Foxe and Rizzo to depart Perth

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell today informed defender Hayden Foxe and midfielder Nick Rizzo that their contracts with the club will not be renewed for next season.

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell today informed defender Hayden Foxe and midfielder Nick Rizzo that their contracts with the club will not be renewed for next season.

Foxe, a former Socceroos defender, arrived at the club with a wonderful pedigree having played in the English Premier League as well as several other top competitions around the globe.

An unfortunate run of injuries, including knee, foot and hamstring, restricted Foxe-s availability for selection and in two seasons managed just eight of a possible 42 matches for the club.

“It really is an unfortunate circumstance and a very tough decision because when Hayden is out there and playing he is outstanding,” said Glory Coach Dave Mitchell.

“I felt that part of our problem in the past has been that we have had too many players unavailable throughout the year and that has been costly.

“Hayden is a terrific player, that-s the really sad bit about it, we-re letting a good player go but the reality is that he has spent limited time on the pitch and I need to have players that are going to be available week in and week out to build some continuity in the squad,” said Mitchell.

A wonderful professional, Foxe always dedicated himself to preparing to the highest level however luck hasn-t been on his side since returning the Hyundai A-League. A freakish knee injury on the eve of the 2007/08 season saw Foxe miss the majority of that campaign and after another excellent build-up this season he was struck down before the opening whistle.

“When you look at the clubs that are in the top four they-ve had their best players on the park for the majority of the time. Hayden is a very influential player and when he isn-t there you really miss him.

“I didn-t want to make him hang on and hang on in the hope that he might pick something up here, making this decision now gives him an opportunity to look elsewhere and I wish him all the best,” Mitchell said.

It had been mooted that a ‘pay as you play- style of contract could be an option to retain the 31 year old in Perth however Mitchell said that wasn-t as simple as it sounds.

“Pay as you play might seem like a great idea but in any instance you must account for the possibility of that player playing every match.

“If they played the majority of the games for you it is fine because you-re using the money wisely but if they don-t play then you have a chunk of money in the cap that is just sitting there doing nothing.

“Sometimes you might need a little bit extra to clinch a deal with a new player and if you have these floating funds not doing anything you-d kick yourself for not fully utilising the resources at your disposal,” said Mitchell.

Rizzo will also depart the club after returning to Australia for the 2006/07 season following a long career overseas, including time at Liverpool and Crystal Palace.

In two seasons for the Glory Rizzo played 26 matches, starting 13 times, and gave his all during his time on the pitch. The 29 year old was a significant contributor to the club-s community programs and always made himself available to positively promote the game and the club.

“Nick came back with a wonderful attitude and desire to make his return to Australia a success but was impacted by injury and always battled against the tide to get to his best,” said Mitchell.

“Again, this was a tough decision, Nick is a terrific person and great to have around the change rooms but in the end my decision is based on what we need on the pitch and I felt as though we needed to look in a different direction.

“I-d like to thank Nick for his contribution to the club and wish him and his family all the best in their next move.”

Perth Glory coaching staff will continue their review of the current playing squad over the next fortnight while also continuing to make in-roads into the recruitment of new players for Perth next season.

“There is a list of players that we-re targeting, while you don-t always get all the players you-re after there is a good list there and we-re going through that process and are confident of bringing some quality players to the club,” Mitchell said.