The Wellington Phoenix’s football academy is to be placed on hiatus, pending future decisions on the football landscape in New Zealand.
With New Zealand Football’s announcement last week that all community football would be postponed further due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has decided to put the Academy on hiatus pending a review of this decision.
Wellington Phoenix General Manager, David Dome, says that the Phoenix Academy remains an important part of both the club and the wider football landscape in New Zealand.
“The Wellington Phoenix is committed to the development of young footballers in New Zealand and beyond, as evidenced by the success of our Academy over the past few years.
“It makes sense to put this Academy on hiatus while we await the re-start of community football, and after we’re able to ascertain what the sporting landscape will look like in New Zealand in the future.”
Academy Director, Paul Temple, added “We have a number of families and players who have committed so much to move to Wellington, there are significant sacrifices and financial implications to do this and with the current situation we have a moral obligation to them to make decisions early and with pragmatism.
“Football won’t look the same as we left it, with Covid-19 no doubt altering the football in New Zealand going forward.
‘’We want to support our families and players by providing clear and honest information in a timely manner so they can make their own decisions, acknowledging the sacrifices many have made and their commitment to the Phoenix.”
The Academy will continue to communicate with its players, staff and families in due course and await news on the future football landscape before making any further announcements.