Team Wellington take on lowly Wanderers SC

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2014
Jacob Spoonley
Fairfax NZ
JACOB SPOONLEY: Will skipper Team Wellington tomorrow.

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Team Wellington have an opportunity to flex their growing muscle tomorrow when they visit Wanderers SC at North Harbour Stadium.

The Wanderers are in their first season of existence and are, more or less, the New Zealand side being prepared by coach Darren Bazeley for next year's under-20 World Cup on home soil.

The youngsters have competed better than some naysayers predicted and have shown an ability to retain possession for decent stretches.

But, despite that promise, they remain rooted to the bottom of the national league ladder with one win and two draws from 12 matches.

Wellington, on the other hand, have got better and better as the season has progressed and, with two games to go in the regular season, sit in the fourth semifinal spot.

With 20 points in the bank, a Wellington win could see them rise up the ladder, with third-placed Canterbury United (22 points) hosting second-placed Hawke's Bay United (23 points) tomorrow.

Wellington coach Matt Calcott has some interesting selection decisions to make as Justin Gulley (suspension) and Tobias Bertsch (broken arm) return to the squad.

Both players are versatile, with Gulley featuring at right back this season and Bertsch in the heart of defence.

Calcott has been at pains this week to ward off complacency, and will have reminded his players of the previous meeting between the two teams. Wellington won 3-2 in December at Westpac Stadium, but the Wanderers finished over the top of their more fancied opponents.

Elsewhere, WaiBop United host the struggling defending champions, Waitakere United, and leaders Auckland City visit lowly Southern United.

AT A GLANCE

What: National league, round 13 Where: North Harbour Stadium When: 2pm tomorrow Referee: Nick Waldron TAB: Wellington $1.30, Wanderers $8, Draw $4.60 Wellington (from): Jacob Spoonley, Tom Doyle, James Musa, Tobias Bertsch, Justin Gulley, Cole Peverley, Colin Murphy, Cory Chettleburgh, Charlie Henry, Joel Stevens, Henry Fa'arodo, Daniel Clarke, Shaun Timmins, Adam Cowan, Cameron Lindsay, Roy Kayara, Sam Mason-Smith, Jamie De Abreu, Clayton Lewis, Andrew Blake, Tamupiwa Dimairo Wanderers (from): Cameron Hogg, Cory Brown, Andre de Jong, Adam Mitchell, Reilly O'Meagher, Riley Kelliher, Michael den Heijer, Elijah Neblett, Ben Thomas, Stuart Holthusen, Zac Speedy, Finn Cochran, Nick Sugden, Judd Baker, Daniel Bowkett, Deklan Wynne, Damian Hirst

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