Heffernan arrives

Perth Glory's latest recruit Dean Heffernan said it was a shock when his Chinese club, Lianing Whowin, refused to let him come back to the Hyundai A-League for the start of the new season.

Perth Glory's latest recruit Dean Heffernan said it was a shock when his Chinese club, Lianing Whowin, refused to let him come back to the Hyundai A-League for the start of the new season.

Heffernan was one of Glory coach Ian Ferguson's high-profile recruits during the off-season after the defender had endured a lean spell of game-time at Melbourne Heart.

Wanting to get matches under his belt during the long pre-season, Heffernan was loaned to Chinese Super League club Liaoning, only to discover a clause in his contract - written in Chinese - wouldn't allow him to leave the People's Republic club.

The 31-year-old did make the best of the situation after officially transferring to Liaoning, playing in various roles and helping the club finish third on the Super League table, although he admits it's been a difficult few months.

"(It's been) very frustrating," Heffernan said on Tuesday as the Glory finally unveiled him as an injury replacement for Chris Coyne, who suffered an Achilles tear during November.

"You know, I had the family there as well, we were prepared to come home but in the end you've just got to be careful about what it has in the contract."

Heffernan may not receive his international clearance in time for Wednesday night's clash with Brisbane Roar, but when he's available, he aims to make up for missing the last few months.

"If I get cleared to play then that'd be fantastic," he said.

"There's a lot of competition on the left, I've been watching Toddy Howarth, he's doing really well and you know I can play left back, I played left midfield in China as well and centre back so there's a few options there."

"(But) I'm just here to compete and hopefully help with the rest of the team and get us where we need to be."

The Heffernan situation seems like a case of deja vu for Glory, after Coyne himself was denied the opportunity to play with Perth for much of last season after his own loan spell at Liaoning.

Coyne was loaned to the club to get matches under his belt in a bid to impress then Qantas Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek ahead of 2010 World Cup selection.

However, when he tried returning to the Glory in August 2010, he was told he could not officially be granted an international clearance until the 2011 January transfer window opened.

Glory coach Ferguson, though, said it was difficult to compare the two cases.

"I don't know what happened with Coyney last year, I wasn't in charge at that time," said Ferguson.

"I do know that we had an agreement with a contract with Dean and Dean happily signed that but when he went to China, we wanted to try and get him back at that time, the Chinese club refused to let him go."

"We thought there was a clause in his contract where he'd be allowed to come back to us, but it was obviously in Chinese and it never worked out that way."

"We got the PFA onto it and unfortunately it was legal in Chinese terms, so that was the reason we couldn't have him, simple as that."

"It's something we've learnt from and it won't happen again, especially at this club."

"We wanted Dean at the beginning of the season but we've eventually got him, better late than never."