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WELLINGTON PHOENIX 2013/14 CONTENTS 4. WELCOME Wellington Phoenix Chairman Rob Morrison looks ahead to an exciting 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season.

12. YELLOW FEVERAAAAAAAA

26. COSTA RICA CONNECTION

 e let you know how you can get involved with the W Yellow Fever in the 2013/14 season.

Russell Gray predicts Hyundai A-League teams will find double trouble with the two Costa Ricans playing for the Wellington Phoenix this season.

14. WELLINGTON PHOENIX TEAM PHOTO

6. HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE 2013/14 J ason Pine previews the Hyundai A-League season and predicts better results for the Phoenix.

9. NEW COACH – ERNIE MERRICK Russell Gray talks to new Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick about a successful A-League career and a new start with the Wellington Phoenix.

16-17. HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE 2013/14 DRAW

27. ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES

Your complete fixture guide to the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season.

We list all the arrivals and departures in the Hyundai A-League in the off season.

18. HUAWEI JOINS WELLINGTON PHOENIX

28-30. HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE TEAM PROFILES

The Wellington Phoenix welcome their new principal partner Huawei to the team.

Jason Pine profiles the nine Australian teams who the Wellington Phoenix will square off against in the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season.

10. NEW SIGNINGS

20-25. PHOENIX PLAYER PROFILES

The Wellington Phoenix have signed a number of key players eager to play their part in 2013/14.

Jason Pine profiles the Wellington Phoenix players and coaches who make up this year’s squad.

MANAGING EDITOR: OLIVER LEE CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

PUBLISHER

JASON PINE / RUSSELL GRAY / NICHOLAS WILSON

PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHN SEREPISOS from TBD Design / CAMERON McINTOSH from Photomac PROOFREADING: ELISE McDOWELL DESIGN / LAYOUT: ONTIME ASSOCIATES LIMITED / HNZL PRINTING: PMP Auckland

 Box 331-667, Takapuna, Auckland 0740, New Zealand  T: 09 486 6966 E: oliver@oliverlee.co.nz W: www.oliverlee.co.nz

COPYRIGHT: Reproduction in whole or in part by any means is prohibited. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Although all material is checked for accuracy, no liability is assumed by the publisher for any loss due to use of material in this magazine.

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WELCOME TO THE SEVENTH SEASON OF THE WELLINGTON PHOENIX Last season was the most challenging in the Club’s history. We have worked hard in the off season to pull together the pieces of what we believe will be a successful season for the team on and off the pitch in 2013/14. Importantly, we have a new coach in Ernie Merrick who has an unrivalled record in the A-League, including two Championships and another finals appearance, as well as being Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year twice with Melbourne Victory. Since arriving in May, Ernie has quickly set about rebuilding the team. He inherited one of the A-League’s best ever players in Carlos Hernandez, but has recently added Carlos’ Costa Rica team mate Kenny Cunningham and a host of extremely exciting and promising youth players – Australians Reece Caira and Joshua Brindell-South, and New Zealand youngsters Luke Adams and Alex Rufer. These players have been brought in to complement the existing experience of seasoned A-League pros in Andrew Durante, Jeremy Brockie, Glen Moss and Manny Muscat. It’s a well-balanced squad with an exciting mix of youthful enthusiasm and experienced professionalism. We are New Zealand’s only professional football team. We take this responsibility seriously. Besides over half of our squad being New Zealand players, we will play three games away from Wellington this season to give as many football fans as possible the chance to see the Phoenix and be part of the family. We will play at McLean Park in Napier during Labour weekend on October 27, Christchurch at AMI Stadium on November 9 and Eden Park Auckland on February 1. Off the field we have signed a new principal partner in Huawei. Huawei believes in the Club’s vision to which is to build the best and most successful professional club in New Zealand – built on a strong sense of community and family. We are immensely proud to have Huawei on board and are encouraged that they too see the value in the direction the Club is taking. Huawei join our already strong suite of supportive partners – Nova Energy, Revera, strip partner adidas and official charity, Surf Life Saving New Zealand. But we can’t succeed without you, the fans. There’s a season ticket or a Club Membership – perfect for those living outside Wellington – for everyone. The Club website www.wellingtonphoenix.com has all the details. With your support we can build this Club to its full potential. We believe that this will be a special season for the Club. On behalf of the owners, the Board, the staff and players, we thank you for your support and hope to see you at a game soon.

Come on you Nix!

ROB MORRISON Wellington Phoenix Chairman

4

www.wellingtonphoenix.com


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THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD By JASON PINE A fresh start. A new dawn. Call it what you will, but the Wellington Phoenix are determined to right the wrongs of last year when the new A-League campaign gets underway next weekend. The 2012/13 A-League season was easily the most disappointing in the club’s six-year history. The season started brightly, but a downward spiral began post-Christmas which ultimately led to the resignation of coach Ricki Herbert, and a last-place finish for the Phoenix.

He has spoken of his desire to give young Kiwi talent a chance to impress and force their way into Phoenix reckoning. While this philosophy had been preached in the past, it’s notable that two of New Zealand’s brightest young talents, Kosta

After an exhaustive search, Ernie Merrick was unveiled as the club’s new head coach in May. Merrick has a track record of A-League success, having guided Melbourne Victory to two Championships. He retained a keen interest in Australasian football during his time away from the league, and has devised a system he believes will be successful in the cut-and-thrust of a competition that improves every year and shows no sign of reaching a plateau any time soon.

THERE IS A STEELY DETERMINATION AMONG THE PLAYING GROUP TO PUT THE 2012/13 SEASON BEHIND THEM

Merrick has shaken off the tag of dour Scotsman and breezed through the club like a breath of fresh air. He’s involved himself in community activities, responded positively to media requests and even embraced the experience of Wellington city’s recent earthquakes.

6

Barbarouses and Marco Rojas, had to leave Wellington to realise their true potential. Merrick, though, has given several youngsters the opportunity to trial with the team during pre-season. Talk to any member of the Phoenix squad and you’ll find them loving life under their new mentor. The players have had information overload, as they

www.wellingtonphoenix.com

come to grips with the system preferred by their new coach. Even the most experienced members of the team are gleefully soaking up the knowledge required to play the Merrick way. When he talks, the players listen, eager to understand his messages and put them to practise on the field. There is a steely determination among the playing group to put the 2012/13 season behind them. As last season lurched from one disaster to the next, the toll on the players was obvious. Previously carefree, players were more often seen with shoulders slumped. The fun had gone from their football and each defeat was greeted with an almost resigned inevitability. But, these are proud players and Wellington Phoenix has been built on a philosophy of giving everything for the shirt. The owners were vocal last year (often overly so) in their desire for an attacking brand of football, one which would attract fans back to Westpac Stadium. In Merrick, they’ve found a coach to implement such a style. If the noises coming from the playing group are anything to go by, the team itself is ready to put in to practise what they’ve learned from Merrick through hours on the training field and in front of the whiteboard. The Phoenix will certainly be fun to watch in 2013/14.


Welcoming the new dawn

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T H E R E J U V E N AT I O N O F T H E P H O E N I X By RUSSELL GRAY When Ernie Merrick turned up for his first training session as head coach of the Wellington Phoenix he must have wondered what he had taken on. Merrick, who won the Hyundai A-League twice with Melbourne Victory and lost another final to Sydney FC on penalties, had only 10 players to work with on that morning back in June. Five of the previous season’s first-team squad had been released from their contracts; Carlos Hernandez, signed by former coach Ricki Herbert, had yet to arrive in Wellington after finishing a season in India; Jeremy Brockie was on loan in Toronto; Michael Boxall was on loan in Victoria; and young tyros Louis Fenton and Tyler Boyd were away preparing to represent New Zealand at the under-20 World Cup. But, fast forward three months and Merrick is getting his message across to his squad of 26 players, 19 of which are contracted for the coming season. Among those hanging on Merrick’s every word are three or four young players who are still in the hunt for professional contracts. Merrick has already practised what he was preaching by signing young Australians Lewis Italiano, Reece Caira and Joshua Brindell-South. New Zealand under-20 captain Luke Adams has also been signed, along with under-17 New Zealand player Alex Rufer, who has a three-year contract with the club. The coach smiled as he was reminded of those early days at Newtown Park. “Yes, it was a challenge but it was also exciting,” Scottish-born Merrick said.

“With five or six players out of contract I knew I could bring some young players in along with a couple of senior players.

