ANDREW VORCE - Friday, October 12, 2012
Alex Smith will want to add to his 90 minute performance against Sydney FC with a win at Melbourne Heart.
Smith put in a fine performance in Wellington's opener last weekend, helping to hold Sydney and their superstar newcomer Alessandro Del Piero scoreless in the 2-0 win.
Smith will need to be his very best once again as Pheonix lose seven players over the international break.
Leo Bertos, Jeremy Brockie, Tony Lochhead, Glen Moss, Mark Paston and Ben Sigmund are all called up to the New Zealand squad while Benjamin Totori will be representing the Solomon Islands.
On top of that, Jimmy Downey, Vince Lia, Lucas Pantelis, Mirjan Pavlovic, and Dani Sanchez are all out to due to injury.
If that wasn't enough, head coach Ricki Herbert is also away moonlighting as head coach for the New Zealand National Team, a post he has held since 2005.
Assistant coach Chris Greenacre will head up affairs over the weekend, with the assistance of strength and conditioning coach Chris Baranowski and goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould.
Melbourne heart opened their season with a win over temporarily inappropriately named city rivals Victory in the Melbourne derby, and will be looking to make it two in a row in now its third season in the league.