McGlinchey worked with newly appointed full-time Mariners coach Tony Walmsley four years ago at Central Coast.
He said he felt Walmsley was a good appointment for his former club as he is well liked by the group and expected them to be out to impress on Friday.
Wellington have their own reasons to impress, and plenty of them, with a top two spot on the line with two rounds to go.
Phoenix haven’t scored in their past three games, including two 3-0 home losses, meaning they’ve slipped to fifth, four points behind leaders Melbourne Victory but only one point second-placed Sydney FC who they host in the final round.
Wellington haven’t made the top six, nor hosted a final since 2011-12, but are guaranteed a top four finish and a home final this season.
However, McGlinchey said that wasn’t enough, stating the playing group believed they could do something special in the finals and said there was a buzz around town about their prospects.
“The last three games have obviously been disappointing because we’ve not got any momentum,” he said.
“We want to finish the next two games playing well and getting results so the fans can look forward to the finals to support us in the big games.”
He added: “I think the boys are confident we can do something this season.
“We’ve had two spells in the season where we went five or six games undefeated or have four wins in a row.
“When we’re in those spells we felt we could beat anybody.”comments