Wellington Phoenix completed its pre-season with a 7-1 win over Young Heart Manawatu in Palmerston North on Saturday with in-form striker Jeremy Brockie again on fire.
Brockie netted a first-half hat trick to take his pre-season goal tally to 18 before being substituted to allow other players to get valuable game time.
It was Brockie who began the scoring in the seventh minute and he added further goals in the 33rd and 40th minutes, the third with a vicious trademark volley.
Teenager Louis Fenton, who had an outstanding 45 minutes before being rested in the second half, scored his team’s second goal in the 12th minute, while Stein Huysegems netted his first Phoenix goal right on half time.
Leading 5-0 at halftime, the Phoenix was rocked within minutes of the restart when Hamish Watson, who is about to become part of the Phoenix’s Football School of Excellence but was loaned to Manawatu to get game time, scored with a stunning strike.
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert made several changes at halftime, including introducing Paul Ifill in place of Fenton, and it disrupted the side’s rhythm for a while, but it still managed to add two further goals through Panamanian Ricardo Clarke, who showed some lovely touches and impressive speed, and 17-year-old Tyler Boyd who displayed composure to net the seventh.
Herbert said: “For me, the most important thing was to get more minutes under the belt for everyone, including the young players, and now we can look toward Saturday’s opening A-League game against Sydney.”
Melbourne Heart’s Player of the Year Richard Garcia will be the next to step through the club’s revolving door if he fails to reach terms over an upgraded new contract.