Kiwi Mariner keen on crashing his own homecoming party

Michael McGlinchey’s more recent memories of the city he was born in have involved mass celebration, following New Zealand’s qualification for, and subsequent success at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but this time, he’s keen on dampening Wellington’s recent festive mood.

Michael McGlinchey-s more recent memories of the city he was born in have involved mass celebration, following New Zealand-s qualification for, and subsequent success at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but this time, he-s keen on dampening Wellington-s recent festive mood.

McGlinchey, a New Zealand international, will go from hero to villain as he walks out onto Westpac Stadium in the Yellow and Navy of the Mariners against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday afternoon, and is confident that for him at least, the city-s sporting celebration will continue.

"We-ve had a pretty good start to the season albeit we-ve not played the football that we would have liked. Going to Wellington we know how tough it is and obviously being a part of the national team I know how difficult it can be playing at that stadium, so we-re going to go there and try to give it our best shot to take the three points.

"It would be massive. We-ve had a good start along with the other two teams that are up there but it-s early days and we need to continue doing what we-ve been doing. It was a good pre-season, we-re undefeated, and long may that continue," said McGlinchey.

The national team-s supporter group known as the "White Noise" and the Phoenix-s "Yellow Army" have built up a cult following in the Kiwi Capital, and McGlinchey is expecting the fanatical supporters to again be out in force this Sunday.

"It will be good because I know they are coming out in their thousands to watch the team after the success of the World Cup so hopefully it is as busy as it was the other night (against Gold Coast United) but hopefully there-s not as much rain, and we can have a good game.

"They were unfortunate to only get a draw against the Gold Coast, they dominated the game and with the crowd, the way the boys are lifting and all of New Zealand, it-s on such a high at the moment and I-m sure that will continue for Wellington," McGlinchey said.

McGlinchey-s All Whites teammate Shane Smeltz found his way onto the scoresheet as Gold Coast came away with a 3-all draw last Friday night, and the diminutive midfielder would dearly love to be the second ex-pat in as many weeks to find the back of the net.

"I-d love to get a goal, I-m due one actually so hopefully I can produce one there."

The 24-year-old has combined well in midfield in the opening two rounds with the likes of Oliver Bozanic, Matt Simon and John Hutchinson, and says he-s loving the new way of life under new Head Coach Graham Arnold.

"It-s been all change since Arnie-s come in and we-re all adjusting to the new formation, but we have got four points out of six and I think all of the boys would admit we-ve not hit top form yet. It-s going to come, each week we-re getting there and defensively we-re looking pretty good so if we stay solid at the back that will allow us to play better football," said McGlinchey.

Patricio Perez is edging ever closer to full fitness and an eagerly anticipated debut, and McGlinchey says the entire squad shares the fans keenness to see the Argentine Under 20-s World Cup winner in full flight.

"Everybody is waiting to see him, we-ve seen him in training, we know what he can do, and we-re all desperate for the fans to see him as well.