Taupo set to showcase top football talent

The Wellington Phoenix meet a New Zealand Selection in Taupo on Sunday 17 August as the country’s top domestically based talent go head to head at Owen Delany Park.

The Wellington Phoenix meet a New Zealand Selection in Taupo next Sunday as the country’s top domestically based talent go head to head at Owen Delany Park.

A number of All Whites, including goalkeeper Glen Moss, Andrew Durante, Michael McGlinchey and Jeremy Brockie will turn out for the New Zealand Selection against fellow Wellington Phoenix and New Zealand representatives Ben Sigmund and Jason Hicks.

The Phoenix side will also include A-League All Star players Albert Reira and Manny Muscat along with regulars Roy Krishna, Kenny Cunningham as well as new signings Alex Rodriguez and Nathan Burns.

New Zealand Selection coach Neil Emblen says the encounter serves a number of excellent purposes for everyone involved.

“The game ticks several important boxes from our view,” Emblen said, “we get an opportunity to see a number of our domestically based players in action ahead of the All Whites game against Uzbekistan in September and the Wellington Phoenix get a strong test as they get closer to their season start date.

“What we’ve also been able to do with the New Zealand Selection squad is bring in a number of Junior All Whites squad members so they get another opportunity of working alongside players at the next level.”

“As part of the process of aligning our teams, and with the U-20 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, it gives our Junior All Whites a good measure of where they are at.” Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said the game would be an important part of the club’s pre-season build up.

“It is vital that we get good quality games to prepare the squad for a tough season ahead,” Merrick said.

“The games against West Ham and Newcastle United were fantastic but we need to keep progressing and getting everyone involved in this game is important.

“We had a similar game last pre-season in Rotorua and took many things from it. In fact it played a part in young Matt Ridenton joining us and he went on to have a good debut season with the Phoenix.”

The game is the second major football match at Owen Delany Park in Taupo in recent months after the Football Ferns meeting with Brazil in June.

Mayor of Taupo, David Trewavas, said the confirmation of the game was a coup for the district, which is quickly building up a reputation of hosting big national sporting events.

“Everyone around here has a bit of football fever at the moment with the 2014 FIFA World Cup just finished,” Trewavas said.

“I know the district will get right behind this and get along to the game as it’s sure to be an outstanding display of football.”

The players will arrive in Taupo on Friday with open training sessions scheduled for both teams in the lead up to Sunday’s game (details below).


New Zealand Select XI v Wellington Phoenix

Sunday 17 August, 1.30pm Owen Delany Park, Taupo

Tickets from Eventfinder: http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2014/wellington-phoenix-fc-new-zealand-a/taupo

Cost: - Adults: $8 (pre buy) $10 (gate price). Children 16 and under $4 (pre buy), $5 (gate price). Children under 5 are free.


New Zealand Select XI (from): Glen Moss (GK), Louis Fenton, Michael Boxall, Andrew Durante, Deklan Wynne, Matthew Ridenton, Michael McGlinchey, Alex Rufer, Joel Stevens, Tyler Boyd, Jeremy Brockie, Tamupiwa Dimario, Daniel Bowkett, Andre de Jong, Birhanu Taye, Tamati Williams (GK)

Wellington Phoenix (from): Lewis Italiano (GK), Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund, Roly Bonevacia, Thomas Doyle, Albert Reira, Vince Lia, Alex Rodriguez, Kenny Cunningham, Roy Krishna, Nathan Burns, Reece Caira, Jason Hicks, Hamish Watson, Andrew Blake, Sam Copp (GK)


Training schedule (all sessions open)

Friday 15 August

3pm: Wellington Phoenix training - Owen Delaney Park

3pm: NZ Select XI training- Crown Park


Saturday 16 August

10am: Wellington Phoenix training - Owen Delaney Park

10am: NZ Select XI training – Crown Park