29 Aug 2008

Phoenix hope to keep golden boy Smeltz

8:51 am on 29 August 2008

In the wake of the announcement of the expansion of Australian football's A-League to 10 teams next season, the Wellington Phoenix are trying to stitch up a new contract for star striker Shane Smeltz.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert says they're confident they'll keep the All Whites marksman, who's currently leading the A-League's Golden Boot standings with three goals.

But Herbert says Smeltz is inevitably a target in an expanded A-League.

Football Federation Australia have confirmed the entry of two new teams, Gold Coast United and North Queensland.

FFA officials have also confirmed they are continuing discussions to expand the A-League further in 2010-11, with 12-14 teams the ultimate long-term goal.