Wellington Phoenix Football Academy

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About The Academy

New Zealand’s only professional football team, the Wellington Phoenix, participates in the A-League. Our youth development system, the Wellington Phoenix Academy, provides avenues into professional football through our A-League men’s and women’s teams.

The Wellington Phoenix are dedicated to developing exceptional young players from all throughout New Zealand. Thus we provide a tried-and-true kid development curriculum and pathway that combines football, personal development, and education. This is done in a creative and inspiring environment.

In 2013, the Academy began with a Football School of Excellence Program (FSE).

Successes of previous students in the Academy

The Academy has produced a number of professional players for the club’s first team in recent years. Louis Fenton, Logan Rogerson, James McGarry, Sarpreet Singh, Liberato Cacace, Ben Waine, and others are also among the notable graduates.

Successful graduates have also gone on to work for professional teams in other countries. Joe Bell (Norway), Calvin Harris (America), and Eugenio Pizzuto are among them (France).

It’s Location

The Ricoh Centre, Fraser Park, Lower Hutt, Wellington, is where the Academy is located. Players must be based in Wellington to participate in the full-time Academy program.

Our Mission

Our program focuses on delivering the greatest coaching possible, as well as the best sports science, medical, educational, and well-being assistance available. Being New Zealand’s only professional football team generates a distinct setting throughout the game.

 Because playing all of the other A-League Academy teams in a weekly competition is impossible, New Zealand Football invites our Academy teams to compete in regional and national competitions in the Capital Football region.

The Competitions

The Capital Development League (CDL) is a competition organised by Capital Football for clubs with Talent Development Programs (TDPs). In these contests, the Phoenix Academy teams play at least one grade higher. Our older players compete in senior leagues, whereas our Academy teams are all age-restricted (e.g. U20) and compete against club first teams.

The NZF National League System (NLS) Tier 1 contains the Central League and National League Playoffs, and our Reserve Team competes in it. When compared to Academies abroad, this combination of junior football and senior games at a young age creates unique player profiles.

Wellington Phoenix: The Pre-Academy

Pre-Academy Centres (PAC) serve as a gateway to the Wellington Phoenix Academy program. The PAC focuses on players in the Skill Acquisition Phase (9-12) and aims to improve their key skills as well as their confidence in their potential to advance in their football careers. These workshops are albeit designed to support a player’s growth as a community football player.

Our City Pre-Academy Centre, Team 2, is returned for 2022, with the addition of a Girls Only Centre.

The Pre-Academy is a terrific way for your child to receive more touches on the ball to supplement whatever football they are already playing.

The Reserves in Wellington Phoenix FC

The Wellington Phoenix Football Club Reserves are a New Zealand football side based in Wellington. They presently play in the New Zealand National League as the reserve side of the Wellington Phoenix FC of the A-League.


A Wellington Phoenix reserve team competed in the ASB Phoenix Challenge against ASB Premiership teams from 2010 to 2013. These games, however, were independent from the main competition.

On August 22, 2014, the club received permission to field a reserve team in the ASB Premiership for the 2014–15 season. Luckily this was New Zealand’s top level of football.

On November 1, 2014, the team made their competition debut against Team Wellington.

They were however unable to avoid a 1–2 defeat.

Tyler Boyd scored the reserves’ first goal, but it wasn’t enough to keep them from losing 1–2.

The squad

The Wellington Phoenix named a youth squad for the ASB Youth League on October 2, 2015.

However Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was struck between the Phoenix and Lower Hutt City as part of New Zealand Football’s reorganization and development of a new National League for the 2021 season. As a result, the squad was known as Lower Hutt in the Central League.

Lower Hutt would not be able to qualify for the Championship phase, even if they finished in the top three in the Central League, because Wellington Phoenix would be playing in that phase.

For the 2022 season, the Phoenix were thus authorized to participate in the national league with their own name and colors for the first time.

