Draw announced for men’s national league

The Wellington Phoenix reserves are scheduled to play five home matches in the inaugural men’s National League Championship.

New Zealand Football has announced the fixtures for the 10-team competition, which couldn’t take place last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reserves will travel to Hawke’s Bay in the opening round to face Central League rivals Napier City Rovers on Saturday, October 1.

The next two rounds they will host Northern League qualifiers Auckland United and Melville United at yet to be determined venues.

Chris Greenacre’s side will travel across Cook Strait for the first time in round four, when they will visit Southern League champions Christchurch United.

The reserves will return home to Fraser Park in Lower Hutt the following Saturday to host fellow Central League qualifiers Miramar Rangers.

Riley Bidois (left) celebrates with Noah Karunaratne after scoring a goal against Miramar Rangers.

They will start November at treble winners Auckland City before hosting Central League leaders Wellington Olympic at a yet to be confirmed venue in round seven.

A second trip to Christchurch will follow on Sunday, November 20 when the reserves will visit Cashmere Technical, with their final round-robin match back at Fraser Park against Northern League runners-up

The top two clubs after nine rounds will meet in the grand final on Sunday, December 4.

Every game in the National League Championship will be broadcast live with the vast majority free to air on Sky Sport Next and the New Zealand Football YouTube channel.

Wellington Phoenix reserves 2022 National League Championship draw (home games in bold):

Saturday, October 1 vs Napier City Rovers at Bluewater Stadium, Napier – 2pm
Sunday, October 9 vs Auckland United at TBC venue – 12pm
Sunday, October 16 vs Melville United at TBC venue – 12pm
Saturday, October 22 vs Christchurch United at Christchurch Football Centre, Christchurch – 3pm
Saturday, October 29 vs Miramar Rangers at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt – 2pm
Saturday, November 5 vs Auckland City FC at Kiwitea St, Auckland – 1pm
Sunday, November 13 vs Wellington Olympic at TBC venue – 12pm

Sunday, November 20 vs Cashmere Technical at English Park – 1pm
Sunday, November 27 vs Birkenhead United at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt – 1pm