Perth Glory has arrived in New Zealand ahead of Sunday’s do or die Semi-final against the Wellington Phoenix but coach Dave Mitchell is still not sure which players will be fit enough to play.
Perth Glory has arrived in New Zealand ahead of Sunday-s do or die Semi-final against the Wellington Phoenix but coach Dave Mitchell is still not sure which players will be fit enough to play.
“There are a few guys we still have to wait and see how they pull up.
“Jacob Burns and Mile Sterjovski have both travelled with the squad but whether play is another story so we-ll just see how it pans out in the next day or two,” Mitchell said.
Burns and Sterjovski have both missed the last three games after picking up injuries during Perth-s hectic schedule when the Glory was forced to play three games in six days. Burns is recovering from a hamstring tear, Sterjovski a back complaint.
The Glory landed in Wellington on Thursday afternoon after a long flight from Perth via Melbourne.
“The boys are looking forward to our first training session on the park this afternoon and we-ll go through a couple of moves and then see how they-re feeling after that but the spirits are good and everyone is looking forward to the game.”
Wellington has not lost at Westpac Stadium since October 2008, an unbeaten run stretching 17 games.
“Yeah they are confident. They haven-t lost at home in a long time. It-s a big game for them, they haven-t made the finals before and a packed house is expected.
“They are supremely confident as they should be.”
But Perth-s form since Boxing Day has also been impressive with four wins and a draw.
“We have a self belief and confidence that we can get a result here and hopefully get a home final.”
After ten years of trying, WELLINGTON PHOENIXhave become the first New Zealand-based team to reach a national football league finals series, following the failure of Football Kingz in the old NSL (1999/2000 to 2003/04) and NZ Knights (2005/06 to 2006/07) to enter the finals phase. Prior to this season (fourth out of 10 teams), a New Zealand-based team has finished in the top half of a ladder just once (Football Kingz 1999/2000 - eighth out of 16 teams).
Considering past five matches, PERTH GLORY are the form team leading into the Hyundai A-League 2010 Finals Series, having lost just one from their past five matches.
The Glory however will be hoping that finals experience of its players has no bearing on things, considering that no current Perth Glory player has previously played in a finals series match (there are six squad members in each of the two other debutant Hyundai A-League Finals Series teams - Gold Coast United and Wellington Phoenix - with Hyundai A-League Finals Series experience).
Games this season:
Round 2: 16 Aug 2009 Westpac Stadium Wellington 2-1
Round 14: 8 Nov 2009 Westpac Stadium 1-All
Round 24: 22 Jan 2010 ME Bank Stadium Perth Glory 2-0
Hyundai A-League 2009/10 Finals Series - Week 1
Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory
Sunday, 21 February at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Local Kick-Off: 5.00pm (12pm AWST)
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 HD and Sky Sport 2. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is The Radio Network 1035 AM (Wellington) and 6PR (Perth) 882AM.
Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. DIEGO, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 15. Eugene DADI, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 40. Liam REDDY (gk)
*one to be omitted*
In:DIEGO (promoted), Ben SIGMUND (promoted)
Unavailable: Mark PASTON (gk) (leg - season)
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Danny MCBREEN, 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 6.Chris COYNE, 7. Jacob BURNS, 9. Tommy AMPHLETT, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 11. Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Scott BULLOCH, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC
*three to be omitted*
In: Chris COYNE (returns from corked thigh), Jacob BURNS (returns from hamstring injury), Branko JELIC (promoted), Mile Sterjovski (return from back injury)
Unavailable: Viktor SIKORA (Thigh - 2 weeks)