Wellington Phoenix: A-League 2019/20 preview
Wellington Phoenix are all set for an awkward reunion with former coach Mark Rudan in their opening A-League match of the season.
Wellington Phoenix are gearing up for what's likely to be a rough start in the new season of the A-League. The team finished sixth in the previous edition of the competition and made it to the finals, but lost the elimination final to Melbourne Victory. Soon after, head coach Mark Rudan announced his departure from the club in the middle of his contract, citing family reasons.
Not only that, but Phoenix lost some key players as well. Rudan lured Filip Kurto, Andrew Durante and Max Burgess to Western United, while star scorer Roy Krishna left for India. Still, with a new coach and some fresh talent, Wellington could very well rebound and surprise everyone with a strong campaign.
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History of Wellington Phoenix
Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Wellington Phoenix Football Club was established in 2007 and entered the A-League during the 2007/08 season, replacing the New Zealand Knights. Phoenix is one of the few clubs in the world to compete in a league of a different confederation from that of the country where it's based. This is because Australia is part of the Asian Football Confederation, while New Zealand is part of the Oceania Football Confederation.
The club's highest achievement so far is reaching the A-League preliminary final in 2010. Phoenix play at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Over the years, the team have broken records for attendance at a football match in New Zealand twice, proving that their fans are both enthusiastic and loyal.
How to watch Wellington Phoenix live
Fans can tune in for Wellington Phoenix's first 2019/20 A-League game on 13 October, when the team battles it out with Western United at Westpac Stadium. Former coach Mark Rudan will return to face his old squad in what's shaping up to be a high-stakes and slightly uncomfortable encounter for both sides. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.
After that, Phoenix fans can follow their team via Fox Sports or free-to-air TV when available. ABC is set to broadcast one Saturday game live, as well as offer delayed broadcasts of one elimination final, one semi-final and the 2020 Grand Final. Meanwhile, Fox Sports will show all A-League fixtures live.
The easiest way to keep up not only with Wellington Phoenix, but the A-League overall, is with Kayo Sports. The online multi-sport platform will stream all A-League fixtures live, with replays available on demand as well. A Basic subscription to the service costs $25/month and supports two simultaneous streams. Or, you can get a Premium subscription for $35/month and watch on three screens at the same time. Whichever option you choose, there's a 14-day free trial for new customers.
Besides a generous library of content, including coverage of over 50 sports from all over the world, Kayo Sports boasts some excellent features that were designed specifically with sports streaming in mind. Users can take advantage of SplitView to watch up to four videos at the same time, enabling them to keep up with their favourite competitions even when they overlap. Plus, Kayo Minis are condensed versions of key matches, which deliver all the highlights in 20 minutes or less. Users can enjoy them for all A-League fixtures soon after the final whistle.
Subscribers can access Kayo Sports via web or download the app to a smartphone/tablet. The service is also compatible with Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV and Telstra TV, so you can watch on the big screen with ease. If you want to learn more about the service, check out our Kayo Sports review.
Supporters can also follow Wellington Phoenix and the A-League on Fox Sports, as long as they have a Foxtel IQ subscription with the Sport channel pack. You can watch games on TV or stream them to your laptop or mobile device with Foxtel GO. The app is free for all Foxtel subscribers.
You can also follow the A-League with Foxtel Now, as Fox Sports is included in the Sport pack. Or, you can stream matches live with the MyFootball Live App. We have an A-League viewing guide with more information on how to tune in.
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Wellington Phoenix transfers 2019
Following Rudan's departure, Phoenix have a new head coach. Ufuk Talay has a long history in Aussie football as a former player for Sydney FC, North Queensland Fury and Sydney United. He was then assistant coach at the FFA Centre of Excellence and the Australia under-17 team, before moving to the position of head coach of the under-20 team. In June 2018, he joined Sydney FC as assistant to Steve Corica. Talay was announced as head coach for Wellington Phoenix back in May 2019.
As we've already mentioned, other significant losses for Phoenix were Filip Kurto, Max Burgess, Michal Kopczynski, Roy Krishna, David Williams, Andrew Durante and Sarpreet Singh. The club administration worked hard to bring in some fresh blood, so all eyes should be on Matti Steinmann and Ulises Davila in the season to come. New additions also include Reno Piscopo, Luke DeVere and David Ball.
The 2019 Wellington Phoenix squad
Here's the complete Wellington Phoenix squad for the 2019/20 A-League season:
Goalkeepers: Stefan Marinovic, Oliver Sail
Defenders: Luke DeVere, Louis Fenton, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, Liam McGing, Walter Scott, Steven Taylor
Midfielders: Liberato Cacace, Cameron Devlin, Ulises Davila, Callan Elliot, Tim Payne, Alex Rufer, Matti Steinmann, Sam Sutton
Forwards: David Ball, Callum McCowatt, Jaushua Sotiro, Ben Waine, Oskar van Hattum
Coaches: Ufuk Talay, Chris Greenacre (assistant coach), Giancarlo Italiano (assistant coach), Paul Gothard (goalkeeping coach)
Image Source: A-League website