How To Join Wellington Phoenix Academy

Everyone is welcome at the Club, which operates on an open-door basis. The procedure outlined below can also be used to learn how to join a Football Academy in Europe/Australia. A large number of the prerequisites are also available in Australian Football Academy Scholarships.

Wellington Phoenix Junior Camp accepts children as young as eight years old. Visit learn more about the many programs offered by the Academy, go to www.wellingtonphoenix-fc.com/.

Registration into Wellington Phoenix Football Academy

Entering Requirements into Wellington Phoenix FC Academy

Wellington Phoenix Academy Scouts and Open Football trials are used to recruit new members. Applicants, particularly international students, can still apply via the club’s website or by special drafts.

  • Give detailed information about yourself, your past clubs (if any), and your contact information.
  • Parents’ permission is required, especially for children under the age of 18.
  • Make an effort to provide a video of yourself; this strategy is mostly applicable to overseas applicants

How to Register Wellington Phoenix FC Academy

To register and learn more, go to the official Academy website at www.wellingtonphoenix.com/en/academy/wellingtonphoenix-fc-academy.

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Wellington Phoenix FC

Wellington Phoenix Football Team, based in Wellington, New Zealand, is a professional association football club. Under license from Football Federation Australia, it competes in the Australian A-League.

After forming in March 2007, Phoenix entered the competition in the 2007–08 season. However It was founded by New Zealand Football to take over as a New Zealand-based team in the Australian A-League competition from the New Zealand Knights.

The club is one of the few in the world to compete in a league that is not affiliated with the country in which it is based (AFC) (OFC).

Where are the matches held?

In 2010, the club reached the A-League Preliminary Final, which was their biggest achievement. In addition the club’s home games are held at Sky Stadium in Wellington, a 34,500-seat multipurpose arena.

 However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has temporarily relocated to Wollongong, Australia, to continue competing while evading cross-border travel restrictions. Their home uniform is black with yellow stripes.

Its History


Due to the club’s financial and administrative troubles, as well as poor on-field performance, Football Federation Australia (FFA) terminated the New Zealand Knights’ A-League license in the final months of the 2006–07 season.

FFA transferred the license to New Zealand Soccer after the New Zealand Knights board resigned. As a result, they were in charge of the club for the balance of the season before it was disbanded.

The FFA then granted NZS a provisional A-League license, which they were able to sub-let to an eligible New Zealand team for the 2007–08 season. FFA established a deadline for NZS applications, which was later extended to allow more time for potential applicants in New Zealand to apply with NZS support.

The Proposal

While NZS was given the opportunity to apply with a new sub-licensee, Tropical Football Australia (TFA), a Townsville-based consortium, also indicated interest and prepared an ALeague proposal to replace the Knights.

TFA finally withdrew with the knowledge that the FFA preferred to keep a New Zealand team in the league.

TFA resubmitted its ALeague expansion bid the following year under the moniker “Northern Thunder FC,” which was later altered to “North Queensland Thunder.” However, since the 2007–08 season’s expansion was canceled, this attempt died.

Finances and renovations

The final sum required for the application came from Wellington property businessman Terry Serepisos in the latter phases of the bid, after significant delay.

However the club’s majority owner and chairman, Serepisos, contributed NZD $1,250,000 to assure the start of a new New Zealand franchise and the continuation of the A-participation League’s in New Zealand.

New Zealand Football was granted a three-year A-League license by FFA, which was then sub-let to the Wellington-based team.

On March 19, 2007, the new Wellington club was announced.


Despite FIFA’s support, AFC president Mohammed Bin Hammam announced that the Wellington squad either relocate to Australia or disband by 2011 owing to AFC standards.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, on the other hand, stated emphatically in an interview shown on SBS on December 21, 2008,

“I am the president of FIFA.” “It is the FIFA Executive Committee’s responsibility, not the Confederation’s…

If Wellington wants to continue playing in the Australian League, we will offer them our blessing as long as the Australian League wants them and Wellington wants to stay (and) both associations in this situation, New Zealand Soccer and Australian Football, are happy with it. That is something the Confederacy cannot tamper with.””