Despite his acceptance of the low numbers he was faced with in the early days at the Phoenix, Merrick is delighted with the squad he has now.

“I had always felt that in the past the Phoenix had struggled a bit in midfield and up front, while they had always had a solid defence.

A big part of his coaching is breaking down a game into back third, middle third and attacking third.

“I FEEL WE ARE DEFINITELY ON THE RIGHT TRACK,” MERRICK SAYS. “There were some pluses early on. To have Carlos Hernandez coming in and having retained Vince Lia and Manny Muscat was important. “I also had the chance to bring in a couple of attacking players and getting one with the quality of Kenny Cunningham was a massive boost. “We had good quality and experience through the spine of the side and we had the previous season’s Golden Boot runner-up in Jeremy Brockie. “Brockie had been terrific scoring goals the previous season but I felt that load had to be shared. “With the experience we had it was important to bring in quality young players to get the right balance.” Almost 30 young players have trialled with the Phoenix pre-season and there was a wealth of quality among them, making it a certainty that some of those who don’t immediately snare a professional contract will slip easily into the Phoenix Football School of Excellence. www.wellingtonphoenix.com

“I enjoy working that way and then bringing it together and playing 11 versus 11 regularly,” he said. “That way everyone knows their individual job, their group job and their team job.” To say the players have enjoyed pre-season training, including the hard yards they’ve been put through courtesy of fitness coach Lee Spence and sports scientist Ed Baranowski, is something of an understatement. They love the attacking approach that Merrick has introduced and the mantra “pass and move, pass and move, look forward” is now entrenched in their psyche. When it comes to football, Merrick is a workaholic and once training is over for the day it is time to analyse games on DVD, including last season’s Phoenix games as well as those played by some of the world’s top clubs. Satisfaction comes in the form of good performances and results. The Phoenix have played seven pre-season games, and lost only one, scoring plenty of goals in the process. “I feel we are definitely on the right track,” Merrick says. “We have a good level of fitness, a good complement of young players allied to a group of quality senior players and we are scoring goals.” 9


T H E N E W FAC E S OF THE PHOENIX There will be plenty of new faces for Wellington Phoenix fans to get used to when the Hyundai A-League season kicks off.

Carlos Hernandez

Alex Rufer

10

Kenny Cunningham

www.wellingtonphoenix.com

So far, there are seven newcomers in the Phoenix squad with more to come in the near future. The first new name on the playing roster is Costa Rican star Carlos Hernandez, signed by former coach Ricki Herbert and welcomed by new coach Ernie Merrick, who worked with him at Melbourne Victory. A talented individual with outstanding technique, Hernandez is a former winner of the Johnny Warren Medal for the best player in the A-League. Hernandez pairing up with his compatriot Kenny Cunningham is a mouth-watering prospect. Cunningham is a regular firstteam player with the Costa Rican national team, who have already qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He is a quicksilver striker and opposing defences are going to have their hands full holding-off the Costa Rican pair. Left back Reece Caira, 20, joins the Phoenix from Western Sydney Wanderers. He has also spent three years with English Premier League club Aston Villa. Another youngster who has spent time overseas is Luke Adams, one of Merrick’s first signings. Adams, 19, captained both the New Zealand Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup teams. The central defender had two spells with English club Birmingham City in their Under-18 side, and spent time at Derby County where he was hampered by a serious knee injury. Josh Brindell-South, 20, comes to the Phoenix from Queensland where he played for National Premier League side Moreton Bay United. A fullback who can play on either the left or right, Brindell-South aggravated a groin strain during the third session of his Phoenix trial, but Merrick thought enough of him to allow Brindell-South to complete his rehabilitation at the Phoenix, before offering him a one-year contract. The youngest signing so far has been 17-year-old Alex Rufer, he is on a three-year contract after impressing Merrick during his first week of trialling. An attacking midfielder or striker, Rufer has lovely feet and can go past defenders. Merrick forecasts a bright future for the youngster. Goalkeeper Lewis Italiano comes from Perth Glory and is highly recommended by Phoenix goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould, who worked with him at Glory last season. Standing 1.89 metres tall, Italiano, 22, cuts an imposing figure between the posts and will be an able deputy for number-one keeper, Glen Moss. Unfortunately, Italiano hasn’t been able to train with the Phoenix in pre-season after sustaining an ankle injury in the last five minutes of his final game for Victorian Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons.


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A sports team is nothing without its fans. Since the club’s inception, the Wellington Phoenix have been blessed with some of the most ardent and vocal supporters in the history of New Zealand sport. They are the YELLOW FEVER.

RISING TO FEVER PITCH

Before each home game, the Fever faithful meet for prematch conviviality at the iconic Backbencher pub. They then march en masse to Westpac Stadium – also known as the “Ring of Fire” to the Fever – just in time for kick-off. Within the stadium, the Fever Zone stretches across aisles 20 to 22, alongside the player tunnel at the southern end of the arena. As well as guaranteeing a rousing welcome when the team takes to the field, it also makes for an uncomfortable exit for any opposition player unfortunate enough to be sent off, as the long walk to the changing rooms takes them right past the gleeful, unforgiving home fans. Yellow Fever is not an exclusive club – everyone is welcome in aisles 20 to 22 – but don’t expect to spend much time sitting down, most Yellow Fever fans spend the entire game on their feet. From the moment the game starts, continuous chanting emanates from the Fever Zone. The popular staples, Oh, Wellington and Phoenix ‘til I Di”, are mixed with chants dedicated to specific Phoenix players, and opposition teams. Banners are often unfurled, which

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stretch across 20 or more rows of seating, to commemorate significant events, such as a player bringing up 100 games or leaving the club after years of service. One of the more well-known and popular Yellow Fever traditions happens if the Phoenix are leading the game with 10 minutes to go on the clock. As the stadium clock ticks over 80 minutes, shirts are removed and swung around the heads of hundreds of bare-chested fans. No matter the weather the tradition continues, although the bitter

Wellington southerly and sideways rain has tested the dedication of the hardiest of fans, on a few occasions. Yellow Fever is an extremely

well-organised fan-base. They expertly operate an enormously popular website, are very active on Facebook and Twitter and record a regular podcast.

YELLOW FEVER DETAILS: WEBSITE: WWW.YELLOWFEVER.CO.NZ FACEBOOK: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/YELLOWFEVERNZ TWITTER: @YELLOWFEVER


Wellington Phoenix Football Club SeaSon 2013/14

www.wellingtonphoenix.com

Photography & Design by

ELIEVE

www.tbd.co.nz

Left to right: Joshua Brindell-South, Reece Caira, Lewis Italiano, Tyler Boyd, Michael Boxall, Kenny Cunningham, Glen Moss, Carlos Hernandez, Jeremy Brockie, Andrew Durante (Captain), Ben Sigmund, Paul Ifill, Leo Bertos, Stein Huysegems, Vince Lia, Manny Muscat, Louis Fenton, Alex Rufer, Luke Adams, Ernie Merrick (Head Coach), Chris Greenacre (Assistant Coach), Jonathan Gould (Goal Keeping Coach).

