Phoenix to play pre-season tournament in India

Last updated 14:02 07/08/2012
Ricki Herbert
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ON TOUR: Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert intends to use a tour of India to broaden the team's talent base.

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The Wellington Phoenix's preseason buildup will include playing a tournament in India.

The Phoenix face five games in 14 days when they visit Australia and tour India.

They start the trip with a match against fellow A-League club Newcastle Jets in Weston, New South Wales on August 18.

They fly to Delhi the next day for a four-team tournament that kicks off against United Sikkim in Guwahati on August 24.

They will play a yet to be confirmed I-League team on August 26 in Impahl before meeting Shillong Lajong at Shillong's Nehru Stadium on August 30.

The tournament final or third-fourth playoff will complete the visit on September 1, again in Shillong.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is delighted with what's in front of him and intends to use the trip to broaden his talent base.

"We have struggled for meaningful pre-season games at times in the past and this will give our players a real workout," Herbert said.

"Some of the boys from our school of excellence will be on the trip and it will be a great experience for them, as well as giving the coaching staff an opportunity to assess their progress against good teams in a challenging environment.

"With two under-21 spots still to be filled it also gives them a chance to put their hand up for a playing contract."

The Phoenix will complete their preseason programme against A-League newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers at Christchurch's AMI Stadium on September 23.

The A-League season opens for the Phoenix on October 6 against Sydney FC in Wellington.

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- Fairfax Media

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