Bigger, Bolder, Better

TO say that the past year has been an amazing journey for Wellington Phoenix FC is an understatement.

Wellington Phoenix chairman Terry Serepisos

TO say that the past year has been an amazing journey for Wellington Phoenix FC is an understatement.

Literally out of nothing we-ve created a club that has shown in no uncertain terms that football has a bright future in this country. Record crowds at our home games at Westpac Stadium, massive support in the community and in the media, the unequivocal support of Football Federation Australia - things have gone better than many people could have ever imagined.

Many people made the success of the Phoenix possible in our inaugural season in the Hyundai A-League, but perhaps the most important group that contributed to that was our members. Members are the lifeblood of any club and you all contributed to creating something very, very special. Personally, I-m immensely proud of what we achieved as a club and as a city in season one. I firmly believe that this club could not have succeeded anywhere else other than the capital.

With average crowds of 11,500 at out 10 home games, as well as record crowd of 18,500 for a competition game and a national football attendance record of 31,800 for the LA Galaxy-David Beckham extravaganza, it goes to show there is massive interest in the game in this country.

As club chairman, my commitment to driving the Phoenix to further success is unwavering. We are here for the long haul, an ambition that has been borne out by the creation of a professional culture and ethos both on the field and off it. We have garnered the support of major commercial backers such as principal sponsor Sony, Interislander, Wellington Beds and The Establishment.

Success on the field comes down to a lot of hard work of it and to that end we have recruited well. With time on our side leading into what promises to be a stellar second season we have spared no expense to ensure we give ourselves the best possible chance of being a serious title contender. The process of one of continual evolution and we-re still working behind the scenes with regards to the recruitment of quality playing talent for this season and future seasons. We also remain committed to capitalising on our growing profile by bringing quality overseas opposition to New Zealand for festival matches. It-s all about continuing to grow the profile of football in New Zealand and to that end I firmly believe the sleeping giant has awoken.

The aspect of season one that pleased me most was the profile of the club in the community. It was my ambition from day one that the Phoenix be active in the city and beyond in promoting this great game. The success of that has been borne out in the explosion in numbers of people from all walks of life playing football.

Wellington Phoenix FC is the people-s club and we want our supporters to share in our success.

On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank you for your valuable support. People like you make everything we have worked so hard to achieve even more worthwhile.

I look forward to seeing you at Westpac Stadium supporting the Phoenix in what is certain to be another stellar season. Rise as One!