Wellington Phoenix FC

Wellington Phoenix FC

Football club infobox
clubname = Wellington Phoenix FC

fullname = Wellington Phoenix Football Club
nickname = Phoenix, The Nix
founded = 2007
ground = Westpac Stadium, Wellington
capacity = 34,500
chairman = Terry Serepisos
Chief Executive = Tony Pignata
manager = Ricki Herbert
captain = Andrew Durante
top scorer = Shane Smeltz (13)
league = A-League
season = 2007-08
position = 8th (league)

Wellington Phoenix is an association football (soccer) team based in Wellington, New Zealand, competing in the Australian A-League. The club replaced the now-defunct New Zealand Knights FC in the 2007-08 season.


During the later stages of the 2006-07 season, the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) removed the New Zealand Knights's (NZK) A-League licence due to club's financial and administrative problems and poor on-field performance. After the resignation of the NZK board, FFA transferred the licence to New Zealand Soccer (NZS; now New Zealand Football), which administered the club for the rest of the season before its subsequent dissolution.

FFA then provided NZS a provisional A-League licence to sub-let to a suitable New Zealand team to enter the A-League 2007-08 season. The FFA provided an application deadline to NZS, which was subsequently delayed to give more time for potential applicants in New Zealand to apply along with NZS support.

While NZS was given a chance to apply with a new sub-licencee, a Townsville-based consortium, Tropical Football Australia (TFA) also expressed interest and prepared an A-league application to replace the place previously held by the Knights. [ [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/410965/1023055 Shock! A-League decision delayed] , TVNZ, 14 March 2007.] However, TFA eventually pulled out with the understanding of the FFA's preference to retain a New Zealand team for the league. TFA later resubmitted its bid in the following year as a potential A-League expansion franchise under the name of "Northern Thunder FC", which was later changed to "North Queensland Thunder". [Fink, Jesse: [http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,21407148-5000940,00.html Kiwis alive as Townsville pulls pin] , Fox Sports (Australia), 28 March 2007.]

After much delay, the final money amount needed for the final application came from Wellington property businessman Terry Serepisos in the last moments of the bid giving much the relief to the New Zealand football fans. Serepisos, the club's majority owner and chairman, provided NZD $1,000,000Fact|date=August 2007 to ensure the beginnings of a new New Zealand franchise and a continuation of New Zealand's participation in the A-League. FFA finalised a three-year A-League licence to New Zealand Football who then sub-let the licence to the Wellington-based franchise. [cite web
title=Century City Developments and Century City Football
publisher=Century City Developments
date=March 19, 2007
] The Wellington franchise was confirmed on March 19, 2007.

The name for the new club was picked from a shortlist of six, pruned from 250 names suggested by the public, and was announced on March 28 2007. [ [http://www.a-league.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=7283&pageid=11 NZ franchise for A-League.] ] [cite news
title=NZ Phoenix to rise in A League
] Serepisos said of the name: "It symbolises the fresh start, the rising from the ashes, and the incredible Wellington support that has come out". [ [http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,21463842-5000940,00.html Wellington Phoenix rises from the ashes] , Fox Sports (Australia), 28 March 2007.]

In November 2007, Sony NZ Ltd came on board as the team's principal sponsor.

Colours, badge and kit

The club's colours and badge were revealed on March 29, 2007. The colours are black and yellow, the traditional colours of the city of Wellington, while the badge is a shield with a phoenix rising above the shield.

While the general consensus among fans was for a kit featuring yellow and black vertical stripes, this format did not comply with the A-league template required by Reebok. Instead, Wellington wears a predominantly black strip with yellow and white trim.

The away strip was revealed with the home kit. The away kit features black sleeves with yellow trim on a white background, while the shorts are white with a yellow and black side trim, with white socks. [ [http://www.yellowfever.co.nz/show-news.asp?ID=123 AWAY KIT REVEALED | Yellow Fever - Supporters of Wellington Phoenix FC ] ]

The Wellington Phoenix FC logo was created by Angus Deacon, a designer at TBD Ltd. TBD Ltd is owned by John Serepisos - a cousin to club owner Terry Serepisos.

The team's sponsors are:
*Front and Lower Back of kit: Sony
*Sleeve: Interislander
*Front of shorts: Wellington Beds


Wellington Phoenix play all home matches at the Westpac Stadium (referred to as the 'Ring of Fire' by fans) which has a capacity of 35,000 plus 1,000 corporate seatings approximately 40,000 with temporary seating. Field dimensions: Length (North to South) 235 metres, Width (West to East) 185 metres. The $130 million NZD stadium was built in 1999 by Fletcher Construction and is situated close to major transport facilities (such as Wellington Railway Station) one kilometre north of the CBD. The stadium is owned and operated by Wellington Regional Stadium Trust. It is located on the waterfront, built on reclaimed railway land, which was surplus to requirements.


A Wellington Phoenix supporters club, calling themselves the "Yellow Fever", was founded a day after Wellington's winning bid for the A-League slot was announced. [Munro, Kylie: [http://www.theaucklander.co.nz/sport/story.cfm?storyID=3730116 Yellow fever hits soccer] , "The Aucklander", 7 May 2007.] Yellow Fever founder Mike Greene met with the founder of NZ cricket supporter group the Beige Brigade to get ideas of how to get the group started. [Woodcock, Fred: [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4000935a18075.html Wellington football fans at fever-pitch] , "The Dominion Post", 22 March 2007.] The name was originally chosen on the assumption that the new Wellington-based team would play in a yellow playing strip (yellow being the dominant sporting colour of the region). When the dominant colour was revealed as black, Yellow Fever elected to retain the name. As such, many Yellow Fever members wear yellow to fixtures as opposed to black, such as the popular "Retro Ricki" t-shirt.

