Full back Tim Payne named in Phoenix squad for crucial game against Mariners

posted in: A-League (Men), News

All Whites defender Tim Payne is a surprise inclusion in the Wellington Phoenix squad for their top-of-the-table clash with Central Coast Mariners.

Payne has been receiving treatment for a hamstring injury and was not expected back so soon, but he’s been named in the initial squad for Saturday’s Isuzu UTE A-League match at Gosford.

Though two players will need to be omitted from the named squad, Payne’s inclusion indicates he might play at least some part in the match that will decide which team takes the lead.

Main photo: Tim Payne … could play against the Mariners. Photo credit: Natural Light Photography Company.

Payne suffered his injury in mid-March during his team’s 2-1 win against Sydney at Auckland’s Eden Park. It forced his withdrawal from the New Zealand squad to play two international fixtures in Egypt.

READ MORE: Injury forces Tim Payne to withdraw from All Whites squad for Egypt series >>>>

The Phoenix will be without captain Alex Rufer for the Mariners match after he received a one-game ban for his sending-off against the Brisbane Roar in Round 23.

On Saturday, the Phoenix will stay top with a draw or better, while the Mariners will take over the lead with a win.

READ MORE: Phoenix captain Alex Rufer cops ban and will miss top-of-the-table clash >>>>

Industree Group Stadium, Gosford.


Game to be played on Saturday April 6, 2024

Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix
Industree Group Stadium, Gosford, NSW, 7.30pm (NZT)

Table at 8am (NZT) on Friday April 5.


Central Coast Mariners

2. Mikael DOKA, 3. Brian KALTAK, 4. Josh NISBET, 6. Max BALARD, 7. Christian THEOHAROUS, 9. Alou KUOL, 11. Angel TORRES, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Harry STEELE, 17. Jing REEC, 18. Jacob FARRELL, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (c), 22. Ronald BARCELLOS, 23. Dan HALL, 26. Brad TAPP, 28. Will WILSON, 30. Jack WARSHAWSKY, 33. Nathan PAULL, 39. Miguel DI PIZIO, 99. Ryan EDMONDSON

Ins: Nil

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 5. Noah SMITH (injured), 27. Sasha KUZEVSKI (injured)

Wellington Phoenix

3. Finn SURMAN, 4. Scott WOOTTON, 5. Fin CONCHIE, 6. Tim PAYNE, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Ben OLD, 10. David BALL, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV, 12. Mo AL-TAAY, 15. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 17. Youstin SALAS, 18. Lukas KELLY-HEALD, 19. Sam SUTTON, 23. Luke SUPYK, 24. Oskar VAN HATTUM, 25. Jack DUNCAN (gk), 39. Seth KARUNARATNE, 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk), 43. Matt SHERIDAN, 51. Gabriel SLOANE-RODRIGUES

Two to be omitted

Ins: 6. Tim PAYNE (returning from injury)

Outs: 14. Alex RUFER (c) (suspended)

Unavailable: 9. Oskar ZAWADA (injured), 14. Alex RUFER (c) (suspended), 26. Isaac HUGHES (injured)

What’s at stake

The club that finishes top of the table after the completion of the 27 rounds of games will win the Premiers Plate.

For the Phoenix, it would be the club’s first trophy since the club was founded in 2007.

By finishing in the top four, the Phoenix would gain home advantage in the finals play-offs, a set of games to decide who would play in the Championship grand final.

Finishing top of the table would mean the Phoenix would host the grand final if they reached it.

The possibility of a grand final at Sky Stadium over the weekend of May 24-26 has led to the postponement of the annual Wellington Food Show.

The food event was due to be held at the stadium but has been rescheduled for the last weekend in August.

Run-in for both teams

Wellington Phoenix

Game to be played on Friday April 12, 2024

Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 7pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Friday April 19, 2024

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
Newcastle International Sports Centre, Newcastle, 9.45pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Saturday April 27, 2024

Wellington Phoenix v Macarthur
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 7.15pm (NZT)

Central Coast Mariners

Game to be played on Saturday April 13, 2024

Western United v Central Coast Mariners
Regional Football Facility, Tarnelt, 5.30pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Sunday April 21, 2024

Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford, 5pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Saturday April 27, 2024

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
Newcastle International Sports Centre, Newcastle, 7.15pm (NZT)

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