Two Men’s National League games to be Phoenix A-League curtain-raisers

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Two Men’s National League fixtures will be staged as curtain-raisers for A-League matches at Wellington’s Sky Stadium.

The fixtures will be home games for Wellington Phoenix reserves against Auckland United and Melville United.

And both games will be broadcast live on Sky Sport, the Phoenix have announced.

Greenacre: ‘It’s immense’

Phoenix reserves head coach Chris Greenacre has welcomed the news.

“It’s immense,” Greenacre said. “Having the first team back here in itself is great for Wellington, great for the supporters and great for the whole country, and the icing on the cake for the younger players is to be able to play before the first team.

“To step out onto Sky Stadium is amazing. It’s a wonderful stadium and people have been hungry for football so I’m sure there will be a good turnout for them as well.

“I think it’s a great time to be around football in Wellington and being at Sky Stadium for our young players will be immense. It will give them a feeling of what it’s actually like to be out there and be on the big stage.”

The Phoenix reserves travel to Hawke’s Bay in the opening round this weekend to face Central League rivals Napier City Rovers.

Northern League qualifiers Auckland United and Melville United will travel to Wellington the following two rounds to play the Phoenix reserves at Sky Stadium on Sunday, October 9 and Sunday, October 16 respectively.

Two of the reserves’ other home matches, against Miramar Rangers and Birkenhead United, will be played at their training base, Fraser Park in Lower Hutt.

The venue for their seventh round match against Central League champions Wellington Olympic on Sunday, November 13 has yet to be confirmed.

Every game in the National League Championship will be broadcast live with the vast majority free to air on Sky Sport Next and the New Zealand Football YouTube channel.

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Round 1 of the 2022 Men’s National League

Games to be played on Saturday October 1, 2022

Cashmere Technical v Miramar Rangers
English Park, Christchurch, 1pm

Napier City Rovers v Wellington Phoenix
Bluewater Stadium, Napier, 2pm

Wellington Olympic v Auckland City
Endeavour Park, Whitby, Wellington, 3pm

Games to be played on Sunday October 2, 2022

Birkenhead United v Christchurch United
Shepherds Park, Birkenhead, 1pm

Auckland United v Melville United
Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, 3pm

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