By Cameron Russell / asbpremiership.co.nz
WELLINGTON - Wellington fans will not only see a new look side, but a new home venue when the Capital side host Canterbury at Westpac Stadium.
The match-up is the first of three ASB Premiership games to be played as curtain raisers for the Wellington Phoenix, and Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott is excited about the occasion.
“I suppose it’s a little bit of history for the franchise, the players are really excited about it and so is the staff,” says Calcott.
The two sides will be looking for their first points of the season after both suffered defeats on the road to Auckland based opponents last weekend.
Wellington is a team in transition and Calcott knows games are needed before his side gels together.
“To put it in perspective we’ve got one player that played in the grand final last year so it is going to take a little bit of time but some of the early signs are pretty encouraging,” says Calcott.
Team Wellington will be focused on getting off to a better after conceding less than half a minute in to their 3-0 defeat against Waitakere.
“If we get off to a better start this week, then that’s going to help people grow into their roles,”
“It sounds cliché, but we’ve got to be switched on from the start and get in the right frame of mind and dealing with whatever comes along early on.”
Calcott’s side should look sharper with the return of Solomon Islands international Henry Fa’arodo, former Manawatu midfielder, Cory Chettleburgh and All Whites cap Adam McGeorge.
Several squad members also gained crucial match fitness during Wednesday’s Phoenix Challenge match between Auckland City and Phoenix ‘A’ at Kiwitea Street.
Tobias Bertsch, Hamish Watson and Luke Rowe all played for the Chris Greenacre-coached side, with Bertsch getting on the score sheet from a Jimmy Downey cross.
Canterbury, who lost 5-2 to Auckland City last week, must be working hard to turn last week’s fortunes around.
Aaron Clapham gave the Dragons something to savour with a sublime penalty in what was an otherwise difficult afternoon.
Coach Keith Braithwaite will look to Clapham and top scorer Russell Kamo for goals in what promises to be a tricky trip to Wellington.
Two away games to start any campaign presents challenges but there are some milestones for fans of the Cantabs to look forward to.
Defender Nick Wortelboer is on the verge of a half century of ASB Premiership career appearances, while the Bayrev brothers – debutants last week – will get their first taste of capital action.
For Clapham and Kamo, the half century mark looms large, with both marking their Cake Tin appearances with their 49th match in black and red.
Kick-off on Sunday is at 1:45pm, with the Phoenix taking on Central Coast Mariners at 4:30pm.
Live coverage of the match will be broadcast via Sky Television with match commentators Andrew Dewhurst and Fred de Jong.
Adam McGEORGE, Cory CHETTLEBURGH and Henry FA’ARODO rejoins the Team Wellington ranks after missing last week’s disappointing 0-3 defeat at Waitakere United.
Ashley WELLBOURN and Ken YAMAMOTO drafted in to add speed and cutting edge to a side that struggled in Auckland last Saturday.
Cory MITCHELL, Tom BATTY and Andy BARTON
Jamie DUNCAN, if selected, will make his 70th ASB Premiership appearance but has yet to score a goal.
Nick WORTELBOER is in line for his 50th ASB Premiership career appearance, while
Team Wellington has not beaten Canterbury United for two years on home soil – the last win was a R17 victory by 2-1 in 2009/10 season.
Russell KAMO and Aaron CLAPHAM are one game shy of their own half centuries. KAMO is the club’s top scorer with 23 strikes, CLAPHAM now two behind on 21, is his nearest rival.
ASB Premiership - Round 2
Sunday 11 November, 2012
1- Scott Basalaj (GK)
22- Adam Highfield (GK)
2- Tim Schaeffers
2- Dan Terris
3- Jamie Duncan
3- Vlad Bayrev
5- Andreas Damgaard
4- Nick Wortelboer
6- Kyle Segebart
5- Tom Schwarz
7- Wiremu Patrick
6- Chris Murphy
8- Adam McGeorge
7- Darren White
9- Cory Chettleburgh
8- Aaron Clapham
10- Henry Fa'arodo
9- Russell Kamo
11- Karsten Viborg
10- Dimitar Bayrev
13- Karl Whalen
14- Josh Smith
14- Dominic Rowe
15- Julyan Collett
16- Jimmy Haidakis
20- Ken Yamamoto
17- Andrew Abba
21- Tristan Nicol
18- Tom Doyle
19- Tobias Bertsch
20- Luke Rowe
21- Justin Gulley
22- Hamish Watson
23- Tom Biss
24- Alec Solomons
25- Will Jones (GK)