Basin plugs gap for Phoenix

THE Wellington Phoenix have begun preparations for their Hyundai A-League 2010/11 campaign with the playing squad launching into pre-season training at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

THE Wellington Phoenix have begun preparations for their Hyundai A-League 2010/11 campaign with the playing squad launching into pre-season training at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

With the Phoenix-s regular training ground at Newtown Park currently undergoing pitch renovations, the squad will train at the spiritual home of New Zealand cricket for the next month.

“We-re extremely grateful to the Basin Reserve Trust for allowing us to train at the Basin Reserve for the next four weeks,” said Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata.

“With Newtown Park unavailable and the busy Wellington club football season putting extreme pressure on other grounds, having access to the Basin is a godsend. The surface and facilities are superb and that means there-ll be no disruption to our pre-season buildup.”

The Phoenix are gearing up for another tilt at the Hyundai A-League title, coming off the back of a stunning 2009/10 campaign that saw them go within one match of the grand final.

Phoenix squad members already in Wellington will be joined from Tuesday by members of the World Cup-bound All Whites squad, including Phoenix regulars Tim Brown, Leo Bertos, Mark Paston, Ben Sigmund and Tony Lochhead.

The All Whites are preparing for a blockbuster showdown against Australia at the MCG on May 24 in a warm-up match ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa beginning on June 11.

Basin Reserve Trust trustee John Morrison said the trust was delighted to be able to lend a hand to the Phoenix and the All Whites.

“We-re huge supporters of the Phoenix and the All Whites and we-re thrilled to be able to help them out. It-s a great opportunity for people to get along to the Basin and check out how they-re getting on.”

The trust was keen to see the Basin Reserve used for more sporting and entertainment events, Morrison said.

“It is primarily a cricket ground but the trust aims to ensure the Basin is used for other events also and that there is support for other sporting codes in the city.”

Tuesday, May 11 Open training session Basin Reserve 10.30am-midday

Thursday, May 13 Open training session Basin Reserve 10.30am-midday

Friday, May 14 Open training session Basin Reserve 10.30am-midday