Wellington Phoenix praised for ‘continued sacrifice’ after relocating to NSW for A-League season

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Wellington Phoenix will relocate to NSW for the beginning of the upcoming A-League season.

The Phoenix will move their operations from Wellington to NSW for the second time in as many seasons due to COVID-19 travel restrictions — with Wollongong shaping as a likely base.

Wellington’s squad members will assemble in NSW on November 1, when they can begin training as a team ahead of the A-League’s December 27 start date.

The Phoenix said they still hoped to play home games in Wellington later in the season.

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But that largely depended on a trans-Tasman bubble that would allow players and staff to travel without a compulsory two-week quarantine period upon arriving in New Zealand.

Wellington Phoenix fans in Sydney will get another chance to watch their team live from December 27.(ABC Image: Brendan Esposito)

Should a trans-Tasman bubble eventuate during the season, the club will review the potential to play home games in New Zealand later in the season,” the Phoenix said in a statement.

“This is dependent on changes being made by the New Zealand government around the two week quarantine process upon a person’s return to New Zealand, when it is deemed safe to do so, and the costs incurred of relocation back to New Zealand.

The Phoenix find themselves in the same situation as the New Zealand Warriors NRL team during the 2020 season.

A Warriors NRL player runs with the ball; in his right hand as a Canterbury opponent gives chase in the background.
The Warriors also relocated during the 2020 NRL season.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

The Warriors were based in Terrigal during the season, although not all the players lasted the course.

Ken Maumalo, David Fusitu’a, Agnatius Paasi and King Vuniyayawa all left the bubble to return to New Zealand in August.

The Premiership-winning Melbourne Storm also spent the NRL season away from home, based on the Sunshine Coast.

State and territory leaders have agreed to develop a roadmap out of hard border restrictions in time for the Christmas holidays, with the exception of Western Australia, which could yet pose problems for Perth Glory.

AAP/ABC

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