How the Phoenix rose

When Adelaide United defeated Brisbane Roar 2–0 in the 26th round, Phoenix became the first New Zealand team to reach the playoffs in an Australian football championship.

 On February 12, 2010, the Phoenix defeated the Central Coast Mariners to finish fourth. Thus ensuring that they would host a playoff game against Perth Glory on February 21, 2010. Sydney FC defeated The Phoenix in the Preliminary final.

“It simply rips your heart out. With a good goal, we got back into the game, and it took it away from you. It was not meant to be. I believe we were right back in the thick of things. They played some excellent football, but I think we handled it well.

We were pretty sure we could get something out of it if we went into halftime [at 1–1].” Coach Ricki Herbert shared afterwards.

Why did the season end?

The Phoenix’s season came to an end as a result of the loss, and the Grand Final would be contested by Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.

The FFA granted Wellington Phoenix a five-year license extension on April 20, 2010, keeping the team in the competition until at least the end of the 2015–16 season.

Many think that Wellington’s capacity to compete in the A-League is critical to the national team’s and the greater football landscape’s advancement.

Ownership transfer

Prior to the 2011/12 season, it was revealed that Serepisos was having financial problems, both personally and professionally. The Inland Revenue Department took a highly publicized action to liquidate a number of Serepisos’ firms for unpaid taxes. The Phoenix was owned by the team Serepisos as well as Century City Football Ltd.

Serepisos first claimed to have acquired funding from Swiss-based lenders. Following that, he declared that he had reached an agreement with Western Gulf Advisory, a Bahrain-based lender.

 Ahsan Ali Syed, the owner of Racing Santander, planned to sell 50 percent of the club. These money, however, were never received, and the partial transfer was never completed.

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The Lawsuit

Despite the fact that the liquidation lawsuit was settled through an undisclosed third-party, Serepisos’ financial woes continued. Regardless, he said that he would not relinquish ownership of the team. Coach Ricki Herbert was reportedly owed $100,000 in outstanding salaries by the team, according to other reports.

However, Serepisos and the FFA stated on September 23, 2011, that Serepisos had surrendered ownership of the club due to severe financial issues.

The FFA granted a new group of seven Wellington businessmen, led by Rob Morrison and included Gareth Morgan, Lloyd Morrison, and John Morrison, the club’s license.

Changing the Head Coach

Ricki Herbert resigned from his role as head coach on February 26, 2013, with the Phoenix in last place.

The Phoenix had suffered a string of bad luck in a season when they were supposed to be a title contender.

For the rest of the season, Assistant Coach Chris Greenacre took over as acting head coach. On May 20, 2013, Ernie Merrick was named the head coach after a “global search.”

Merrick had six years of success with the Melbourne Victory, which was considered significant. In the coming season, Merrick will become the most experienced A-League coach once again. Regaining this position from Herbert, who had passed him near the close of the 2012–13 season.

More Changes

Greenacre was retained as the Assistant coach.

Following the Phoenix’s 2–0 loss to Adelaide United on December 5, 2017, Merrick resigned as head coach.

Des Buckingham was named head coach on January 2, 2017, and Chris Greenacre was named co-coach.

Darije Kalezic will leave the Wellington Phoenix at the end of the season, the club announced on March 1, 2018. This is due to their inability to reach an agreement on how the club will go in the coming season.

The Rudan epoch

On May 30, 2018, the Wellington Phoenix announced the two-year employment of Mark Rudan, a former Sydney FC captain.

When the Wellington Phoenix defeated the Newcastle Jets 2–1, Mark Rudan became the first coach in Wellington Phoenix history to win his first game in command.

Following a 2-2 tie in Round 2 against Brisbane Roar, the team is off to its best start since the 2012/13 season.

