Wellington Phoenix are making their fourth successive appearance at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens after becoming New Zealand’s first-ever representatives in 2015.
Wellington, the only club from New Zealand to compete in Australia’s A-League, reached the semi-finals on their debut at Hong Kong Football Club before losing 1-0 to eventual winners Atletico Madrid. And the New Zealanders again made the last four three years ago when, after topping a group comprising Eastern, Stoke City and Yau Yee League Select, they defeated Leicester City 2-1 in the last eight. Once more, Wellington would lose to the eventual champions in the last four, this time when Aston Villa ran out 2-0 victors.
The 2017 edition saw Wellington reach the final of the Plate competition, where they lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen. Domestically, Wellington have participated in the Australian league since being founded in 2007 and have reached the end-of-season Grand Final series on four occasions, achieving a best ever third-place finish in 2010.
Striker Hamish Watson was among the stars of Wellington’s 2016 HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens tournament and the New Zealander has gone on to become a regular feature in the first-team squad. The club also boast a strong Hong Kong connection having previously been led by former Hong Kong coach Ernie Merrick.