A-League preview 2010/11: Wellington Phoenix

Last season’s surprise packets can go even further this year in my view.

Last season’s surprise packets can go even further this year in my view.

The Wellington Phoenix enjoyed a brilliant end to their season, winning games, attracting crowds and playing a very watchable brand of football under Ricki Herbert and this season should be no different.

Overall, last season was huge for football in New Zealand with the national team making the World Cup and then performing so well in South Africa, and the Phoenix rising to the top echelon of clubs in Australia’s domestic league.

2010/11 may see the Phoenix push even further up the table after experiencing finals for the first time last campaign but star striker Paul Ifill will need to get even better and create a strong goalscoring partnership with Chris Greenacre if Herbert wants to win regularly.

Tim Brown is a key player in midfield and will be joined by the likes of Leo Bertos, Troy Hearfield and Daniel whilst skipper Andrew Durante will have a new defensive partner with former Newcastle United captain Jade North making his way to the club.

With plenty of the squad experiencing the highs of the World Cup, Phoenix’s players will be well-prepared for the new A-League season and are capable of taking all before them.

Last season: 4th
tribalfootball’s Prediction: 1st

Arrivals: Jade North (Tomso IL), Dylan Macallister (Central Coast Mariners), Oscar Roberto Cornejo (Everton, Chile), Mirjan Pavlovic (Sydney United), James Musa (Phoenix NYC)

Departures: Jon McKain (Al Nassr), Liam Reddy (Sydney FC), Kosta Barbarouses (Brisbane Roar), Michael Ferrante (released), Adrian Caceres (released), Eugene Dadi (released), David Mulligan (released)

Biggest signing: Jade North

Biggest loss: Jon McKain

Key men: Paul Ifill, Tim Brown, Andrew Durante, Mark Paston

Team list

Goalkeepers

Reece Crowther
Mark Paston

Defenders

Andrew Durante
Tony Lochhead
Manny Muscat
Ben Sigmund

Midfielders

Leo Bertos
Tim Brown
Daniel
Diego
Troy Hearfield
Vince Lia
Marco Rojas

Forwards

Chris Greenacre
Paul Ifill

Coach

Ricki Herbert

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