Football Article

Wellington Phoenix Show Clear Progression

Wellington Phoenix Show Clear Progression Photo: TT
Wellington Phoenix. Photo credit: Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire.

Wellington Phoenix are really started to adapt to head coach Ufuk Talay’s methods.

Midfielder Alex Rufer was talking ahead of the Adelaide United clash and he thinks the Nix are getting better and better as time goes on.


Talay is in his first season with the Phoenix and is implementing his own style of play. Things started badly with a FFA Cup loss to the Brisbane Strikers, but the evolution has continued with hard work and patience.

Now Wellington Phoenix are sitting in second place in the A-League, facing their highest ever finish and a real chance at glory.


That excites Alex Rufer. He said: “It’s been steady progress. Come the first game we were still learning and adapting. We can still get a lot better, I still believe that we haven’t hit our best form yet and that scares a lot of teams.

“It’s very exciting so see where we can finish and what we can do. I’m not too sure what sort of word to use to describe it, but its been a very positive season and it’s been a very good season and hopefully we can finish strong.”

Nobody at the Nix will admit this, but even if they don’t finish the campaign with a trophy it’ll have been a hugely encouraging start to Talay’s first season at the helm. He’s got key players tied to multi-year contracts, youngsters like Rufer performing key roles with the first team and a new breed coming through.


They’ve also [recruited well][1], with new arrival Jaushua Sotirio having his most productive campaign yet - in terms of goals scored. He has four and two assists, and will face his old Western Sydney Wanderers side at the weekend, but isn’t too worried about the threat they pose.

He said: “Nah, every game is the same, we take it 100%. We want to give our best, but I just keep scoring against them so hopefully I will on the weekend.”

With a heavy schedule and plenty of rotation, there’s no assurances that Sotirio will start the game. But under Talay’s rapidly improving system, that matters a lot less now than it did a few months ago.[1]:

Russell hughes
Sports Pundit staff writer @rusty_hughes
I’m a cricket, rugby union and football writer based in Wellington but with one foot in South Africa and England

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