Wellington Phoenix call in Lovemore and Clapham

Sean Lovemore and Aaron Clapham will join the Wellington Phoenix squad in Sydney on Tuesday.

Sean Lovemore and Aaron Clapham will join the Wellington Phoenix squad in Sydney on Tuesday.

With captain Andrew Durante copping a two-game suspension following a yellow card in Saturday’s 1-0 win in Adelaide, and Vince Lia forced out with a hamstring injury the Phoenix were left with 13 players available for Wednesday’s Hyundai A League game against Sydney FC. That would have meant only one outfield player on the bench.

Waitakere United and Canterbury United agreed to release Lovemore and Clapham respectively and the pair will fly to Australia on Tuesday morning.

Lovemore in a striker or wide player, while Clapham, who was in the 23-man All Whites squad at the World Cup finals in South Africa is a midfielder.

Coach Ricki Herbert said he was immensely appreciative of Waitakere, Canterbury and New Zealand Football for supporting the availability of the players.

“To get the support of the clubs and New Zealand Football at such short notice was fantastic,” Herbert said.

“In Sean’s case it is a great opportunity for a young boy to get some more experience in a professional environment.

“He got game time with us pre-season against Brisbane and Adelaide. He has also played for the Phoenix development side.

“Aaron has always showed a passion to play professional football and this provides him with another chance to sample what that is like.

“Since the World Cup Aaron has continued to play for Canterbury United and his inclusion shows that the Phoenix has a strong visibility across the country’s domestic competition.”

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