Packed A-League schedule is taking toll on players

Close call: Steven Lustica of the Wanderers reacts during the draw with Adelaide. Picture: AAP Image/David Moir
Close call: Steven Lustica of the Wanderers reacts during the draw with Adelaide. Picture: AAP Image/David Moir

The scheduling at this time of the season has been nothing short of appalling.

In a 27-round competition, we should not be playing games within three or four days of each other.

Teams simply can’t cope with such a quick turnaround, with the size of the squads we have in the A-League.

Of course other competitions have similar gaps between games, but most of those aren’t dealing with a salary cap.

Players become at a higher risk of injury and fans are forced to see lethargic games as a result.

It can’t happen again.

We are lucky that we have a squad with good depth and that’s what we will be taking over to Wellington this weekend.

Our young players have already seen some time on the pitch or the bench in matches this season.

They know they have to stay mentally and physically ready, because they could get their chance at any moment given the nature of the schedule.

Saturday’s match against the Phoenix will be our third in the past eight days.

Add in the flight to Wellington and you can see why it isn’t easy on the body.

Thankfully we will travel across the ditch high on confidence.

It’s obviously taken some time, but we are finally moving in the right direction. Sometimes you have to take a few steps backwards to start heading back to where you want to be. It’s not always the path you want to take, but the destination is the most important thing.

For us, we are now back in the top-six after two wins and a draw in our past three games.

That draw against Adelaide United on Wednesday evening could have very easily been a win had we taken our chances.

We could very well have been 3-0 up at half time.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and we had to be happy with a share of the spoils.

With that said, it was still another positive, attacking display and definitely will give us a fantastic platform for our encounter with the Nix.

Those chances will hit the back of the net eventually too.

  • ROUND 16

Wellington Phoenix vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Saturday, 5.35pm

Westpac Stadium