Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is relishing the chance to pit his team against Hyundai A-League champions Brisbane Roar in Dunedin in August.
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is relishing the chance to pit his team against Hyundai A-League champions Brisbane Roar in Dunedin.
It was confirmed today that Phoenix will host Brisbane at Dunedin-s new Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday August 20 with a family-friendly 5.30 kickoff time.
“The opposition you meet pre-season is really important and I wanted to start against a team that finished high up last season,” Herbert said.
“It is a real bonus to be hosting Brisbane because they had an exciting season and I-m sure they will be looking to build on what they achieved as another season looms.”
Herbert was also delighted that the game is being played in Dunedin, and at a fantastic new stadium.
“Dunedin hasn-t had an opportunity to host international football or a professional team for some time so it is good we are going there,” he said.
“The South Island has been incredibly supportive of the Phoenix over the past two years. Both our matches against Adelaide in Christchurch drew over 15,000 fans, with one being almost 20,000.
“Obviously it isn-t possible to go back there at the moment but we haven-t forgotten Christchurch and never will.
“Given the exploits of the 2010 All Whites it is an opportunity for South Island fans, young and old, to watch the likes of Mark Paston, Tim Brown, Ben Sigmund, Tony Lochhead and Leo Bertos in action.
“Add in the likes of Paul Ifill and Daniel, along with the quality Brisbane possess, and it has the potential to be a real spectacle.
“It is a tough challenge first up but I am really looking forward to it.”
Phoenix chief executive Nathan Greenham said he was delighted to secure the fixture.
“The prospect of playing in the new venue is exciting and I believe Dunedin people will come out in force and make it a fantastic occasion.”
Greenham said the Phoenix would put on an open training session and there could also be an in-store signing session.
In a quick turnaround the Phoenix will fly to Australia for a game against Melbourne Heart in Shepparton on August 26.