Gameiro signs up shot with Phoenix

Corey Gameiro is banking on a ground affectionately known as The Cake Tin to help stake his claims for a contract extension with English Premier League club Fulham.

Starved of first-team opportunities, the 20-year-old will call Wellington's Westpac Stadium home until the A-League season ends.

Gameiro inked a short-term loan deal with Ricki Herbert's strugglers and is hoping for clearance for a Phoenix debut against Brisbane on Sunday.

It's the second overseas club the Wollongong product has been loaned out to in the space of six months, after parent side Fulham sent him to Dutch outfit FC Eindhoven last year.

The striker, who bagged all six goals in the under-19s AFC championship to help Australia qualify for the under-20s World Cup, said the prospect of regular first-team football at Wellington appealed.

"I was speaking to about five or so clubs, but Wellington I thought was the best option for me personally because they need a striker," Gameiro told the Mercury before jetting out to New Zealand.

"They're a club that's looking to have relationships with English Premier League clubs and it's good for them to have a bit more publicity as well. I just want to help the club and I think I can help them.

On loan: Wollongong's Corey Gameiro is off to Wellington's Phoenix. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

On loan: Wollongong's Corey Gameiro is off to Wellington's Phoenix. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

"Goals are a bonus, but if the team's winning and I'm playing then I'm happy."

Gameiro's arrival in Wellington will be well received by Phoenix fans, who have watched their side sink to second from bottom after a listless 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Central Coast last weekend.

Only cellar dwellers Perth (18) have found the back of the net on fewer occasions than the Phoenix (22) this season.

Fulham's Dutch manager Martin Jol has implored his striker to continue developing his game ahead of a trip to Turkey for the under-20s World Cup, a shop window for football's best young talent.

"I had a chat with him [Jol] just before I left and he just said the same thing, 'we're not looking for you to go there and score a million goals and be a star. You're 20 years old and you need to develop and learn'," Gameiro said.

"The A-League, I feel, is getting better, it's a lot more competitive and the standard is a lot better than when I left. What better place to come back and get some experience in the A-League?"

Gameiro said the lure of not making round-the-world trips for Australian training camps ahead of the under-20s World Cup was another factor in his decision to return to the A-League.

"That's also a big reason why I came back to Australia," he said. "The camps are here and it's a lot less travelling than when I'm on loan in England.

"I want to make sure I'm physically good, mentally good, as well as emotionally. Being alone in Europe you have a lot of down days being overseas by yourself.

"I'm happy here and my family can come over and visit."


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