Following Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) announcement on Monday that the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season will resume next month, the Wellington Phoenix can this afternoon confirm it has received clearance for the squad to travel to New South Wales to complete their season.
The Phoenix’s season will officially resume from 17 July 2020 from an Australian-based hub, with Wellington taking on Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium that night. The full season draw will be announced at a later date.
The Phoenix squad and coaching staff will travel to New South Wales tomorrow, with Ulises Davila and Gary Hooper meeting them in Australia from Mexico and the United Kingdom respectively. The players have been tested for Covid-19 and will have further tests throughout the resumption of the competition.
Fans and supporters are encouraged to be at Wellington Airport from midday tomorrow, where Mayor Andy Foster will be among the crowd wishing the team well as it makes its way to Australia for an extended period. The club are also asking fans to send their messages of support directly to the team over the next few weeks, by emailing COYN@prod.wellingtonphoenix.aleagues.com.au or via its online channels.
Once in Australia the Phoenix will base themselves from a secure facility in New South Wales in the month leading up to their first match, training for the first two weeks in a full isolation environment. A strict set of protocols will be in place to ensure players are protected from any Covid-19 related risks during this time, with their health and well-being a key priority.
Wellington Phoenix General Manager, David Dome, says that the club is thrilled to be given the chance to finish the season.
“It’s huge for us to see that the season can resume; this is the best outcome for the fans, sponsors, players and everyone involved in football across Australia and New Zealand.
“We are extremely grateful to FFA especially Head of Leagues Greg O’Rourke, New South Wales Border Control and New South Wales Department of Health authorities for all their efforts in gaining the club entry into Australia.”
Dome says that the club has been anticipating a re-start for some time and have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure everyone can hit the ground running once a decision is made.
“Plaudits have to go to our players for their commitment to finishing out the season – they feel they have unfinished business and they can’t wait to go over there and rediscover that momentum we had back in March.
“With a full-strength, committed squad and the backing of New Zealand behind us, there’s no reason we can’t secure a top three finish – and potentially a home semi-final in Wellington for the fans. That’s our goal and our supporters deserve nothing less.”