Basalaj gets a trial at Thistle

18 July 2013 07:05:42 EST

Scott Basalaj has been given the blessing of Wellington Phoenix to trial in Scotland. 

The Phoenix school of excellence product is being assessed by Scottish Premier League club Partick Thistle. 

It is a tough road but he has a chance because he has the attributes to go all the way.

Ernie Merrick on Scott Basalaj

The offer was made through Scott Allison, who saw him playing for Lower Hutt City while on his scouting trips for Glasgow Rangers. 

Allison wanted to sign the keeper for Rangers but the club ran into financial problems and a move did not pan out. 

Basalaj is elated at the opportunity to trial with Thistle and credited the "professional environment" at the Phoenix for it.  

He said: "It has given me confidence and I won't be shy going into that type of environment over there." 

The 19-year-old goalkeeper started in one game for the Phoenix last season but saw the club choose Australian Lewis Italiano as regular back-up for first-choice keeper Glen Moss. 

Wellington coach Ernie Merrick is happy to see Basalaj get his opportunity abroad.

He said: "I have watched Scott at training over the past five weeks and been impressed by him." 

The coach added: "It is a tough road but he has a chance because he has the attributes to go all the way."

Meanwhile, Australia are 12121/1 to win the 2014 World Cup while England are 12121/1.

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