Auckland Double Header For Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix head to Auckland later this month for a double-header against the Junior All Whites and ASB Premiership champions Waitakere United.

On July 17 at North Harbour Stadium the Phoenix will assist the Junior All Whites warm-up for the FIFA under-20 World Cup four days prior to their departure for Colombia.

Three days later the Phoenix will take on Waitakere United at Henderson-s Trusts Stadium as they continue their build-up to the 2011-12 Hyundai A-League season.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert sees the trip as important not only to the club-s pre-season campaign but also as an opportunity to continue building its brand outside of Wellington.

“We are in the early part of our preparation and playing against the New Zealand under-20 team is a good opportunity for us to see how we are progressing,” Herbert said.

“It is also a great opportunity to take the Phoenix brand outside Wellington again because that is important for football.

“We are also playing in Dunedin next month and will be in Auckland again for an A-League game during the season.

“A full squad, plus some trialists, will travel to Auckland so people will get another opportunity to see the All Whites- World Cup players in action.

“I personally want to thank New Zealand Football for making it happen.”

Junior All Whites coach Chris Milicich is also pleased to have the opportunity to test his New Zealand and Australian-based players against quality opposition.

“The players will get a chance to play at an intense, quicker level of football than they are used to, which is crucial to our preparation,” Milicich said.

“It also gives us a hit out which will be at a level similar to those we will face at the World Cup with matches against Cameroon, Portugal and Uruguay.”

The Junior All Whites match will kick off at 2pm with tickets priced at $10 and children will gain free entry if wearing a football shirt.