B


ROUND 8

Sun December 1

Sun December 1

Sat November 30

Sat November 30

Fri November 29

Sun November 24

Adelaide United

Melbourne Heart

Wellington Phoenix

Sydney FC

Brisbane Roar

Central Coast Mariners

Newcastle Jets

v Brisbane Roar

v Adelaide United

v Western Sydney Wanderers

v Newcastle Jets

v Perth Glory

v Melbourne Victory

v Melbourne Heart

Coopers Stadium

AAMI Park

Westpac Stadium

Allianz Stadium

Suncorp Stadium 5:00PM

7:30PM

4:30PM

Bluetongue Stadium 7:30PM

Hunter Stadium

7:00PM

5:00PM Sun March 9

Sun March 9

Sat March 8

Sat March 8

ROUND 22 Fri March 7

Sun March 2 Sun March 2

Brisbane Roar

Wellington Phoenix

Sydney FC

Newcastle Jets

Melbourne Victory

Adelaide United Western Sydney Wanderers

v Adelaide United

v Perth Glory

v Western Sydney Wanderers

v Melbourne Heart

v Central Coast Mariners

v Wellington Phoenix * v Newcastle Jets

Suncorp Stadium

Westpac Stadium

Allianz Stadium

Hunter Stadium

AAMI Park

4:00PM

5:00PM

7:30PM

5:30PM

7:30PM

Coopers Stadium 5:00PM Parramatta Stadium 5:00PM

5:00PM

Fri December 6

v Adelaide United

v Brisbane Roar

Parramatta Stadium 5:30PM

Allianz Stadium

6:30PM

Bluetongue Stadium 7:30PM

11.45PM

Sydney FC

NIB Stadium

7:00PM

6:00PM

ROUND 9 v Wellington Phoenix *

Western Sydney Wanderers

v Melbourne Victory

v Newcastle Jets

AAMI Park

v Melbourne Heart

v Western Sydney Wanderers

v Central Coast Mariners

Suncorp Stadium

Hunter Stadium

Coopers Stadium

7:30PM

7:00PM

North Sydney Oval 9:30PM

Allianz Stadium

7:00PM

5:00PM

7:30PM

Perth Glory

Central Coast Mariners

Coopers Stadium

NIB Stadium

Fri December 6 Sat March 15

Perth Glory

v Wellington Phoenix *

ROUND 23 Fri March 14 Sat March 15

v Sydney FC

Parramatta Stadium 5:30PM

Sat March 15

Adelaide United

Melbourne Heart

Bluetongue Stadium 7:30PM 5:00PM

Sun March 16

v Melbourne Heart

7:30PM

v Sydney FC AAMI Park

5:30PM

Western Sydney Wanderers

AAMI Park

Central Coast Mariners v Newscastle Jets

Westpac Stadium

Sat December 7 Melbourne Victory

v Brisbane Roar

v Perth Glory

Sat December 7 Sun December 8

Wellington Phoenix *

Melbourne Victory

v Wellington Phoenix *

AAMI Stadium

4:00PM

Sat December 14 Adelaide United

v Newcastle Jets

NIB Stadium

Westpac Stadium

Denotes Auckland Game

Denotes Napier Game

Denotes Christchurch Game

Denotes Away Games.

Sat April 5

Sat April 5

Sat April 5

ROUND 26 Fri April 4

Sun March 30

Sat March 29

Sat March 29

Sat March 29

Sydney FC

Perth Glory

Western Sydney Wanderers

Newcastle Jets

Adelaide United

Perth Glory

Melbourne Victory

Central Coast Mariners

Wellington Phoenix

v Wellington Phoenix *

v Central Coast Mariners

v Brisbane Roar

v Melbourne Victory

v Melbourne Heart

v Newcastle Jets

v Sydney FC

v Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers

Allianz Stadium

NIB Stadium

Parramatta Stadium 7:30PM

Hunter Stadium

Coopers Stadium

NIB Stadium

Eithad Stadium

5:30PM

7:00PM

2:00PM

7:30PM

Bluetongue Stadium 5:30PM

Westpac Stadium

7:00PM

6:30PM

5:00PM

7:00PM

Sat April 12

Sat April 12

Sat April 12

Sydney FC

Brisbane Roar

Melbourne Heart

Wellington Phoenix

Newcastle Jets

v Fifth Placed

v Sixth Placed

v Perth Glory

v Central Coast Mariners

v Western Sydney Wanderers

v Melbourne Victory

v Adelaide United

TBC

Allianz Stadium

Suncorp Stadium

AAMI Park

Westpac Stadium

Hunter Stadium

7:30PM

5:30PM

5:30PM

7:30PM

ELIEVE

TBC

TBC

5:00PM

Sun April 13

Fourth Placed

ELIMINATION April 17-20 FINAL April 17-20

TBC

Third Placed

ROUND 27 Fri April 11

Sun April 6

ROUND 25 Fri March 28

7:30PM 6:30PM

Sat December 14

v Melbourne Victory

Parramatta Stadium 7:00PM

3:00PM

v Sydney FC

7:30PM

Hunter Stadium Suncorp Stadium

v Adelaide United

Allianz Stadium

7:30PM

9:30PM

AAMI Park

v Central Coast Mariners

AAMI Park

7:00PM

4:30PM

v Wellington Phoenix * v Melbourne Victory

v Brisbane Roar

AAMI Park

ROUND 13 Wed January 1

ROUND 14 Fri January 10

v Central Coast Mariners

v Wellington Phoenix *

TBC

Newcastle Jets Brisbane Roar

v Western Sydney Wanderers

Bluetongue Stadium 6:00PM

Coopers Stadiun

7:00PM

Parramatta Stadium 9:00PM

TBC

Melbourne Heart

v Newcastle Jets

Coopers Stadium

7:30PM

5:30PM

TBC

4:00PM

Sat March 22 Sat March 22

Sydney FC

Newcastle Jets

v Perth Glory

Hunter Stadium

TBC

Sun March 23

Brisbane Roar

Rescheduled from ROUND 6 Thurs December 19 Central Coast Mariners

Sat December 14

Melbourne Heart

v Sydney FC

v Wellington Phoenix *

AAMI Park

v Lowest Ranked Week 1 Winner

TBC

7:30PM

Sun December 22 Wellington Phoenix

Sun December 15

Melbourne Heart

Sun December 22 Perth Glory

Fri December 20

Melbourne Victory

Mon December 23 Western Sydney Wanderers

Sat December 21

Adelaide United

v Perth Glory

Bluetongue Stadium 5:00PM

First Placed

v Winner Semi-Final 2

v Highest Ranked Week 1 Winner

5:00PM

Fri December 27

Western Sydney Wanderers

v Brisbane Roar

7:30PM

Second Placed

Parramatta Stadium 5:00PM

Sat December 28

Adelaide United

Tues December 31 Central Coast Mariners

Sun December 29

Newcastle Jets

Hunter Stadium

6:45PM

SEMI No 1 April 24-27

Winner Semi-Final 1

Suncorp Stadium

Fri January 3 Melbourne Victory

v Melbourne Heart

NIB Stadium

4:30PM

SEMI No 2 April 24-27

v Perth Glory

Sat January 4 Central Coast Mariners

v Melbourne Victory

Suncorp Stadium

GRAND FINAL Sun May 4

v Melbourne Heart

Sat January 4

Newcastle Jets

v Melbourne Heart

Parramatta Stadium 7:30PM

Brisbane Roar

Sun January 5

Perth Glory

v Adelaide United

Westpac Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers

Fri January 10 Brisbane Roar

v Central Coast Mariners

v Sydney FC

Sun March 23

Sat January 11

Wellington Phoenix

Western Sydney Wanderers

ROUND 24 Fri March 21

ROUND 10 Fri December 13

ROUND 11

Sat January 11

ROUND 12 Thurs December 26 Sydney FC

Sun January 12 Denotes Home Games

Please note, kick off times are local times. * Denotes kick off times for all Phoenix away games are in NZ time. All Wellington Phoenix games (home and away) are live on Sky TV (Sky Sport) and all home games are live on Radio Sport.

B


HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE ROUND ROUND ROUND 1 ROUND 1

DATE DATE Fri October 11 Fri October 11 Sat October 12 Sat October 12 Sat October 12 Sat October 12 Sun October 13 Sun October 13 Sun October 13 Sun October 13

HOME HOME Sydney FC Sydney FC Central Coast Mariners Central Coast Mariners Melbourne Victory Melbourne Victory Wellington Phoenix Wellington Phoenix Adelaide United Adelaide United v v v v v v v v v v Melbourne Victory Melbourne Victory Central Coast Mariners Central Coast Mariners Sydney FC Sydney FC Perth Glory Perth Glory Wellington Phoenix * Wellington Phoenix * Brisbane Roar Brisbane Roar Adelaide United Adelaide United Western Sydney Wanderers Western Sydney Wanderers Newcastle Jets Newcastle Jets Melbourne Heart Melbourne Heart Adelaide United Adelaide United Sydney FC Sydney FC Central Coast Mariners Central Coast Mariners Melbourne Heart Melbourne Heart Wellington Phoenix * Wellington Phoenix * Western Sydney Wanderers Western Sydney Wanderers Perth Glory Perth Glory Newcastle Jets Newcastle Jets Melbourne Victtory Melbourne Victtory Brisbane Roar Brisbane Roar Sydney FC Sydney FC Adelaide United Adelaide United Melbourne Victory Melbourne Victory Brisbane Roar Brisbane Roar Western Sydney Wanderers Western Sydney Wanderers Wellington Phoenix * Wellington Phoenix * Adelaide United Adelaide United Central Coast Mariners Central Coast Mariners

