A Season to Remember

ON behalf of Terry Serepisos and the playing, coaching and management staff of Wellington Phoenix FC, I would like to thank you – the club’s members – for being part of what has been a sensational season both on and off the pitch.

ON behalf of Terry Serepisos and the playing, coaching and management staff of Wellington Phoenix FC, I would like to thank you - the club-s members - for being part of what has been a sensational season both on and off the pitch.

Never before has football in New Zealand been on such a high and the club is thrilled to be continuing to lead the game-s renaissance during what is an incredible time for the game domestically and internationally.

New Zealand-s World Cup campaign in South Africa will ensure the remarkable strikes made by the game continue in earnest. Wellington Phoenix is thrilled to have a strong representation at the event, with club coach Ricki Herbert and players Mark Paston, Tim Brown, Ben Sigmund and Tony Lochhead all making the trip to the republic.

But firstly we should take stock of what has been a tremendous Hyundai A-League season for the club.

Our goal for this season was to make the Finals Series for the first time. We realised that goal by finishing fourth at the end of the regular season. And to go within a win of the Grand Final was an incredible achievement and something that we are all rightly proud of.

What was all the more staggering was the phenomenal support we enjoyed from the fans, particularly as we headed into the finals. The club is fortunate to have brilliant support in Wellington - at the fortress that is Westpac Stadium - and it is clear that the fans- backing has been integral to our success.

Palmerston North and Christchurch played host to competition games during the season, the latter turning on a big event attended by more than 19,000 people.

Once again, Wellington rose to the challenge for the club-s charge into the finals, with more than 24,000 cheering the team on to a thrilling victory against Perth Glory before a black-and-yellow-clad sellout crowd of almost 33,000 was on hand for the 3-1 extra-time win against the Newcastle Jets.

In short, the game in New Zealand has never been in better health. The interest in football continues to grow exponentially and proud supporters such as you deserve the credit for that. The sleeping giant has awoken and the country is taking notice.

But we must not lose the momentum we have established; we must ensure the progress made in the past three seasons continues.

The club now considers itself a genuine force in the Hyundai A-League and with that our expectations and aims rise considerably. Making the playoffs in just our third season was a huge achievement. However, we must now work toward regularly achieving at the highest level and breaking the stranglehold Melbourne Victory and this season-s champions, Sydney FC, have enjoyed.

As a club member, your role has never been so important. Members provide the foundations for the club-s success; members are why the club exists. We need your ongoing support now to ensure we remain a true force in the competition.

New season membership information will be launched shortly and as a current member you will get the first chance to renew your support. With a new team entering the competition and a season scheduled for 30 games - 15 home and 15 away - season 2010/11 promises to be bigger and better than ever. We want you there with us every step of the way.

It-s also important to recognise the superb support the club gets from its sponsors. Principal sponsor SONY has been with us almost from the start, as have Wellington Beds, Century City Developments and media partners The Radio Network and The Dominion Post.

Other commercial partners who have made huge contributions to the club-s success are Body Science, Les Mills, Rembrandt, Lion Nathan, Wendy-s Supa Sundaes, Westpac, Hutt News, Interislander, Reading Cinemas, Mojo, New World Metro, Vodafone, Zurich, Four Kings, Modica and Banks Shoes.

And let-s not forget the incredible passion and backing of Yellow Fever - the best supporters- group any organisation could hope for.

Clearly, it-s a team effort!

We-re all in this together, so let-s continue the rise of the Phoenix in 2010/11.

Yours in football,

Tony Pignata