The Wellington Phoenix travel to Auckland to take on Central Coast Mariners on the back of some scintillating form as well celebrating the end of Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings epic franchise with a unique one off The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies strip.
The Phoenix take on Central Coast in this Round 10 clash after already having beaten them 2-1 away win at Bluetongue Stadium in Round two.
Since then the Phoenix has gone on a goal scoring spree – now sitting on 18 goals for the season, second only to Melbourne Victory in the most goals scored column.
Grudging admiration is now coming from across the Tasman as the rest of the A-League has started waking up to what the Club and Head Coach Ernie Merrick are building here.
Phoenix General Manager David Dome said the timing was perfect for Aucklanders to see the team at its best.
“Ernie has really got the team humming playing some really exciting football that is making many across the Tasman sit up and take note of the quiet revolution that it taking place over here.
“Nathan Burns has gone to the top of the golden boot race with eight goals, Roy Krishna is showing the potential that Ernie saw in him when we played him pre-season two years ago and Albert Riera is widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the A-League.
“Add into the mix Roly Bonevacia who some are now trumpeting as the best import in the A-League this season, Michael McGlinchey who regularly is included in A-League teams of the week and stalwarts in Moss, Durante and Sigmund and you’ve got a pretty potent line up.
“Over the last couple of weeks the number of phone calls from Australian media asking about what Ernie is doing over here has gone through the roof.
“The message they are reporting is that there is quiet revolution taking place over here and that the Phoenix are fast becoming the entertainers of the A-League – that’s a direct quote from a Sydney Morning Herald article.”
Adding to this the fact that the Phoenix have never lost at Eden Park, then there is a lot for Aucklanders to look forward to in the clash.
How many Aucklanders will turn up on Saturday is the great unknown.
Dome says that the number attending on Saturday will be carefully scrutinised by the Board and owners.
“Traditionally we have got good crowds at Eden Park and we’re asking for Aucklanders to continue their good recent support for the Club.
“Eden Park is an expensive place for us to come. Unless we get Aucklanders showing up and supporting us it will be questioned whether we come back or look for alternative venues.
“We’ve made it as easy as possible with free transport to and from the game on Auckland Transport trains and buses which includes the train from Kingsland to Grafton for the Christmas in the Park celebration for those wanting to make a whole evening of it.
“Besides the team’s excellent on field form, we’ve put a lot of effort into this game including getting across the line a one off Hobbit strip to mark the final movie in Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings franchise.”
The Phoenix will be wearing a unique strip themed around The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies to mark the New Zealand the release of the final chapter in this country’s most successful ever movies
By attending on Saturday fans are in with a chance to win one of these unique, non-retail shirts, as well as a few other exclusive memorabilia packs.
Dome said that the Phoenix was extremely grateful to Huawei and Carlsberg without whose assistance the strip could not have been done.
“We must extend our enormous thanks to core Phoenix partners Huawei and Carlsberg who gave up their high profile positions on our strip to enable these one off shirts.
“Without their very generous support we could not have been able to mark this occasion.
“We hope that all these factors enable the Phoenix to secure three preciousssss points on Saturday!”
At A Glance
Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners, Eden Park Auckland, Saturday December 13, 5pm
ASB Premiership curtain raiser: Wellington Phoenix v WaiBop United, 2.15pm
Tickets from Ticketmaster http://www.ticketmaster.co.nz/event/24004D4DC1293B61
Trains and bus information https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/events/wellington-phoenix-vs-central-coast-mariners/