Could a Matildas midfielder move to Wellington? ‘She’d be good at small ball’

Catch the highlights as Wellington Phoenix took on Newcastle Jets in the Liberty A-League.

Wellington Phoenix head coach Paul Temple heaped praise on Matildas star Alex Chidiac but said the Liberty A-League outfit will not be signing the reigning Julie Dollan Medallist.

Chidiac is set to become a free agent after National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side Racing Louisville announced they would not be renewing the Australia international’s contract.

The former Melbourne Victory midfielder, who has been on loan at Mexican side Tigres UANL until the end of this month, is free to find a new home at the start of the New Year.

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Temple was asked about Chidiac after Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets at Sky Stadium.

“I’d love to get a player like that. She’s incredible and great to watch,” he told reporters post-match.

“She’d be good at small ball but I don’t think we’re going to be able to do that, which is unfortunate.”

On Wellington’s pursuit of reinforcements, Temple said: “It has been tricky.

“Especially after we decided to use our last via spot in Isabel (Cox), then it’s down to New Zealanders and Australians. With the A-Leagues already started it’s unlikely you’re going to get people moving clubs.

“The search did go global. We were looking at Kiwis and Australians out of University. Even that is quite tough, especially if they aren’t finished yet.

“We were focused on getting a little bit of A-Leagues experience in the squad, and focused on getting another defender in the squad which is probably where we are short in terms of depth.

“I think we are in a good position and hopefully we will be sorted by Boxing Day.”

The future of another Matildas midfielder was also discussed post-game in Wellington.

Emily van Egmond was not in action for the visiting Jets after her four-game guest stint came to an end in Round 8 last week.

Newcastle boss Gary van Egmond, the Australia star’s father, said: “I tried to get her for an extra couple of games but she wouldn’t be into it.

“We will discuss it over Christmas dinner.”

There has also been speculation over Gary van Egmond after he travelled to China for a potential job opportunity.

An Isuzu UTE A-League Championship-winning boss with the Jets, he admitted clarity was needed for all involved.

“Went overseas and it was quite an interesting place. What they’re looking at in regards to a position,” Van Egmond revealed. “At this stage, there’s no update.

“Hopefully we get some clarity for everyone because it’s not fair to the players, to the club where I am at. The club have been terrific in their patience.”