The Wellington Phoenix will welcome back their travelling All Whites for Sunday’s Hyundai A-League clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium
The Wellington Phoenix will welcome back their travelling All Whites for Sunday-s Hyundai A-League clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium.
Captain Andrew Durante, keeper Glen Moss, striker Jeremy Brockie and fullback-cum-midfielder Leo Bertos were reunited with the squad in Sydney on Friday evening after representing New Zealand in Trinidad.
While Durante, Brockie and Moss will definitely start, head coach Ernie Merrick won-t make a decision on whether Bertos plays till just before kick-off.
“I will leave the decision on Leo, who has an infected toe, till the last minute,” Merrick said.
“Hopefully he will be fit to start but if not we have a number of options.”
Playing last season-s premiers is a daunting task, especially for the youngsters in the Phoenix squad as a packed Parramatta Stadium is an intimidating place.
Merrick however will be telling his players to enjoy the atmosphere and to enjoy the moment.
“They should be looking forward to it,” Merrick said.
“There is nothing better than to play in front of a big, noisy crowd.
“It doesn-t matter who they are supporting; it is exciting and frenetic and brings out the best in players.
“The Wanderers supporters are fantastic and we have to channel the energy they bring to the game into positive use.
“The priority for us has to be each player focussing on his job from the first minute to the last, which is something we didn-t do last week.
“We did it well for the majority of the game, but lapsed in the first and last minutes of the second half.”
Wellington Phoenix (from): Glen Moss, Leo Bertos, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante, Reece Caira, Vince Lia, Manny Muscat, Carlos Hernandez, Kenny Cunningham, Paul Ifill, Jeremy Brockie, Stein Huysegems, Michael Boxall, Josh Brindell-South, Albert Riera, Jason Hicks, Jacob Spoonley.