Wellington Phoenix Reserves have confirmed their squad for the upcoming ISPS Handa Premiership 2019/20 season.
The ISPS Handa Premiership 2019/20 Season is nearly upon us and Head Coach, Paul Temple is excited by the prospect of another season producing the next collection of talent to come through the Academy.
''Youth Development has a cyclic nature to it, there will continually be new young players who are trying to gain more experience in the National League, we will need to be patient with these boys and understand it’s all about their individual development but then we will also have players who are entering their 3rd National League season with us and for them it’s about demonstrating high levels of performance on a consistent basis to make that step up into the A-League Team,'' Temple commented.
''Our job is to get the balance right with this mix of players at different stages of their pathway.''
The Wellington Phoenix Academy has produced a wealth of New Zealand talent, with Sarpreet Singh having come through the ranks under Temple added to the likes of Wellington Phoenix professionals, Liberato Cacace and Benjamin Waine.
This strong connection between the Academy and the first team has been strengthened by Head Coach, Ufuk Talay and his desire to blood the next generation of talent into regular first team action.
Reserves Captain, Sam Sutton, is a regular trainer amongst the first team environment and the 17-year old has progressed significantly in the short space of time with the Hyundai A-League professionals.
''The alignment is strong between the 1st Team and the Reserves which I believe will help a lot with any professional players coming to play in the National League and vice versa for any youngsters being promoted up.''
There are several new signings that have joined the ISPS Handa Premiership squad including; Adam Hewson, Byron Heath, Ahmad Othman, Riley Bidois and Lukas Kalikias.
Hewson, who arrived at the end of last year's campaign is looking to build on his potential from his season at Southern United where he was top goal scorer in the National Youth League with the Dunedin based club.
''There is a strong youth presence across the whole club and we are doing everything we can to help these players succeed.
The staff and I are very much looking forward to the season where I believe we will cause teams a lot of problems with the quality we have across the squad.
Our challenge is to be more consistent across the whole season.''
The side will be led out by Captain, Sam Sutton alongside Vice-Captain, Kurtis Mogg. The ISPS Handa Premiership team will begin their campaign with a tough away fixture against Waitakere United on 2 November at 3 pm.
Squad Numbers (DOB):
1. Alex Paulsen (2002), 2. Lukas Halakias (2002), 3. Harry Bark (2002), 4. Kurtis Mogg (2001), 5. Ronan Wynne (2001), 6. Noah Tipene-Clegg (2001), 7. Adam Hewson (1999), 8. Henry Hamilton (2002), 9. Riley Bidois (2002), 10. Benjamin Old (2002), 11.Sam Sutton (2001), 12. Kris Naicker (2002), 13. Finn O’Connor (2002), 14. Oskar van Hattum (2002), 15. Adam Hillis (2002), 16. Max Drake (2002), 18. Owen Smith (2000), 19. Byron Heath (2000), 21. Ahmed Othman (1999), 22. Stephen Sprowson (1999), 23. Joseph Lee (2002), 25. Finn Surman (2003), 26. Ryusei Ishibashi (2002), 30. Zac Jones (2000), 41. Jonathan Sims (2003), 12. Luis Toomey (2001).
Head Coach – Paul Temple
Assistant Coaches – Sam Wilkinson & Steve Coleman
Sports Science: Weijie Lim
Physios: Grayson Harwood & Brendan Wyatt
Management: Carl Tinsley & Justin Raffan