Coyne goes for Glory... and World Cup

CHRIS Coyne officially left Colchester United yesterday, to return to his native Australia with the intention of signing for Perth Glory.

Carl Marston

CHRIS Coyne officially left Colchester United yesterday, to return to his native Australia with the intention of signing for Perth Glory.

U's club skipper Coyne had expressed his desire to leave the Community Stadium at the start of the summer, after manager Paul Lambert had admitted that he could not guarantee the 30-year-old regular football next season.

Centre-half Coyne, who moved to the U's for a then-club record signing of �350,000 from Luton in January, 2008, is pinning his hopes on playing for Australia in the World Cup Finals in South Africa next year, so he could not afford to be twiddling his thumbs on the bench with United.

Instead, he has opted to terminate his contract with Colchester - which still had two years to run - by mutual consent.

That has freed him to link up with his younger brother Jamie Coyne at Perth Glory - Jamie, a right-back, was Glory's skipper last year, although ironically that mantle might now be taken up by his older brother.

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Coyne will sign a three-deal at Glory, and so become the third international to sign for the Western Australia club this summer, following in the footsteps of Mike Sterjovski and Jacob Burns.

Coyne admitted last night: “I'm glad it's all over. Pim Verbeek (Australian national coach) said it's a good idea to come to Perth because he'll see a lot more of me. And that's helped me make up my mind.

“I'm coming back while I'm still fit and strong and I think the club is going places.

“It was made clear that I wasn't going to play week in, week out (at Colchester), and I felt that I had to look at that and address it.

“Also, there isn't much of a chance for the Australian manager to watch League One football, but in Australia, I'm guaranteed to play 27 games in front of him.

“I really enjoyed playing at Layer Road, and coming to the new stadium was fantastic for the club,” added Coyne, who will fly into Perth over the weekend and begin training with his new club on Monday.

Brisbane-born Coyne began his career with Perth SC before moving to England to join West Ham in 1996. He only ever made one brief appearance for the Hammers, and eventually signed for Scottish club Dundee four years later.

But he really came to the fore back in England, in the heart of Luton Town's central defence, where he is an inspirational skipper.

Former U's boss Geraint Williams was tempted to bring him to Layer Road, but having failed to help the U's avoid relegation from the Championship in the second half of the 2007-08 campaign, he endured a frustrating season of club football in League One last term.

He made 38 first team appearances for the U's, rarely figuring under new manager Lambert following the Scotsman's arrival in October.

Perth Glory will play a friendly fixture against Premier League visitors Fulham next Wednesday, although that will probably be too soon for Coyne to feature.

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