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Jan 4, 2010

Dadi joins Phoenix from Glory

Wellington Phoenix wasted little time in snapping up dumped striker Eugene Dadi but Perth coach Dave Mitchell insists the 36-year-old journeyman has left the Glory on amicable terms.

Dadi was contracted to Perth until the end of the A-League season but was released by the club on Sunday.

The Frenchman hopped on a plane and signed on with the Phoenix the very next day in a deal that will see him in Phoenix colours until the end of the season.

The Glory are eyeing former Scottish Premier League midfielder Steven McGarry to fill the now vacant import spot.

Dadi earned a cult following during his time in Perth, quickly becoming a fan favourite after bagging 10 goals last season.

But the 36-year-old Frenchman fell behind Branko Jelic, Mile Sterjovski, Victor Sikora and, more recently, Jamie Harnwell in the pecking order this season, failing to score a goal in his six appearances amid reports he had fallen out with Mitchell.

"Obviously Eugene was frustrated and he wanted to have another contract for another year," Mitchell revealed on Monday.

"From our point of view, we didn't think he'd played enough games and if he wanted to do that (extend his career) it was best he pursue it somewhere else.

"There were two other clubs interested so they've come in and we decided to let him go for his future career.

"There was no animosity there at all."

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said Dadi would provide the depth needed during the tail-end of the season.

"Eugene's a vastly talented and experienced striker who will offer Ricki something different up front," Pignata said.

"He's a big, strong and cunning striker and as a club we feel he'll be valuable for us in the closing stages of the season as we seek to secure a spot in the playoffs."

McGarry arrives in Perth on Tuesday for a trial.

Mitchell initially viewed McGarry as a possible replacement for either Jacob Burns, Mile Sterjovski or Chris Coyne, who are all expected to leave the club this month on loan deals.

But Dadi's early departure means McGarry, who scored four goals in 110 games for Motherwell, can slot into the squad straight away.

"He wants to come and have a look at this place and we want to have a look at him," Mitchell said of the 30-year-old.

"It's sort of a trial to start with and if he turns out to be good then we could mutually agree quickly (to sign him) now that there's a position open."

Perth host Sydney in a crunch clash on Sunday but will again be without Sikora (thigh), although Jelic is expected to return from an ankle complaint.

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