3 Dec 2013

Nix's chances boosted by Glory back jumping ship

6:20 pm on 3 December 2013

The Wellington Phoenix footballers' chances of their first win this season Friday night have increased, as opponents Perth Glory's defensive stocks have taken another massive hit.

Centre back Steve Pantelidis has quit the A-League in order to join up with a Malaysian Super League team, Selangor FC.

Pantelidis's defection will leave the Glory light on for options in defence heading into Friday night's clash in Perth.

Fringe Socceroo Scott Jamieson is already out for the season due to a torn achilles tendon, while marquee signing William Gallas is nursing a calf injury, and fellow defender Josh Risdon is still on the comeback trail, leaving Michael Thwaite as the only first-choice defender who's available for selection this week.

That means 18-year-old Matt Davies, 18-year-old Riley Woodcock and 21-year-old Jack Clisby are all likely to get gigs in defence this week.

The Glory will also be without suspended skipper Jacob Burns, while All Whites striker Shane Smeltz is also in grave doubt due to an ankle injury.