Injury replacement goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley could finish the A-League season as he began it – between the posts for the Wellington Phoenix.
Injury replacement goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley could finish the A-League season as he began it - between the posts for the Wellington Phoenix.
Spoonley, who was a member of the Phoenix- first 23-man squad in 2007, played in the opening day game against Brisbane Roar and is likely to face Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium on Saturday evening.
In round one Spoonley was called up as Glen Moss was on All Whites duty, and today he could deputise again as the No 1 keeper has a groin strain and luckless No 2 Lewis Italiano is sidelined with a thumb injury.
There will be two other changes to the side that was beaten by Sydney FC six days ago with Manny Muscat returning from suspension and New Zealand under-20 skipper Luke Adams joining Andrew Durante in the centre of defence with Ben Sigmund out with a quad injury.
Coach Ernie Merrick wants to finish a disappointing season with a good performance, and so do the players.
“The boys are keen to finish on a high note for the fans that have supported us throughout the season,” Merrick said.
“We want to play our best football and hopefully get a bit of consistency about us.
“We had a reality check against Sydney and had a good look at things we can improve on during the week.
“The annoying thing was that we played some good stuff in that game and if the ball hadn-t got stuck close to the Sydney goal line early on it could have been a different story.
“Unfortunately we gave away two goals with a penalty and a free kick before half time.
“Okay, they were soft but you have to adapt to the referee because we can-t afford to give goals away like that.
“When you go two goals down away from home when you are playing pretty well you are just lifting the opposition team.”
Merrick has been disappointed at the number of yellow cards his players have picked up this season and is promising change next season.
“You have to have discipline and those who have been guilty need to change,” he said.
“I point to Vince Lia who used to give away a lot of free kicks and picked up yellow cards in the process.
“He has changed and this season, which I-ve been told is his best for the club, has hardly had a yellow.
“Andrew Durante has played over 150 games and doesn-t miss games through suspension.
“They are two of our better players this year and it shows how one has improved and the other has been consistent.”
The game kicks off at 5.30pm. Get your ticketshere.