Wellington Phoenix admitted to ASB Premiership

The Wellington Phoenix have been included as part of the brand new New Zealand football competition, the ASB Premiership.

Set to kick off on October 25, the nine-team competition will include what’s effectively a Phoenix reserves team, which was admitted to the competition while bids from Auckland United, Nelson Marlborough Falcons and YoungHeart Manawatu were rejected. 

“The addition of the Wellington Phoenix team strengthens both the A-League franchise and the overall quality of our national competition which is very important,” said New Zealand Football CEO Andy Martin 

“It is the responsibility of New Zealand Football to ensure we have a structure in place which provides the best possible chance for our sole professional club to thrive and develop. 

“The Wellington Phoenix is obviously a key part of the landscape in terms of building the strongest possible All Whites side and their entry into the ASB Premiership is vital for not only their own structure, but the overall strength of a product which will ultimately benefit the entire game in New Zealand.” 

With distance preventing the Phoenix playing in the National Youth League, the ASB Premiership looks likely to give Wellington a competition for its young talent.

“Our Board is determined to build a strong presence in the A-League and understand that we need to add more depth if we are to achieve this,” said Phoenix general manager David Dome. 

“Following on from our newly established Academy, our side will build this depth by focussing on youth players who will be the next generation of professional players. 

“Having a team in the ASB Premiership is crucial to this development pathway. 

“This structure will add greatly in building a club which will compete every year for the A-League title. 

“It’s an exciting time for us and we can’t wait to take the field in the 2014-15 ASB Premiership competition.”