Bleiberg excited by new signings, Smeltz returns
Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg believes new signing Peter Perchtold can emulate the feats of fellow German Thomas Broich and kick-start his side’s stuttering A-League campaign.
The 26-year-old will join United on a guest player contract, with a view to signing permanently next season, and fill the playmaker role left by Jason Culina who is unavailable for the next month due to Asian Cup commitments with the Socceroos.
Brisbane midfielder Broich is clear favourite to win the Johnny Warren Medal after a superb season, and Bleiberg believes Perchtold can help end a run of four games without a win that is threatening Gold Coast’s push for a finals spot.
United, who sit in fourth spot, have also re-signed Shane Smeltz after the New Zealand striker fell out of favour with Turkish side Genclerbirligi.
Smeltz scored 19 goals in 26 games for the A-League team last season and will bolster an attack that has struggled since his departure.
“It is hard to say what shape Smeltz will come back in as he hasn’t played for so long, but we are just waiting on the bureaucracy to be sorted out now,” Bleiberg said, following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Sydney FC.
“Perchtold has very good delivery and that is something we have struggled with, especially from corners this season, which is not good as we have a lot of big guys and should be scoring a lot more in the air.
“Since Jason left for Asia we have no one who can deliver, the German can deliver and will help us in this department.
“I have to admit, I did something I wouldn’t normally do and that is to bring in a player I don’t know, but when you need something badly you take a gamble, and I’ve done that all my life.”
Perchtold was recommended to Bleiberg by Socceroos striker Dario Vidosic, who played alongside him and Broich at Nuremberg.
The midfielder was also part of the Stuttgart squad that won the Bundesliga title in 2007.
“Dario Vidosic is someone I have coached since he was 14 so I would like to think I have not done anything wrong by Dario and he wouldn’t do anything wrong by me,” Bleiberg said.
“He comes from the same background as Broich and played 12 games for Stuttgart when they won the championship in 2007 before transferring to Nuremberg for $1million, and although it didn’t work out for him there, there is a big difference between the Bundesliga and the A-League and he will do a job for us.
“He looks good in training, I am not sure about his fitness but I said to him to train with us for five days and if he wants to stay then we can talk.
“He came back and said he liked the Gold Coast, liked the club and the players and he even liked the coach.”© AAP 2013
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