Wellington Phoenix could return to their home base next year following the likelihood of a trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australian and New Zealand.
The Phoenix are currently scheduled to play all their 2020-21 A-League season home matches at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium after relocating to NSW early last month due to COVID-19-enforced travel restrictions and quarantine regulations.
However with Monday’s announcement from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that air travel between two nations could resume in first quarter of next year, provided COVID-19 cases stayed low and approval from the Federal Government, the Phoenix are considering their options.
“The Wellington Phoenix will assess the likelihood of relocating the team back to New Zealand during the 2020-21 season, should a quarantine-free, two-way corridor open up between New Zealand and Australia early next year,” a club statement said.
“This follows the New Zealand Prime Minister’s post cabinet press conference where the possibility of a trans-Tasman travel bubble with Australia – tentatively set for the first quarter of 2021 – was discussed.”
The Phoenix start their season on December 29 against Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Oval.
It’s one 18 A-League and W-League matches being played in eight days in a busy start to the season.
The season open with a December 27 double-header at Bankwest Stadium.
New A-League club Macarthur FC meet Western Sydney Wanderers, with the Wanderers also in W-League action against Melbourne Victory.
The Roar on Monday announced the re-signing of Matildas defender Clare Polkinghorne.
“It’s a club that I love playing for. There’s nothing better than representing your home city, your friends and your family,” said Polkinghorne, who is about to embark on her 13th W-League season with the Roar after a recent stint in Norway with Avaldsnes IL.
“From the very first season, I have really enjoyed playing for the club and representing the city. It’s good to see that not only the club, but the league too, has grown and it’s been great to be part of that.”
Fox Sports will broadcast live A-League and W-League football for six days a week up until the end of the women’s season.
Overall, Fox Sports will show live every match of the A-League season, 27 W-League matches, and both competitions’ finals series.