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Merrick to give Phoenix youngsters a run

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/07/2016
Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick © Getty Images Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick will give some of his up-and-coming talent a run in the A-League club's friendly in Beijing.

The Phoenix take on Beijing BG in the Chinese capital on Wednesday night in the first big match of their pre-season programme.

Merrick has brought with him four players he describes as potential New Zealand under-20 squad members in Jack-Henry Sinclair, James McGarry, Sarpreet Singh and Logan Rogerson and expects to put all of them on the pitch.

"It is a great opportunity for them to get game time in intense conditions," he said.

The Phoenix will have back-up goalkeeper Oliver Sail in their starting 11 because of a minor back injury to Glen Moss.

The match before an expected crowd of 20,000 at the Olympic stadium is to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the sister city relationship between Wellington and Beijing.

It will take place two days after the pre-season fixture between glamour English clubs Manchester United and Manchester City was called off because of the state of the pitch following recent bad weather.

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