Dean Heffernan back for Glory in A-League
In a case of better late than never, defender Dean Heffernan has rejoined A-League club Perth Glory.
But Glory coach Ian Ferguson has warned fellow Australian outfits to read the fine print carefully before loaning out players to Chinese clubs.
Glory first nabbed Heffernan during the pre-season, but the former Central Coast and Melbourne Heart speedster soon linked up with Chinese club Liaoning Whowin on loan in a bid to maintain his fitness during Australia's long off-season.
However, a clause written in Chinese prevented Heffernan returning to Glory for the start of the A-League season, with Perth forced to bide their time before finally luring the 31-year-old back once his contract in China expired.
Heffernan joins Glory as an injury replacement for former Socceroo Chris Coyne, who is in danger of missing the rest of the season due to a serious Achilles tendon injury.
"We thought there was a clause in his contract where he'd be allowed to come back to us," Ferguson said of the protracted process to land Heffernan.
"We wanted to try and get him back.
"The Chinese club refused to let him go. The clause was in Chinese, we believe.
"It's something we've learnt from and it won't happen again."
Heffernan is yet to receive international clearance and might be forced to watch on from the sidelines when Perth take on Brisbane at nib Stadium on Wednesday night.
But striker Billy Mehmet has been cleared to play after the controversial red card he received against Newcastle last week was overturned by Football Federation Australia.
Mehmet clearly beat Tiago Calvano to the ball in a sliding, two-footed challenge, and Ferguson was angry at how the Jets defender dramatically reacted to the incident.
"I thought again the sending off was a disgrace but I don't blame the referee," Ferguson said.
"I thought the man (Calvano) manipulated things where he went down as if his legs had been blown off and rolling about."
Perth were humiliated 4-0 by Brisbane in November and Ferguson has been using that loss to motivate his players for the re-match.
"It was an embarrassing game for everyone that was involved," said Ferguson, who also confirmed striker Shane Smeltz would miss the game due to a groin injury.
"I've been drumming that into them this week that this is a game we need to really go out there and have a go rather than sitting back.
"It's a massive game for us. It could put us back on track again."
Brisbane striker Besart Berisha said last week's 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory, which snapped a five-game losing streak for the Roar, had given the side a timely confidence boost.