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Wellington Phoenix all set for season opener

New Zealand club Wellington Phoenix are all set for their A-League season opener according to coach Ricki Herbert. The Phoenix were given the bye in week 1 but come week 2, they will return to action with a home clash with Gold Coast United on Friday night.

Wellington tuned up with a 5-1 win over the New Zealand U20 team on Saturday and Herbert says it is all systems go leading into their first match of the 2010/11 season.

"It was just a bit of preparation and 90 minutes for us but there was some good stuff," Herbert told the Dominion Post.

"It was a difficult surface to play on. I'm not sure we'll get that in the league this year but it has topped us off, and I think we'll be ready for Friday."

Herbert admitted he still hadn't settled on his starting line-up with the left and right-back positions still up in the air.

"He's (Manny Muscat) extremely versatile and he's a good shot to play, on the right-hand side. Tony's [Lochhead] a good chance to come back into the team [at left back]," he added. "We've kind of nursed him but Tony's like (Tim) Browny - he's very, very fit so that's not going to be an issue."

The Phoenix are at Westpac Stadium on Friday August 13 against Gold Coast - kick-off is at 7:30pm local time (5:30pm AEST).

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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