AWAY VENUE TIME AWAY VENUE TIME Newcastle Jets Allianz Stadium 7:30PM Newcastle Jets Allianz Stadium 7:30PM Western Sydney Wanderers Bluetongue Stadium 5:30PM Western Sydney Wanderers Bluetongue Stadium 5:30PM Melbourne Heart Etihad Stadium 7:30PM Etihad Stadium 7:30PM Melbourne Heart Brisbane Roar Westpac Stadium 5.00PM Westpac Stadium 5.00PM Brisbane Roar Perth Glory Coopers Stadium 4:30PM Coopers Stadium 4:30PM Perth Glory

2013/14 DRAW

ROUND 2 ROUND 2 v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v ROUND 7 ROUND 7

ROUND 6 ROUND 6

ROUND 5 ROUND 5

ROUND 4 ROUND 4

ROUND 3 ROUND 3

Adelaide United Adelaide United Melbourne Heart Melbourne Heart Brisbane Roar Brisbane Roar Newcastle Jets Newcastle Jets Western Sydney Wanderers Western Sydney Wanderers Melbourne Victory Melbourne Victory Central Coast Mariners Central Coast Mariners Sydney FC Sydney FC Wellington Phoenix Wellington Phoenix Perth Glory Perth Glory Western Sydney Wanderers Western Sydney Wanderers Perth Glory Perth Glory Newcastle Jets Newcastle Jets Brisbane Roar Brisbane Roar Melbourne Victory Melbourne Victory Melbourne Heart Melbourne Heart Wellington Phoenix Wellington Phoenix Adelaide United Adelaide United Sydney FC Sydney FC Central Coast Mariners Central Coast Mariners Melbourne Heart Melbourne Heart Perth Glory Perth Glory Western City Wanderers Western City Wanderers Newcastle Jets Newcastle Jets Brisbane Roar Brisbane Roar Sydney FC Sydney FC Melbourne Victory Melbourne Victory Perth Glory Perth Glory

Coopers Stadium 7:00PM Coopers Stadium 7:00PM AAMI Park 5:30PM AAMI Park 5:30PM Suncorp Stadium 6:30PM Suncorp Stadium 6:30PM Hunter Stadium 3:00PM Hunter Stadium 3:00PM Parramatta Stadium 7:00PM Parramatta Stadium 7:00PM Etihad Stadium 7:30PM Etihad Stadium 7:30PM Bluetongue Stadium 5:30PM Bluetongue Stadium 5:30PM Allianz Stadium 7:30PM Allianz Stadium 7:30PM McLean Park, Napier 5:00PM McLean Park, Napier 5:00PM NIB Stadium 2:00PM NIB Stadium 2:00PM Parramatta Stadium 7:30PM Parramatta Stadium 7:30PM NIB Stadium 2:30PM NIB Stadium 2:30PM Hunter Stadium 7:30PM Hunter Stadium 7:30PM Suncorp Stadium 4:00PM Suncorp Stadium 4:00PM Etihad Stadium 9:30PM Etihad Stadium 9:30PM AAMI Park 7:30PM AAMI Park 7:30PM AMI Stadium, Chch 5:30PM AMI Stadium, Chch 5:30PM Coopers Stadium 5:00PM Coopers Stadium 5:00PM Allianz Stadium 7:30PM Allianz Stadium 7:30PM Bluetongue Stadium 5:00PM Bluetongue Stadium 5:00PM AAMI Park 7:30PM AAMI Park 7:30PM NIB Stadium 2:30PM NIB Stadium 2:30PM Parramatta Stadium 7:30PM Parramatta Stadium 7:30PM Hunter Stadium 5:00PM Hunter Stadium 5:00PM Suncorp Stadium 7:00PM Suncorp Stadium 7:00PM Allianz Stadium 7:30PM Allianz Stadium 7:30PM Etihad Stadium 7:30PM Etihad Stadium 7:30PM NIB Stadium 6:30PM NIB Stadium 6:30PM

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H U AW E I B A C K S T H E P H O E N I X By NICHOLAS WILSON If the attempts by Phoenix players and staff to pronounce their new sponsor’s name are anything to go by, it’s about time we introduced ourselves. Huawei (pronounced ‘wah-way’) is the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment, and also the third largest smartphone brand. Our headquarters are in China, but we are a truly multinational company with operations in 140 countries at last count. Here in New Zealand we have 120 staff, and it is estimated that around one-third of the world’s population uses Huawei technologies and equipment to connect with each other.

in the club and believes the Phoenix can achieve great things – as they have already done, on many occasions. Football is a natural fit for us, too. As the biggest game in the world, football is one of the few things which can be found in even more places than Huawei. We’ve already formed some great partnerships in football with Huawei backing Atlético de Madrid in their match against Real Madrid and supporting the All Whites against China in Shanghai last year. Huawei also announced a twoyear sponsorship deal with the Spanish Football League (LFP) back in June of this year. However, joining with the Phoenix for the next three seasons at least will be, by far, our most significant and closest partnership, and one we are very excited about.

“…JOINING WITH THE PHOENIX FOR THE NEXT THREE SEASONS AT LEAST WILL BE, BY FAR, OUR MOST SIGNIFICANT AND CLOSEST PARTNERSHIP…”

Despite this, you’d still be forgiven for not recognising our logo, as it’s only been in very recent years that we’ve expanded from the behind-thescenes networking activity to start producing our own brand of smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices. This means you’ll now be seeing the Huawei brand showing up in a lot more places – in particular, the front of the new Wellington Phoenix shirt.

For Huawei, the decision to partner with the Phoenix was a very simple one. First, it must be said that the Phoenix is a fantastic organisation. Everyone from the players to the coaching staff, the management to the owners believes

There is no question the Phoenix have some of the most passionate and dedicated fans around, and we are thrilled to be joining the Phoenix family. We met many of you at this year’s Community Day, and our hope is that, as principal partner, Huawei can add to the experience of Phoenix fans and maybe help to add some new ones along the way. It’s a new-look uniform with the Huawei logo this year and we think it’s great timing, with a new coach, some new players and a fresh feel to the team. We’re looking forward to the season. We’ll see you at the stadium.

Huawei NZ Public Affairs Manager Andrew Bowater with Phoenix players (left to right) Louis Fenton, Glen Moss, Andrew Durante, Jeremy Brockie and Paul Ifill.

18

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E V I L E E

WELLINGTON PHOENIX GLENN MOSS

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MANNY MUSCAT

POSITION: Defensive Midfielder DOB: 7 December, 1984 PHOENIX GAMES: 119 PHOENIX GOALS: 2

WHEN Muscat arrived at the club in 2008, it was really just as cover in the fullback position until more established players returned. Five years later he’s one of the most valuable members of the side, not to mention a Maltese international. He’s able to play both sides of the back four but his best position is the defensive screen in front of the back four. Muscat is a combative, reliable player who brought up his century of games for the Phoenix last season.

POSITION: Goalkeeper DOB: 19 January, 1983 PHOENIX GAMES: 39 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

REECE CAIRA

POSITION: Left Fullback DOB: 7 January, 1993 PHOENIX GAMES: 0 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

IN HIS second stint at the Phoenix, Moss is now undoubtedly the first-choice goalkeeper for club and country after the retirement of Mark Paston. He played the first two seasons for the Phoenix before leaving Wellington to spend time at Melbourne Victory and Gold Coast United. He returned to the club at the start of last season, but made just six appearances. A vocal custodian with agility and good shot-stopping ability, Moss has also played 23 times for the All Whites.

A NEW FACE to the club this season, Caira was a member of the Australian squad at the FIFA under20 World Cup in Turkey earlier this year. He spent three years at Aston Villa before joining the Western Sydney Wanderers last season, but played just two games. Caira has crossed the Tasman looking for greater playing opportunities and with Tony Lochhead now departed he’ll have the chance to make the left fullback position his own. A pacy fullback who is also capable of playing in midfield.


P L AY E R P R O F I L E S LUKE ADAMS

POSITION: Central Defender DOB: 8 May, 1994 PHOENIX GAMES: 0 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

LEO BERTOS

POSITION: Attacking Midfielder DOB: 20 December 1981 PHOENIX GAMES: 120 PHOENIX GOALS: 8

By JASON PINE

ADAMS captained the New Zealand side at the FIFA under-20 World Cup in Turkey this year where he caught the eye of the Phoenix coaching staff and was offered a professional contract shortly after returning home. Having also represented New Zealand at under-17 level, Adams is a tall, composed central defender with good potential. He was one of the youngest players ever to appear in New Zealand’s national competition when he made his senior debut for Waitakere United aged just 15 and has also spent time at Birmingham City and Derby County in the United Kingdom. While centre-back is his preference, Adams can also slot in at fullback.

