Phoenix In Demand

The days of Wellington Phoenix flying under the radar on their trips across the Tasman are long gone.

The days of Wellington Phoenix flying under the radar on their trips across the Tasman are long gone.

The recent away form that has helped cement their place in the Hyundai A-League playoff finals has made the Australian media sit up and take notice.

On a recent visit to Australia captain Andrew Durante was a guest on Fox Sports News and SBS channel-s The World Game, along with midfielder Alex Smith.

Today Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert was invited to appear on ABC-s Breakfast Show where he was interviewed on the couch by the channel-s sports presenter Paul Kennedy.

With the FFA keen to, if possible, introduce a West Sydney club into next season-s Hyundai A-League as a replacement for Gold Coast United, Kennedy wanted to know how Herbert got the Phoenix up and running in such a short time frame after the New Zealand Knights went belly up.

He was also keen to know if the Phoenix coach was taking over from Neil Emblem as coach of the New Zealand under-23 team as it prepares for an Olympic Games qualifying campaign.

“Definitely not,” Herbert said, and went on to explain that should the team qualify for London he would be a technical director to the team and would work alongside Emblem.

Meanwhile five Taranaki-based Wellington Phoenix fans had a day out they won-t forget in a hurry in Melbourne today.

They spent two years raising money for the trip to Melbourne for the Phoenix games against Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory.

On Tuesday they bumped into Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert and he invited them to watch training the following day at Epping Stadium which is about an hour-s drive out of the city.

They were there they enjoyed watching the training in near-perfect conditions. As the team was about to leave Herbert sprung another surprise and invited them to travel back to the city with the players.

It was autographs and photographs all round as the Phoenix players made them welcome.

To say the Taranaki lads enjoyed their day out would be an understatement.