A new era for the ASB Premiership was announced today with the Wellington Phoenix confirmed to participate in the new nine-team national league competition for 2014-2015.
New Zealand Football CEO Andy Martin welcomed the A-League franchise club into the fold.
“The addition of the Wellington Phoenix team strengthens both the A-League franchise and the overall quality of our national competition which is very important,” Martin said.
“It is the responsibility of New Zealand Football to ensure we have a structure in place which provides the best possible chance for our sole professional club to thrive and develop.
“The Wellington Phoenix is obviously a key part of the landscape in terms of building the strongest possible All Whites side and their entry into the ASB Premiership is vital for not only their own structure, but the overall strength of a product which will ultimately benefit the entire game in New Zealand.”
Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome says the side in the ASB Premiership will play an important role in developing the next generation of professional footballers.
“Our Board is determined to build a strong presence in the A-League and understand that we need to add more depth if we are to achieve this,” Dome said.
“Following on from our newly established Academy, our side will build this depth by focussing on youth players who will be the next generation of professional players.
“Having a team in the ASB Premiership is crucial to this development pathway.
“This structure will add greatly in building a club which will compete every year for the A-League title.
“It’s an exciting time for us and we can’t wait to take the field in the 2014-15 ASB Premiership competition.”