Phoenix defender Scott Wootton is calling on Wellingtonians of all ages to come to Sky Stadium on Easter Sunday to cheer on the team in their long-awaited homecoming match.
After five and a half months in Australia, the Phoenix fly home on Good Friday for this weekend’s Isuzu UTE A-League match against Central Coast Mariners.
The Nix haven’t played in Aotearoa since May 30 last year, when more than 22 thousand fans turned out to see the team play Perth Glory at Eden Park.
It came a week after the team’s unforgettable match against Western United at Sky Stadium, where 24,105 supporters cheered the team on to a 3-0 win.
Wootton wants a similar experience on Easter Sunday for what will be his first match in New Zealand.
“The boys speak about when they went back last time and the atmosphere and the crowd was amazing,” he said.
“As a player these are the types of games and atmospheres you want to play in and be involved in.
“Bring your cousins, your aunties, your uncles, your mums, dads, kids to the stadium to support us because I’m sure it’ll be a great atmosphere.
“It’ll be a good game as well. Central Coast they’re also fighting to get into the top six and they gave us a good hiding last time so I’m sure that’ll add to the game.”
Scott Wootton says it’s been “tough at times” playing in front of minimal crowds in Australia this season, which is another reason why they’re “super excited” for this weekend.
“These are the games and these are the matches that you want to play in. Big crowds and an amazing stadium.
“As a manager you probably don’t have to motivate the players too much because the motivation is right there in front of you.
“We can’t wait for that whistle to come on Sunday.”
Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay believes a big crowd at Sky Stadium will make a huge difference to the players.
“At the end of the day the players are not robots, they’re humans. Everybody loves a pat on the back, doesn’t matter what age you are, whether you’re 15 or you’re 60 years old, everyone loves to be told that they’re doing a good job or they’re working hard.
“The noise is very important, we haven’t had that all season. It plays a major role. It’s a boost, it’s the 12th man on the park and the fans play a massive role with the boys getting that extra spring in their step.”
Sunday’s match kicks-off at the family friendly time of 3:05pm and tickets are available from Ticketek.
Ticket-holders will have the chance to win a car from Gazley ŠKODA and one of 11 prize packs from Spark and OPPO.