INS & OUTS: Wisnewski’s “itching to get back on”

Grace Wisnewski is hopeful of making her season debut this weekend.

The Junior Football Ferns midfielder has again been named in the extended Wellington Phoenix squad for Saturday evening’s fifth round Liberty A-League match against Adelaide United at Sky Stadium.

Wisnewski has missed the women’s first four matches after tearing her right calf in pre-season.

She was included in Wellington’s extended squad the past two weeks but wasn’t quite ready to make the final matchday 16.

“Hopefully I’ll be available to be picked in the squad this week which is so exciting,” Wisnewski told media on Wednesday.

“It’s been a long time coming. I mean it’s only the fifth round this week, but I’ve been itching to get back on.

“It’s been really hard watching, especially that first game at Sky Stadium, but I’m still proud of the girls. We’ve had parts in games that we’ve played really well and just little mistakes have let us down.”

While head coach Natalie Lawrence may be able to call on Grace Wisnewski on Saturday, club captain Lily Alfeld and vice-captain Kate Taylor remain side-lined with injuries.

Alfeld has yet to feature for the Nix this season as she recovers from knee surgery, while Taylor has missed the team’s past two matches to rest an ankle injury she sustained while on international duty.

Wellington Phoenix women’s squad: 2. Saskia VOSPER, 4. Mackenzie BARRY, 5. Marisa VAN DER MEER, 6. Isabel GOMEZ, 7. Chloe KNOTT, 8. Grace WISNEWSKI, 9. Ava PRITCHARD, 10. Alyssa WHINHAM, 11. Betsy HASSETT, 12. Brianna EDWARDS (gk), 13. Paige SATCHELL, 14. Michaela ROBERTSON, 15. Zoe MCMEEKEN, 16. Emma ROLSTON, 17. Claudia CICCO, 18. Te Reremoana WALKER, 19. Charlotte LANCASTER, 20. Milly CLEGG, 21. Michaela FOSTER, 22. Georgia CANDY (gk).

IN: 8. Grace WISNEWSKI (returning from injury).

OUT: nil

Unavailable: 1. Lily ALFELD (gk) (injured), 3. Kate TAYLOR (injured).

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – NOVEMBER 13: Coach Ufuk Talay of the Phoenix looks on during the round six A-League Men’s match between Wellington Phoenix and Western United at Sky Stadium, on November 13, 2022, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Men’s head coach Ufuk Talay has a near full-strength squad to pick from for the Wellington Phoenix’s Isuzu UTE A-League match also against Adelaide United at Sky Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Young centre back Finn Surman is the only first team squad member unavailable for selection.

Surman is side-lined with a shoulder injury sustained while playing in the reserves’ final National League Championship match.

Club captain Alex Rufer is pressing for selection.

Rufer missed out on the final matchday squad last week, despite being cleared to return.

He hasn’t played a first team match since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in March.

Wellington Phoenix men’s squad:  4. Scott WOOTTON, 5. Steven UGARKOVIC, 6. Tim PAYNE, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Ben OLD, 9. Oskar ZAWADA, 10. David BALL, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV, 12. Lucas MAURAGIS, 13. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 14. Alex RUFER, 17. Callan ELLIOT, 18. Ben WAINE, 19. Sam SUTTON, 20. Oli SAIL (gk), 21. Joshua LAWS, 23. Clayton LEWIS, 24. Oskar VAN HATTUM, 31. Yan SASSE, 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk).

IN: nil


Unavailable: 3. Finn SURMAN (injured).