BERTOS IS one of the most recognisable faces in New Zealand football. Wellington born and raised, he played his early football in New Zealand before heading offshore for stints with Barnsley and Rochdale amongst others. He found his way back to the A-League in 2006 and after 36 appearances in two seasons for Perth Glory he returned to Wellington and has been a vital member of the Phoenix ever since. Bertos has played 54 times for the All Whites, delivered the cross which led to Rory Fallon’s goal against Bahrain to send New Zealand to the 2010 World Cup and last year brought up his century of appearances for the Phoenix as well as playing his 150th A-League match.

MICHAEL BOXALL

POSITION: Central Defender DOB: 18 August, 1988 PHOENIX GAMES: 4 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

PAUL IFILL

POSITION: Striker DOB: 20 October, 1979 PHOENIX GAMES: 95 PHOENIX GOALS: 31

BOXALL played his early football for Central United, Three Kings United and Ellerslie, before three years at the University of California and a year at the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS. He joined the Phoenix last year, but was limited to just four appearances in his debut season at the club. He made his All Whites debut in 2011 and has played seven internationals for New Zealand. A no-nonsense defender who has spent part of the off-season playing for the Oakleigh Cannons in the Victorian Premier League, he’ll provide capable cover for the established centre-back pair of Ben Sigmund and Andrew Durante.

WHEN IFILL arrived in New Zealand three years ago, very few people on this side of the world had heard of him, but now there wouldn’t be a football fan in Australasia who doesn’t recognise him. He’s the scorer of spectacular goals, a mazy dribbler with ball at feet, a constant threat to opposition defenders and the Phoenix’s go-to guy when they really need a goal. He is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, a Barbados international and was a member of the A-League All-Stars side which played Manchester United earlier this year. While injuries have sometimes blighted his Phoenix career, Ifill is set to bring up his century of appearances early in the new season.

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WELLINGTON PHOENIX PLAYER PROFILES

KENNY CUNNINGHAM

POSITION: Striker DOB: 7 June, 1985 PHOENIX GAMES: 0 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

JEREMY BROCKIE

POSITION: Striker DOB: 7 October, 1987 PHOENIX GAMES: 24 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

ALEX RUFER

POSITION: Midfielder DOB: 12 June, 1996 PHOENIX GAMES: 0 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

VINCE LIA

POSITION: Midfielder DOB: 28 March, 1985 PHOENIX GAMES: 107 PHOENIX GOALS: 2

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CUNNINGHAM was Ernie Merrick’s first international signing as Phoenix coach after being brought to his attention by fellow Costa Rican international Carlos Hernandez. His arrival in Wellington is something of a coup, with Cunningham a lightning quick attacker who loves nothing better than picking up the ball in wide positions and running at speed into the attacking third. He featured for his country in their recent Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying campaigns and is set to terrorise A-League defences in the season ahead.

BROCKIE could hardly have wished for a better debut season in Wellington, scoring 16 goals in 2012/13, leaving him just short of claiming the A-League’s overall Golden Boot. Many of the strikes were spectacular efforts which left fans and commentators searching for superlatives. He was also voted the Phoenix Player’s Player of the Year. Prior to last season, Brockie was something of an A-League journeyman, spending time at the Knights, Sydney FC, North Queensland Fury and the Newcastle Jets before joining the Phoenix. He’s played 39 times for the All Whites and went to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

RUFER IS an attacking undivulged who signed a three-year contract with the Phoenix earlier this year at the age of just 17. Having played in the senior ranks at Manawatu and Western Suburbs, Rufer caught coach Ernie Merrick’s eye during a trial stint at the club. A composed player with good dribbling skills, a wide range of passing and powerful shot, Rufer is a key member of the New Zealand side which will contest the FIFA under-17 World Cup in the UAE later this year. Rufer is the son of former All White Shane Rufer and the nephew of arguably New Zealand’s finest ever player Wynton Rufer.

LIA IS THE only current squad player to have been at the Phoenix for all six seasons of the club’s existence. Injuries plagued his first two years at the club and in fact he didn’t play at all in 2008/09 with a very serious ACL injury suffered in preseason. In the four seasons since, he’s been a regular and chalked up his century of appearances during last season. Lia was previously at Melbourne Victory and played age-group internationals for Australia. He is versatile enough to play in midfield or at fullback and always gives everything for 90 minutes. He’ll likely play alongside Manny Muscat in defensive midfield in 2013/14.

continued

STEIN HUYSEGEMS

POSITION: Striker DOB: 16 June, 1982 PHOENIX GAMES: 23 PHOENIX GOALS: 5

TYLER BOYD

POSITION: Striker DOB: 30 December, 1994 PHOENIX GAMES: 24 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

LOUIS FENTON

POSITION: Midfielder/Right Fullback DOB: 3 April, 1993 PHOENIX GAMES: 25 PHOENIX GOALS: 3

BEN SIGMUND

POSITION: Central Defender DOB: 3 February, 1981 PHOENIX GAMES: 115 PHOENIX GOALS: 7

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A BELGIAN international striker, Huysegems arrived at the Phoenix at the start of last season and immediately made a mark with three goals in his first four matches. While the goals dried up somewhat after that, he remained a tireless centre-forward with an impeccable first touch and the ability to bring team-mates into the game with deft passes, as well as being a dangerous aerial threat. Huysegems has played in the top leagues in Belgium and Holland, including stints with Feyenoord, AZ and FC Twente and has represented his country on 15 occasions.

BOYD was part of the first intake into the Phoenix’s Football School of Excellence last season and did enough to earn his first professional contract – a three-year deal – at the age of just 17. His appearances in his debut A-League season were mainly from the bench although he did start seven matches. He was a member of the New Zealand side which competed at the FIFA under-20 World Cup in Turkey this year, starting all three games. Boyd is still searching for his first A-League goal, but the Waikato youngster has the potential to go all the way as a professional footballer.

THE TAWA product was a revelation in his first season as a professional footballer, marking his debut with a spectacular diving header in the season-opening 2–0 win over Sydney FC in Wellington. Fenton went on to feature in the majority of Phoenix games last season, combining his trademark tenacity with clever ball control and fearless tackling. He’s been converted by Ernie Merrick into a right fullback in pre-season and is set to play in that position when the A-League gets underway. Voted Phoenix Young Player of the Year last season and an age-group New Zealand representative, Fenton has immense potential at club and international level. SIGMUND is a Phoenix success story, joining the club from New Zealand’s national league in 2008 and becoming not just a regular in the side but a stand-out. He won consecutive Player of the Year awards in 2010/11 and 2011/12 and is renowned for his no-nonsense defending, wholehearted commitment and never-say-die attitude. Sigmund has formed a solid defensive partnership with skipper Andrew Durante and has hardly missed a match in the past three seasons while also chipping in with vital goals, often from set pieces. He’s played 31 internationals for the All Whites, scoring twice.


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WELLINGTON PHOENIX PLAYER PROFILES

LEWIS ITALIANO

POSITION: Goalkeeper DOB: 10 December, 1990 PHOENIX GAMES: 0 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

A NEW FACE at the Phoenix, Italiano worked with goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould when the pair were together at Perth Glory and was Ernie Merrick’s first signing as Phoenix coach. He’s spent time with the Oakleigh Cannons in the Victorian Premier League this year, where he was regarded by many as the best goalkeeper in the league. At 1.89m tall and just 22 years of age, Italiano will provide solid back-up and competition for Glen Moss.

DURANTE has been the skipper of the Wellington Phoenix since his arrival in 2008. He is a calm, composed central defender who reads the game as well as anyone in the A-League, marshals his fellow defenders brilliantly and repels attacks with perfectly timed tackles, last-ditch interventions and excellent aerial ability. His consistency is ANDREW DURANTE CAPTAIN legendary – he once played 50 straight Phoenix matches during which time he wasn’t substituted, POSITION: Central Defender injured, suspended, sent off or dropped. After DOB: 3 May, 1982 gaining New Zealand citizenship earlier this year PHOENIX GAMES: 128 and FIFA approval to shift allegiances from his native Australia, he is set to play an integral part in PHOENIX GOALS: 2 the All Whites’ push for a place at Brazil 2014.

continued

CARLOS HERNANDEZ

POSITION: Attacking Midfielder DOB: 9 April, 1982 PHOENIX GAMES: 0 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

JOSHUA BRINDELL-SOUTH POSITION: Fullback

DOB: 28 October, 1992 PHOENIX GAMES: 24 PHOENIX GOALS: 0

HERNANDEZ was a superstar during his time with Melbourne Victory, winning the Johnny Warren Medal for the A-League’s best player in 2009/10 and scoring spectacular goals during his five seasons at the club. After a stint in India, Hernandez signed for the Phoenix in February and arrived with expectation that he might be the creative attacking midfielder the club has long sought. A dead ball specialist and entertainer of the highest order, Hernandez has been reunited with coach Merrick who originally brought him to the A-League and is set to get hearts racing at Westpac Stadium in 2013/14.

