7 Aug 2019

Phoenix need to go deep into FFA Cup

10:19 am on 7 August 2019

The new Wellington Phoenix coach says they won't be treating tonight's game against the Brisbane Strikers as just a pre-season trial.

New head coach of the Wellington Phoenix Ufuk Talay.


Ufuk Talay will lead the Phoenix in their first competitive game of the season when they meet the Strikers in the round of 32 in the FFA Cup.

The new look Phoenix side have played two warmup matches against local Central League teams Wairarapa United and Western Suburbs.

Talay says with the start of the season still 2 months away, he wants to get as much competitive football as he can.

"We want to go far in this FFA Cup competition, you can play four or five games if you get to the final, so we take it very seriously as we want to go as far as we can. There are three trophies up for grabs this season and we want to try and push ourselves as hard as we can."

The Brisbane Strikers are nearing the end of their Queensland Premier League season, while the Phoenix have traditionally struggled in the FFA Cup.

Phoenix defender Steven Taylor thanks the fans.


New Phoenix captain Steven Taylor says these pre-season knock-out tournaments can always be a banana-skin for the top clubs with the lesser sides out for an upset.

"A hundred percent I've experienced throughout my career back in England, especially Newcastle playing against the lesser sides from the lower leagues we've struggled because it's their FA Cup game."

"They're just fighting for their lives, everyone expects an upset on the night and the tv cameras are there dying for an upset so for us that's the fire in our belly to make sure that doesn't happen."

New Phoenix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic agrees that it's important that they progress in the FFA Cup so that they don't end up having an extra long preseason.

However the Strikers will be tough as they've got almost a full Queensland Premier League season under their belts.

New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic makes a save on the line.

New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic makes a save on the line. Photo: PhotoSport

"We have our own personal expectations, we want to win that one hundred percent, however they're coming towards the end of their season, so what they may perceivably lack in quality they make up for in togetherness and team bonding so we're on the back foot on that edge and hopefully our quality will play out in the end for us."

The Phoenix are without two of their new signings for the game in Brisbane with midfielders Ulises Davila and Josh Sotirio who are both getting over injuries.

The 11-team A-League season starts in October.