An injury to forward Kosta Barbarouses has opened the way for two teenage Wellington Phoenix reserves to break into the first team squad for Sunday’s A-League game against Macarthur.
Noah Karunaratne and Joshua Tollervey, both 19, are a chance of travelling to Sydney for the isuzu-UTE round 16 match at Sydney’s Campbelltown Stadium.
Karunaratne is an attacking midfielder and featured in the Phoenix’s Australia Cup campaign last year. He also played for the New Zealand team that won last year’s OFC U-19 Championship.
Main photo: Noah Karunaratne … looking to break into Phoenix first team. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Tollervey has yet to travel with the senior squad. The striker finished the National League Championship with two goals and an assist in the reserves’ final three games in November.
The injury to Barbarouses, a hamstring strain that will take up to four weeks to heal, was revealed by coach Ufuk Talay at his weekly media conference on Friday.
New signing Nikko Boxall has been included in an extended squad, having moved from Auckland City last week.
The experienced defender will vie for a place at centre back with Josh Laws, Finn Surman and Tim Payne, who has returned from suspension. English centre back Scott Wootton remains sidelined with a calf injury.
Game to be played on Sunday February 12, 2023
Macarthur v Wellington Phoenix
Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney, 7pm (NZT)
3. Finn SURMAN, 5. Steven UGARKOVIC, 6. Tim PAYNE, 7 Ben OLD, 9. Oskar ZAWADA, 10. David BALL, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV, 12. Lucas MAURAGIS, 13. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 14. Alex RUFER, 15. Nikko BOXALL, 17. Callan ELLIOT, 19. Sam SUTTON, 20. Oli SAIL (gk), 21. Joshua LAWS, 24. Oskar VAN HATTUM, 31. Yan SASSE, 35. Noah KARUNARATNE, 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk), 44. Joshua TOLLERVEY.
IN: 6. Tim PAYNE (returning from suspension), 15. Nikko BOXALL (new signing), 35. Noah KARUNARATNE (promoted), 44. Josh TOLLERVEY (promoted).
OUT: 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (injured), 37. Isaac HUGHES (demoted).
Unavailable: 4. Scott WOOTTON (injured), 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (injured), 23. Clayton LEWIS (injured).
Filip KURTO, Ivan VUJICA, Jake McGING, Jonathan ASPRPOTAMITIS, Tomislav USKOK, Matt MILLAR, Jake HOLLMAN, Kearyn BACCUS, Charles M’MOMBWA, Ulises DAVILA, Bachana ARABULI, Jed DREW, Craig NOONE, Al Hassan TOURE, Daniel DE SILVA, Daniel ARZANI, Jerry SKOTADIS, Ali AUGLAH, Moudi NAJJAR, Oliver JONES
Ins: Daniel DE SILVA, Kearyn BACCUS, Al Hassan TOURE
Unavailable: Lachlan ROSE (foot injury)