The "Fever Zone" occupied by Yellow Fever members are the rows between aisles 21 and 22, and 'store themselves' at YellowFever.co.nz. The site, at 3rd January 2008, had 4082 registered users. Although Westpac Stadium is an all-seater facility, most Yellow Fever members choose to stand in front of their seat - similar to terrace seating traditions in British football.

Yellow Fever are creating many traditions of their own, the most notable being taking your shirt off if the Phoenix are winning with 10 minutes to go. Many Yellow Fever members have also lent their support to other football fixtures in Wellington and New Zealand, mostly notably Team Wellington and the New Zealand national soccer team, for which they temporarily rebranded themselves as "White Noise".



Of the 21 rounds, Wellington Phoenix will play 10 home games.

In their first match of their A-League campaign they drew 2-2 against Melbourne Victory. Scoring two late goals in the last 7 minutes from Brazilian import Daniel and Shane Smeltz. A crowd of 14,421 was produced which set a record, at that time, for the highest attended club football (soccer) match in New Zealand.

Wellington's first A-League win was a 2-1 defeat of Sydney FC at Sydney Football Stadium on September 14 2007. Their first home win was their 4-1 defeat of ALeague PG on September 30 2007.

On December 1 2007, Wellington Phoenix played a friendly match against United States MLS club Los Angeles Galaxy. [cite web
title=Phoenix to take on Galaxy of stars
date=September 18, 2007
] [cite web|url=http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4212157a6479.html|title=Saturday night game for Beckham|date=September 24, 2007] In the contract to secure the friendly, David Beckham will play a minimum of 55 minutes on the pitch. Wellington was beaten by a 1-4 scoreline. David Beckham played the entire match and scored from the penalty spot in the second half. The attendance of 31,853 was a record for any football match in New Zealand. [cite web
title=Beckham puts on winning show in Welly
date=December 2, 2007
] David Beckham played the full 90 minutes with a broken rib which he sustained in a tackle in the previous match. [cite web
title=Beckham played with broken rib
date=December 7, 2007

The previous evening, November 30 2007, 18,345 had attended the A-League match against ALeague AU. This is the largest crowd to watch a competitive club football match in New Zealand.

Wellington officially ended its 2007-08 finals chances when it lost 2-0 to Sydney FC on January 4 2008.

On the last day of the regular season, the Phoenix had lost a 2-0 away match to the Central Coast Mariners leaving them with 20 points along with Perth Glory. However, due to a poorer goal difference, they ended up being last of the eight A-league teams with the wooden spoon.


After their first full pre-season and extensive recruiting, Wellington started the season in positive fashion reaching the final of the pre-season cup. However after dominating a 0-0 draw against Melbourne Victory, the Phoenix lost on penalties 8-7.

Current Squad

"Players in bold have senior international caps."


* Record Victory: 4 - 1 vs ALeague PG, September 30 2007
* Record Defeat: 1 - 4 vs ALeague AU, October 28, 2007
* Undefeated Streak: 3, September 14 2007 - October 5, 2007
* Most Wins in a Row: 1, September 30 2007 - October 5, 2007
* Record High Attendance (Home Ground): 31,853 vs Los Angeles Galaxy, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, December 1 2007 (New Zealand football attendance record) (Exhibition match.)
* Record Low Attendance (Home Ground): 6,110 vs Melbourne Victory FC, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 24 August 2008
* Highest Season Average Attendance: 11,683 2007/2008 season.
* All-time Leading Goal Scorer: Shane Smeltz - 13 goals
* Longest Period Without Conceding a Goal: 199 minutes, August 30 2008 - September 21 2008

Top scorers

As of: 12th September 2008

Home attendance

Season 1
*1st home match: 14,421 v Melbourne Victory on August 26, 2007
*2nd home match: 11,478 v Newcastle Jets on September 9, 2007
*3rd home match: 12,127 v Adelaide United on September 22, 2007
*4th home match: 10,127 v Perth Glory on September 30, 2007
*5th home match: 10,560 v Central Coast Mariners on October 21, 2007
*6th home match: 8,062 v Sydney FC on November 17, 2007
*7th home match: 18,345 v Adelaide United on November 30, 2007
*8th home match: 31,853 v Los Angeles Galaxy on December 1, 2007 (Exhibition match)
*9th home match: 8,039 v Perth Glory on December 7, 2007
*10th home match: 9,384 v Queensland Roar on December 14, 2007
*11th home match: 14,288 v Sydney FC on January 4, 2008

Season 2
*1st home match: 10,516 v Queensland Roar on August 17, 2008
*2nd home match: 6,110 v Melbourne Victory on August 24, 2008
*3rd home match: 6,928 v Central Coast Mariners on September 14, 2008


External links

* [http://www.wellingtonphoenix.com/ Wellington Phoenix Official Site]
* [http://www.yellowfever.co.nz/ Yellow Fever - unofficial supporters group]

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