THE QUEENSLAND youngster is one of the latest additions to the club having played most recently for Moreton Bay United in Queensland’s National Premier League alongside former Phoenix players Karl Dodd and Royce Brownlie. His trial period in Wellington was almost stymied by a niggling groin injury, but Brindell-South impressed enough to be allowed to rehabilitate in Wellington and then earn a one-year contract. He fits the Ernie Merrick game-plan of being an attacking fullback with good pace and endurance. He’s also versatile enough to play on either side of the back four.

COACHING STAFF ERNIE MERRICK

CHRIS GREENACRE

JONATHAN GOULD

POSITION: Head Coach DOB: 3 January 1953

POSITION: Assistant Coach DOB: 23 December 1977

POSITION: Goalkeeping Coach DOB: 18 July 1968

MERRICK succeeds Ricki Herbert as just the second-ever head coach of the Wellington Phoenix. He is the most successful coach in A-League history, having guided Melbourne Victory to championships in 2006/07 and 2008/09. He was named A-League Coach of the Year in 2006/07 and 2009/10. After leaving Melbourne he was coach of the Hong Kong national side before taking up his post at the Phoenix in May. Before the inception of the A-League, Merrick spent 12 years working with young players at the Victorian Institute of Sport. He was born in Scotland and is renowned for encouraging an attacking style of play.

GREENACRE FINISHED his impressive playing career with a three-season stint at the Phoenix during which he scored 19 goals in 84 appearances. Before coming to New Zealand he played over 350 games in England, including time at Manchester City and Tranmere Rovers where he scored 52 goals in 150 appearances. A tireless centre-forward, Greenacre retired at the end of the 2011/12 A-League season to become the Phoenix’s assistant coach and was appointed interim boss for the final five games of last season following Ricki Herbert’s resignation in February. His popularity with players and fans alike meant Ernie Merrick had no hesitation in retaining Greenacre as his right-hand man.

GOULD IS in his second stint as the Phoenix’s goalkeeping coach. He had two seasons at the club in 2009/10 and 2010/11 before a one-year spell with Perth Glory. He returned to the club at the start of last season. Gould is a former Scottish international goalkeeper who played more than 150 games for Celtic and also represented Coventry, Bradford City and Preston North End in England. Gould’s father Bobby was a highly regarded manager who guided Wimbledon to victory in the 1988 FA Cup final against Liverpool and also managed the Welsh national side.

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25


C O S TA R I C A C O M E S T O W E L L I N G T O N By RUSSELL GRAY A-League clubs will need to be on their defensive toes in the coming season, if they don’t want to be undone by the new Costa Rican connection at the Wellington Phoenix.

Kenny Cunningham teaches some Costa Rican style to Wellington youngsters.

Australians know all about Carlos Hernandez, who has joined the New Zealand club after a one-season stint with Prayag FC in India, and they are about to encounter double the Costa Rican trouble in the form of Hernandez’ pal and compatriot, Kenny Cunningham. It was Hernandez who first alerted Phoenix head coach Ernie Merrick to Cunningham’s talents, and since the striker arrived at the club’s Newtown Park training complex Hernandez’ teammates have endorsed his estimation of Cunningham. Fast and tricky, Cunningham will prove a handful for defences. He announced himself in style with a stunning goal in the team’s 3–0 pre-season win over Sydney FC. Out wide on the right flank, Cunningham powered a swerving shot into the top corner of the net to score his team’s opening goal. The easy-going, likeable Cunningham says he meant to bend the ball into the top corner, but his teammates smiled indulgently as they made it obvious they thought it was a cross rather than a shot! Hernandez and Cunningham have settled easily into the tight-knit Phoenix dressing room, sitting side-by-side as they change for a training session. With a ready smile and an impish sense of humour, Hernandez is a little more out-going than his mate, but Cunningham is gradually coming out of his shell and having a laugh with teammates.

Cunningham is now a regular member of the Costa Rican national team that has recently qualified for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, and Hernandez would love to win a place and join him in that squad. To do that, he will need to perform well and that bodes well for Phoenix fans this coming season. During his time under Merrick at Melbourne Victory, Hernandez contributed to the team’s success, especially in the 2009/10 season when he won the coveted Johnny Warren Medal for the best player in the A-League.

The Phoenix players, especially those who have played against him in the past, already knew that Hernandez was a gifted player, but at close quarters on the training pitch they are even more impressed.

Another bonus for the Phoenix is that they are about to pick up a big fan-base in Costa Rica. Hernandez has always been one of his country’s favourite sons and many Costa Ricans became firm Melbourne Victory fans.

His technique is superb, and they know that if they make the right run Hernandez will make sure he finds them. This is also where Cunningham’s lightning speed will come in to play.

Now they will be tuning in to watch the Wellington Phoenix, and hope to see Hernandez and Cunningham form a famous partnership that will help carry the club to success.

whether it’s business or sport we’re on your side Nigel Stirling Claire Byrne Roger Drummond

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K E Y A R R I VAL S & D EPA R T U RES ADELAIDE UNITED

IN: Steven Lustica (from Hajduk Split, Croatia); Michael Zullo (loaned from FC Utrecht), Tarek Elrich (from Western Sydney Wanderers), Isaias Sanchez (from Ponferradina, Spain), Sergio Cirio (from Hospitalet, Spain), Jordan Elsey (elevated from youth side); Awer Mabil (elevated from youth side). OUT: Dario Vidosic (to FC Sion, Switzerland), Iain Fyfe (to Mes Kerman, Iran), Iain Ramsay (to Melbourne Heart), Tomi Juric (to Western Sydney Wanderers), Fabian Barbiero (to Croydon Kings, South Australian Premier League), Evan Kostopoulos (released).

NEWCASTLE UNITED

IN: Kew Jaliens (from Wisla Kraków), Joey Gibbs (from Western Sydney Wanderers), Nathan Burns (from Incheon United, South Korea – on loan), John Solari (from White City, South Australian Premier League). OUT: Jack Duncan (to Perth Glory), Bernardo Ribeiro (to IFK Mariehamn, Finland), Ryan Griffiths (mid-season transfer to Beijing Baxy), Dominik Ritter (released), Marko Jesic (released).

BRISBANE ROAR

IN: Matt McKay (from Changchun Yatai), Liam Miller (from Perth Glory), Diogo Ferreira (from Melbourne Victory), Dimitri Petratos (from Kelantan, Malaysia), Corey Brown (elevated from youth side), George Lambadardis (elevated from youth side). OUT: Massimo Murdocca (to Melbourne Heart), Matt Jurman (to Sydney FC), Mitch Nichols (to Melbourne Victory), Ben Halloran (to Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany), Stefan Nijland (to PEC, Zwolle, Netherlands), Steven Lustica (to Hadjuk Split, Croatia – loan expired), James Meyer (released).

PERTH GLORY

IN: Ljubo Milicevic (from Melbourne Knights), Isaka Cernak (from Wellington Phoenix), Cameron Edwards (from Melbourne Heart), Jack Duncan (from Newcastle Jets), Jamie Maclaren (from Blackburn Rovers, England), Ryan Edwards (from Reading, England – on loan), Sidnei Sciola (from Alki Larnaca, Cyprus), Matthew Davies (elevated from youth side), Riley Woodcock (elevated from youth side), Daniel De Silva (elevated from youth side). OUT: Liam Miller (to Brisbane Roar), Dean Heffernan (to Western Sydney Wanderers), Storm Roux (to Central Coast Mariners), Lewis Italiano (to Wellington Phoenix), Evan Berger (to Marconi Stallions, NSW Premier League), Neil Young (to Perth Glory coaching staff), Nick Ward (released), Matias Cordoba (released).