In Round 3, they were defeated 3–0 by Western Sydney Wanderers, their first loss of the season.

Phoenix Wins in this era

Phoenix went on a 9-game unbeaten streak with Premiers Perth Glory and Champions Melbourne Victory after losing in Round 5 against Adelaide United. As well as victories over Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets. In round 15, Sydney FC ended their unbeaten record.

The Phoenix qualified for the playoffs in sixth place. Rudan declared on April 15 that he would not complete the second year of his contract and would leave at the end of the season due to personal reasons.

Talay epoch

After Mark Rudan’s one-year contract expired on May 4, 2019, it was announced that Ufuk Talay would take over as head coach.

Talay stated in his first press conference that he wants to establish a young club with a strong Kiwi core. Stefan Marinov, the goalie for the All Whites, was his first signing. Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, Tim Payne, and Callum McCowatt, all from New Zealand, were also signed.

Mexican Ulises Dávila was Talay’s first import signing. Following another English striker, David Ball, who was brought in as an import.

Naming the Captain and Vice

On July 24, it was announced that Steven Taylor will lead the team into the next season as captain, with Alex Rufer as vice-captain.

Signing of Players

Phoenix paid an unknown fee for Reno Piscopo, it was reported on August 18th. This was the first time the club paid a player’s transfer fee.

Walter Scott, Jaushua Sotirio, Cameron Devlin, Liam McGing, and seasoned centre-back Luke DeVere are among the young Australian players Talay has signed.

He also signed Matti Steinmann to a one-year deal with his fourth import space.

Talay got off to a good start as a manager with the Wellington Phoenix, leading them to a 7–0 pre-season friendly victory over Wairarapa United in his first game in command.

Events that took place after the loses

After losing on penalties to Brisbane Strikers in the Round of 32 of the 2019 FFA Cup, they were eliminated. This occurred after a remarkable comeback from a 2-0 deficit to a 2-2 tie at the final whistle.

Wellington Phoenix broke their home attendance record against Western United FC on May 22, 2021, attracting 24,105 fans. This game had the highest attendance in the Hyundai A-League (as of May 22). It had been 433 days since the last A-League game in New Zealand, which was held on March 15, 2020.

Wellington Phoenix FC Stadium

The Wellington Phoenix FC has played the majority of its home matches at the Wellington Regional Stadium (now known as Sky Stadium for commercial purposes), which is affectionately known by fans as the “Ring of Fire.”

The stadium can hold 34,500 people.

Fletcher Construction completed the NZD$130 million stadium in 1999. It lies one kilometer north of the central business center, close to significant transportation links (such as Wellington railway station).

Wellington Regional Stadium Trust owns and operates the stadium. It’s built on reclaimed railway land on Wellington’s waterfront that was surplus to needs.

How does the Stadium Run?

Away spectators sit in the north, while home fans sit in the south and west of the stadium.

Wellington Phoenix FC played two home games away from Sky Stadium during the 2009–2010 A-League season. The first was held in Palmerston North’s Arena Manawatu, and the second in Christchurch’s AMI Stadium.

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The fan base

The two games were crucial in growing Wellington Phoenix’s fan base in New Zealand. During the 2011–2012 A-League season, the team played a game in Auckland at Eden Park in front of 20,078 fans.

The Phoenix originally trained at Newtown Park, on a separate field from the playing surface that was newly refurbished in 2008.

This ground was shared with the New Zealand Football Club.

Another Relocation

However, in 2017, Team Wellington relocated to Martin Luckie Park, which had been renovated to include two full-sized sand-based grounds.

The Phoenix provided funding for the refurbishment, as well as $550,000 from Wellington City Council.

Due to COVID-19, the Wellington Phoenix relocated to Wollongong for the 2020-21 A-League season, playing their home games at Win Stadium.

For the 2021-22 A-League season, Wellington returned to Wollongong and played their home games at Win Stadium.

