Wellington Phoenix U-20 can capitalise on newfound confidence as they seek to maintain their winning form in Saturday’s Round 3 Stirling Sports Premiership match-up against Tasman United at Westpac Stadium.
Head Coach Andy Hedge believes there is a lot that his side can take out of their hard-fought victory over Team Wellington last week as they aim to continue the season in positive fashion.
“Obviously the defensive display in terms of being tough, strong and resilient especially right towards the end of a game – it’s really exciting from our point of view and we’re looking to build on that for the next match,” Hedge said.
The Nix U-20 boss says that a standard has been set for his team’s output after their positive performance against their cross-town rivals last weekend.
“We’ve said to the players that sort of performance is a standard that they have set for themselves and I’ve challenged them to see if they can repeat it,” the Head Coach added.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s match, Hedge is expecting another solid test for his group of players against Nelson-based competition newcomers, Tasman United.
“We obviously played them in pre-season and they’ve had a couple of indifferent results including a draw with Canterbury which was a good draw after a tough game down there and then they got taken to the cleaners against Auckland City, as a lot of teams tend to do,” he said.
“I think they will be up for it and obviously at the stadium as well makes a big difference in their approach so I think we’re in for a tough game again.”
Saturday’s match will be a precursor to the Phoenix’s Hyundai A-League match against Newcastle Jets and the U-20 boss is looking forward to the exposure his players will get from the big stage.
“We’re lucky that a few of them played there [Westpac Stadium] last year,” Hedge said.
“This year they are a year older and have another season under their belts so it shouldn’t be daunting for them, but it will certainly be exciting for them.
“But equally for Tasman, I’m sure their players don’t get the chance to play in front of a big crowd and a big stadium so it sort of evens itself out.”
Ticketed entry the stadium on Saturday includes access to both Stirling Sports Premiership and Hyundai A-League matches.
Phoenix season ticket holders get access to both the Stirling Sports Premiership and Hyundai A-League matches.
Saturday, 5 November 2016
Wellington Phoenix U-20 v Tasman United
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
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Wellington Phoenix U-20*: 20. Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 18. Ben LITFIN, 23. Matthew RIDENTON, 24. Logan ROGERSON, 26. Jack-Henry SINCLAIR, 27. Joe BELL, 28. Max MATA, 29. Liam WOOD, 30. Oli SAIL (GK), 31. Sam PHILIP, 34. Benjamin MATA, 36. Oliver WHYTE, 37. Liberato CACACE, 38. Ruairi CAHILL-FLEURY, 40. Luke JOHNSON, 42. Luke TONGUE
*Subject to change prior to match