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS

IN: Liam Reddy (from Sydney United 58 FC), Marcos Flores (from Melbourne Victory), Tom Slater (from Sydney FC), Storm Roux (from Perth Glory), Matt Simon (from Chunnam Dragons, South Korea), Marcel Seip (from VVV Venlo, Netherlands), Michael Neill (elevated from youth side), Hayden Morton (elevated from youth side). OUT: Pedj Bojic (to Sydney FC), Oliver Bozanic (to FC Luzern, Switzerland), Bernie Ibini (to Shanghai SIPG, China), Mattew Ryan (to Club Brugge, Belgium), Daniel McBreen (to Shanghai Dongya F.C – on loan until 30/10/2013), Brad McDonald (to Central Coast Mariners Academy – NSW Premier League), Adriano Pelegrino (to Central Coast Mariners Academy – NSW Premier League), Patrick Zwaanswijk (retired).

SYDNEY FC

IN: Nikola Petkovic (from Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Pedj Bojic (from Central Coast Mariners), Matt Jurman (from Brisbane Roar), Marc Warren (from Airdrie United, Scotland), Corey Gameiro (from Fulham, England), Nick Carle (from Bani Yas – UAE returns from loan), Richard Garcia (from Melbourne Heart). OUT: Terry Antonis (to Parma, Italy), Fabio Alves (to Philadelphia Union, USA), Adam Griffiths (to Selangor FA, Malaysia), Joel Griffiths (to Qingdao Jonoon, China), Paul Reid (to Rockdale City Suns, NSW Premier League), Lucas Neill (released), Kruno Lovrek (released), Nathan Sherlock (released), Trent McClenahan (released), Jarrod Kyle (released).

MELBOURNE HEART

IN: Michael Mifsud (Valletta FC, Malta), Andrea Miglorini (FC Koper, Slovenia – injury replacement), Patrick Kisnorbo (from Leeds United, England), Orlando Engelaar (from PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Massimo Murdocca (from Brisbane Roar), Iain Ramsay (from Adelaide United), Tando Velaphi (from Melbourne Victory), Harry Kewell (from Al-Gharafa, Qatar), Robert Wielaert (from Roda JC Kerkrade, Netherlands), Aziz Behich (from Bursaspor, Turkey), Sam Mitchinson (elevated from youth side), Stefan Mauk (elevated from youth side). OUT: Cameron Edwards (Perth Glory), Josip Tadic (HNK Rijeka, Croatia), Eli Babalj (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Simon Colosimo (to Dempo, India), Clint Bolton (retired), Matt Thompson (released), Fred (released), Marcel Meeuwis (released), Jamie Coyne (released).

WELLINGTON PHOENIX

IN: Lewis Italiano (from Perth Glory), Reece Caira (from Western Sydney Wanderers), Carlos Hernandez (from Prayag United, India), Luke Adams (from Derby, England), Kenny Cunningham (from Club The Strongest, Bolivia), Alex Rufer (from Wairarapa United, New Zealand), Luke Adams (from Derby County, England). OUT: Isaka Cernak (to Perth Glory), Benjamin Totori (Oakleigh Cannons, Victorian Premier League), Tony Lochhead (released), Alex Smith (released), Dani Sanchez (released), Jimmy Downey (released), Lucas Pantelis (released), Mark Paston (retired).

MELBOURNE VICTORY

IN: Mitch Nichols (from Brisbane Roar), Kosta Barbarouses (from FC Alania, Russia), James Troisi (from Atalanta, Italy – on loan), Pablo Contreras (from Olympiakos, Greece). OUT: Marcos Flores (to Central Coast Mariners), Diogo Ferreira (to Brisbane Roar), Tando Velaphi (to Melbourne Heart), Marco Rojas (to VfB Stuttgart, Germany), Daniel Mullen (Dalian Aerbin, China), Billy Celeski (to Al Shaab, UAE), Sam Gallagher (to Richmond, Victorian Premier League), Spase Dilevski (released), Theo Markelis (released). Matthew Foschini (released)

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS

IN: Dean Heffernan (from Perth Glory), Tomi Juric (from Adelaide United), Brendon Santalab (from Chongqing Lifan, China), Josh Barresi (elevated from youth side), Yianni Perkatis (elevated from youth side). OUT: Tarek Elrich (to Adelaide United), Joey Gibbs (to Newcastle Jets), Reece Caira (to Wellington Phoenix), Rocky Visconte (to Suphanburi, Thailand), Dino Kresinger (to Zavrc, Slovenia).

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TEAM PROFILES ADELAIDE UNITED

Last season: 4th in regular season, lost in week one of finals Manager: Josep Gombau Star man: Eugene Galekovic Home ground: Coopers Stadium Website: www.adelaideunited.com.au OFF-FIELD ISSUES blighted Adelaide’s progress last season, culminating in the mid-campaign resignation of coach John Kosmina amid murmurs of player unrest. For a side that had occupied the top two for much of the season, it was a timid end in the first week of the finals. The following day, veteran goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic launched a scathing attack on the club’s hierarchy, prompting thoughts he might not return in 2013/14.

By JASON PINE

players at Barcelona. His well-publicised desire for Adelaide to play beautiful football may take some time to bed in, but if chances can be created, there are certainly plenty of attackminded players to put them away. In the front third, Bruce Djite, Jeronimo Neumann and Marcelo Carrusca are joined by Spaniard Sergio Cirio and loan signing Michael Zullo. Even so, the loss of Dario Vidosic will be keenly felt, with many of the side’s best attacking moments last season going through him. Further back, Galekovic is arguably the A-League’s best goalkeeper and former Phoenix defender Jon McKain will marshal the defence. If Adelaide can quickly grasp the intricacies of Gombau’s system, they have enough firepower to challenge the sternest of A-League defences.

But Galekovic is back and the club has a new coach in Spaniard Josep Gombau, who previously worked with youth

BRISBANE ROAR

Last season: 5th in regular season, lost in week two of finals Manager: Mike Mulvey Star man: Besart Berisha Home ground: Suncorp Stadium Website: www.brisbaneroar.com.au BRISBANE WON back-to-back championships in 2010/11 and 2011/12 but weren’t quite the same unstoppable force last season and needed a late run to confirm their place in the top six, before losing to Western Sydney in week two of the finals. The return of Matt McKay, one of the club’s favourite sons, will be a huge boost. McKay played 131 games for the Roar across six seasons and led them to their maiden title in 2010/11 before moving offshore for stints in Scotland, South Korea and China. The current Socceroo is a box-to-box

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS

Last season: 2nd in regular season, Grand Final winners Manager: Graham Arnold Star man: Marcos Flores Home ground: Bluetongue Stadium Website: www.ccmariners.com.au AFTER BEING perennial playoff participants and three-time Grand Final runners-up, the Mariners finally broke their duck and won the A-League in 2012/13. The success was built on a true team effort with veteran striker Daniel McBreen an unlikely Golden Boot winner. Coached brilliantly by Graham Arnold, the Mariners were worthy champions, having come so close in previous seasons. Despite losing some key players from the title-winning squad, such as Pedj Bojic (Sydney FC), Patrick Zwaanswijk (retired) and goalkeeper Mat Ryan (Club Brugge, Belgium), Arnold has recruited wisely, bringing former fan-favourite

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midfielder who is still found chasing balls deep into injury time. McKay will be partnered in midfield by Irishman Liam Miller who has joined the club after two seasons with Perth Glory. Ahead of that pair, controversial Albanian striker Besart Berisha will again be the main attacking threat, with his 35 goals in 56 A-League games evidence of his goalscoring ability. German Thomas Broich is also a constant threat from wide positions and at set pieces. Brisbane’s rear-guard includes former Phoenix centreback Jade North and long-serving defenders Matt Smith, Shane Stefanutto and Ivan Franjic in front of the 162 games of experience provided by goalkeeper Mike Theo. At full strength, Brisbane are one of the most credentialed sides in the A-League.

Matt Simon back to the club to play at centre-forward, to be joined by one of the A-League’s true playmakers in Marcos Flores. All Whites midfielder Michael McGlinchey is a vital cog in the engine room and he’s been joined at the club by another kiwi – age-group international fullback Storm Roux who has arrived from Perth Glory. Zwaanswijk has been replaced by another Dutch defender in Marcel Seip, who’ll team up with recent Socceroos squad member Trent Sainsbury, while former Phoenix goalkeeper Liam Reddy joins his fifth A-League club, having been let go by Sydney FC for indiscretions involving alcohol. Another former Phoenix player Troy Hearfield is set to return from a drugs ban in January. The Mariners are always contenders, largely through Arnold’s ability to get the best out of his players on a weekly basis. They’ll be vigorous defenders of their A-League crown.