Wellington Regional Stadium

Wellington Regional Stadium (named Sky Stadium due to commercial naming rights) is a prominent sporting arena in Wellington, New Zealand. The bowl site of the stadium is 48,000 m2 (520,000 sq ft).

Its History

Fletcher Construction completed the stadium in 1999, making it New Zealand’s first bowl stadium. It was built to replace Athletic Park, which, due to its location and state of decay, was no longer considered sufficient for international events.

The stadium was also constructed to accommodate larger crowds for One Day International cricket matches. This is owing to the fact that the Basin Reserve ground has lost such contests to larger stadiums around the country.

The Right to Name the Stadium

When the stadium first opened in 2000, Westpac Trust, afterwards known simply as Westpac, agreed to be the title sponsor. Keeping that partnership going for another twenty years till it came to an end on December 31, 2019.

On August 22, 2019, it was revealed that Sky had inked a six-year deal to become the stadium’s naming sponsor on January 1, 2020.

Who uses the Stadium?

The stadium is a multi-purpose venue that is primarily utilized for sporting events. The Wellington Lions Mitre 10 Cup rugby team and the Hurricanes Super Rugby team also call it home.

The Wellington Sevens, one of the annual World Rugby Sevens Series events for national rugby sevens teams, was also held in the stadium. The All Blacks play their home matches at Sky Stadium on a regular basis.


Rugby league matches, team matches, and New Zealand Warriors away matches have all been held at the stadium. From 2013 to 2015, the St Kilda Football Club of the Australian Football League (AFL) played home games at the venue on Anzac Day.

The New Zealand Institute of Sport and a campus for the Wellington School of Cricket, run by the Wellington Cricket Association, were among the off-field facilities erected into the stadium.


An aerial image of the stadium and its surroundings was taken in 2010.

The then-Westpac Stadium in 2000 hosted The burguh Military Tattoo. The event was held for the first time outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. In February 2016, they returned to Wellington to play at the stadium once more.

Director Peter Jackson recorded 30,000 supporters chanting in Black Speech during an England vs. Black Caps cricket match in 2002 for the sound of 10,000 chanting Urukhai during the Battle of Helm’s Deep in the film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

WWE matches

The stadium hosted WWE’s inaugural New Zealand show, WWE SmackDown Road to WrestleMania 22 Tour, on March 4, 2006. The broadcast event drew a total of 23,875 people. There were nine matches, including a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, and Mark Henry (WWE).

In 2006, The Rolling Stones concluded the Australasian leg of their A Bigger Bang World Tour with a show.


Australia defeated New Zealand in the Centenary Test rugby league match on October 14, 2007. The 58–0 loss set a new record for the New Zealand name.

The stadium was renamed Westpac Stadium during the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

During the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the stadium held eight games and a record crowd of 35,194 for a football match in New Zealand.

The stadium hosted the Australasian leg of AC/Black DC’s Ice World Tour in January 2010.

With the Auckland-based New Zealand Warriors hosting the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on May 11, 2013, the stadium and Wellington hosted their first National Rugby League match since 2004.


Mount Smart Stadium was one of the venues for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, which New Zealand and Australia hosted jointly.

The stadium hosted the second leg of the World Cup inter-confederation play-off versus Mexico on November 20, 2013.

The stadium hosted the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations Final. In November 2017, a record audience of 37,034 people watched New Zealand’s football team draw 0–0 with Peru.


The stadium drew its greatest crowd to date on March 2, 2019, with 46,474 people attending Eminem’s Rapture 2019 show.

Queen and Adam Lambert will play at the stadium on February 5, 2020, as part of their Rhapsody Tour.

Guns N’ Roses will perform at the stadium on December 8, 2022, as part of their 2020 Tour, followed by the Foo Fighters a week later on December 15, 2022.

The stadium will host a number of matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

Apply here; https://wellingtonphoenix.com/academy/about-us-academy

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