Phoenix put on the spot

Fun night ex­pected

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

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.

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