Phoenix put on the spot
Fun night expected
The Sandbar Pub will host a Wellington Phoenix night tomorrow, with the public getting the chance to ask questions of Ricki Herbert and his team.
The men holding centre stage will be Herbert, striker Leo Bertos and strength and conditioning coach Lee Taylor.
Taylor, whose family is coming over from England soon, has been in New Zealand a few months, staying with mate and Sandbar owner Steve Baker. Taylor plans to buy a house in Whitby.
‘‘ I’m doing different programmes with different players [as the new season approaches]. It’s been full-on and I’m loving it here at the Phoenix,’’ Taylor says in his broad East End accent.
A former professional player, he has worked as a strength and conditioning coach at Notts County, Liverpool and Bolton, and was eyeing up a move to a Scottish Premier League club before Herbert called.
‘‘ I’ve known [ Phoenix player-coach] Chris Greenacre for 17 years and when Ricki rang me, the decision was made in five or 10 minutes.
‘‘The wife said after I got off the phone, ‘Was that about a job?’ and I said ‘Yep’. When I said we’re going to New Zealand she was like, ‘But that’s two days on a plane’.
‘‘For my family it’s a big change but I think we’re going to enjoy the lifestyle here.’’
Baker says the Phoenix night will be a chance for people to hear about the upcoming season and past football experiences of the three guests of honour.
Don’t be surprised if other Phoenix players ‘‘ infiltrate’’ the audience to ask their own curly questions during the Q & A session, he says.
‘‘ It’ll be a fun night. I suggested it to Ricki and he was really keen.
‘‘I know it’s Rugby World Cup time but I’m confident there’ll be a good crowd along.’’
The evening starts 7.30pm at the Sandbar.
The $10 entry also gets you a free beer or wine.
The Phoenix kick off their 2011-12 campaign with an away game against Gold Coast United on October 9.