MELBOURNE HEART

Last season: 9th Manager: John Aloisi Star man: Harry Kewell Home ground: AAMI Park Website: www.melbourneheartfc.com.au AFTER THE disappointment of last season, Heart underwent something of a cleanout, with veterans Matt Thompson, Clint Bolton and Simon Colosimo all leaving the club, and taking with them a combined 530+ games of A-League experience. Harry Kewell has arrived to far less fanfare than that which accompanied his entrance at Melbourne’s other club two years ago. Whether the influence of a 35-year old Kewell will be enough to lift Heart from the doldrums is open for question. Another recent acquisition is former Socceroos defender Patrick Kisnorbo who spent over a decade in the UK,

MELBOURNE VICTORY

Last season: 3rd in regular season, lost in week two of finals Manager: Ange Postecoglou Star man: Archie Thompson Home ground: AAMI Park / Etihad Stadium Website: www.mvfc.com.au ANGE POSTECOGLOU has true A-League pedigree, guiding Brisbane Roar to consecutive championships before taking charge of Melbourne Victory last season. It took time for his new side to adapt fully to Postecoglou’s possession-based style, but they were never in danger of missing the top six and lost in week two of the finals to eventual champions Central Coast. Kiwi Marco Rojas was the star turn at Victory last season, earning a glamour move to FC Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. There have been four major arrivals at the club in the off-season, two of who have played under Postecoglou previously at Brisbane. Mitch Nichols has been one of the most consistent

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Last season: 8th Manager: Garry van Egmond Star man: Emile Heskey Home ground: Hunter Stadium Website: www.newcastlejets.com.au THE JETS won the A-League in 2007/08 (with Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante playing a starring role) but in the five years since they’ve made the playoffs just once and not at all in the last three campaigns. It was hoped the signing of former England striker Emile Heskey would help propel them up the table, but his nine goals last season weren’t enough to lift his side into top six contention.

including time at Leeds United and Leicester City and made 18 appearances for Australia, most recently in 2010. Dutch midfielder Orlando Engelaar suffered the misfortune of a broken leg in pre-season which has ruled him out for up to four months but countryman Rob Wielaert brings over 350 games of top-class experience to central defence. In attack, former Phoenix striker Dylan Macallister is a reliable squad member, as are David Williams and Mate Dugandzic (who missed most of last season through injury) and new recruits Massimo Murdocca from Brisbane and Iain Ramsay from Adelaide United. Melbourne Heart is still a relatively new club, with this just their fourth year in the A-League. Last season was their most disappointing to date and they’ll be eager to bounce back. Whether they have the squad to push for the top six though remains to be seen. A-League midfielders for several years and Kiwi attacker Kosta Barbarouses is reunited with the man who is credited with launching his career after limited opportunities in three seasons at the Phoenix. Also new to the Victory are hugely experienced Chilean defender Pablo Contreras and attacking midfielder (and nine-game Socceroo) James Troisi. Captain and current Socceroo regular Mark Milligan will drive his team forward from midfield with able assistance from Nichols, Leigh Broxham and Brazilian Gui Finkler who missed much of last season with injury. In attack, the ever-reliable Archie Thompson will look to add to his 69 A-League goals while youngster Connor Pain has huge promise, drawing praise from Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers after their clash in July. With Postecoglou at the helm and an impressive roster, Melbourne Victory will be well and truly in the mix come finals time.

had its origins in the A-League with Adelaide United and saw him play seven times for the Socceroos. His recent career though has been stymied by a serious knee injury. Kew Jaliens is a Dutch defender with 10 caps and huge experience in Holland and more recently Poland. The Newcastle squad also features a number of youngsters who have been earmarked for bigger things with Craig Goodwin, Connor Chapman, Josh Brilliante and Ben Kantarovski all falling into this category. Complementing their promise is the solidity and experience of Ruben Zadkovich, Zenon Caravella, James Brown and evergreen English striker Michael Bridges.

This year’s squad is relatively unchanged, with a couple of notable additions. Nathan Burns has joined the club on loan from his Korean side, looking to re-launch the career which

On paper, the Jets are solid and have the squad to achieve more highly than they’ve been able to in recent times. But they’ll need to show some sort of X-factor if they’re to avoid another mediocre season.

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T E A M P R O F I L E S continued PERTH GLORY

Last season: 6th in regular season, lost in week one of finals Manager: Alistair Edwards Star man: Shane Smeltz Home ground: nib Stadium Website: www.perthglory.com.au EDWARDS took over from Ian Ferguson after Glory suffered an alarming mid-season slump in 2012/13 and guided them (just) into the top six. Once there though, they gave it a shake and but for a missed penalty from Shane Smeltz in their first finals game against Melbourne Victory they’d have come within one game of a second consecutive Grand Final appearance. Smeltz is the most obvious source of goals, but has undergone long-needed hip surgery which has left him in doubt for the start of the season (not to mention the All Whites’ World Cup playoff).

SYDNEY FC

Last season: 7th Manager: Frank Farina Star man: Alessandro Del Piero Home ground: Allianz Stadium Website: www.sydneyfc.com SYDNEY FC pulled off the A-League’s biggest ever coup last season by securing the services of World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero. The Italian delivered on and off the field, dazzling crowds with his close control, set piece excellence, precise passing and assured finishing. It still wasn’t enough though to deliver his side into the A-League finals. In the wake of that, a number of players were released, including Kruno Lovrek, Fabio, Nathan Sherlock, Adam Griffiths, Paul Reid and Trent McClenahan. The most significant new arrival is attacker Richard Garcia, an 18-cap

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS

Last season: 1st in regular season, Grand Final runners-up Manager: Tony Popovic Star man: Shinji Ono Home ground: Parramatta Stadium Website: www.wswanderersfc.com.au HAD THE story of the Wanderers’ debut season been submitted to Hollywood scriptwriters a year ago, it would have been thrown back for being too fanciful. Instead, the A-League new boys swept all before them in claiming the minor premiership at their first attempt, before losing to Central Coast in the Grand Final. Western Sydney’s success came through a combination of superb coaching from Tony Popovic, solid (if not spectacular) players drawn from other clubs and overseas and a sprinkling of star quality in the form of Shinji Ono and Youssouf Hersi.

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Gone from last season’s squad are Irish midfielder Liam Miller and veteran fullback Dean Heffernan, but a solid core remains, including combative skipper Jacob Burns and the hugely experienced Travis Dodd. The sometimes troubled Ljubo Milicevic has returned to the club he played for in the pre-A-League days, joining veteran Michael Thwaite in central defence. Young fullback Josh Risdon earned rave reviews last season and former Phoenix goalkeeper Danny Vukovic is an impressive presence between the sticks. Much as it does with the Phoenix, travel is a factor for Perth; they’re hard to beat at home, but often have trouble picking up points on the road. But any side with Smeltz sniffing around the penalty area is a threat, regardless of the venue.

Socceroo who followed a distinguished playing career in the UK with a season at Melbourne Heart. Defenders Pedj Bojic and Matt Jurman have also signed from Central Coast and Brisbane respectively, the often brilliant Nick Carle returns from a loan spell in the UAE and Corey Gameiro, who spent the latter part of last season with the Phoenix, further strengthens the side’s attacking stocks. The return of Del Piero is a huge boost while others back from last year include Australian veteran Brent Emerton, foundation player Terry McFlynn, gritty defender Pascal Bosschaart and young starlet Terry Antonis. Given their star-studded roster, missing the playoffs again would be unacceptable for Sydney FC. Certainly most preseason predictions have them featuring in the upper echelons of the table this time around.

Their respective abilities in midfield were at the root of many of the best moments of the entire A-League season. Captain Michael Beauchamp and veteran Nikolai ToporStanley were twin towers in defence, while striker Mark Bridge, goalkeeper Ante Covic and youngster Aaron Mooy were consistently excellent, as were Croatian midfielder Mateo Poljak and German defender Jerome Polenz. In fact, it’s hard to find a Wanderers player who didn’t impress in 2012/13. On top of this, the incredible crowd support for this brand new franchise was quite astonishing. There have been few, if any, significant squad losses while strikers Tomi Juric and Brendan Santalab have arrived to strengthen the front-line. The main concern will be avoiding “second-season syndrome”, but it would be a brave man who would bet against them being contenders again.


Wellington Phoenix 2013  

Your Free Guide to the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Season

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