Paper Talk: Fans flock to Hyundai A-League in big numbers for Round 19
Fans came out in massive numbers over the weekend with the Hyundai A-League having enjoyed the best average attendance since Round 2, while Wellington Phoenix set a club record.
More than 62,000 fans attended the five matches over the weekend, including 23,648 at Eden Park for Wellington’s clash against Champions Melbourne Victory.
That number is Wellington’s highest-ever home attendance for a regular season match, with only two of the club’s home finals attracting a bigger crowd.
It highlighted a wonderful weekend for the Hyundai A-League when it came to fans flocking through the gates.
League-leaders Perth Glory had a crowd figure of 10,831 for the visit of strugglers Brisbane Roar.
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That number was Glory’s second-highest of the season, just behind the 11,393 that turned out for the Round 6 clash against Newcastle Jets.
And Sydney FC’s first-ever home Hyundai A-League game at Leichhardt Oval drew a superb crowd of 12,188 in hot conditions.
It all led to a round average of 12,505 fans for the five games over the weekend, the most since the second round of the campaign back in October which had an average of 15,597.
With the action on the pitch sure to heat-up even more on the run-in to the finals, there’s even more reason to get out to a game over the next eight rounds and into the Finals Series.
Roly confirms Glory interest
He’s arguably been the Wanderers’ most-consistent players this season but Roly Bonevacia admits he has to weigh up his future at the club beyond 2018/19.
Bonevacia continued his rich vein of form in the Wanderers’ shock 3-1 win over Adelaide United on Saturday night, scoring one goal and setting up the other two at Coopers Stadium.
Off-contract at the end of the season, Bonevacia is unsurprisingly generating interest from Hyundai A-League rivals, confirming to the Sydney Morning Herald that Perth Glory are keen on luring him west.
The 27-year-old was signed by Tony Popovic to the Wanderers at the start of last season but never got to play under the highly-regarded mentor, who quit on the eve of the campaign.
"Me and Popovic, we worked together for four months and I enjoyed it," Bonevacia told the Herald.
"But that does not mean that I will go there or we have a deal in place or something. It's still early."
“I would love to stay [at the Wanderers],” the Dutchman added.
"But it depends on the terms, where I'm playing and what the coach sees me doing next season. You can have a beautiful training ground and stuff and it's exciting, but you still need to play well and to win games.
"For me, the most important thing is what happens on the field.”
Mariners sweating on Oar
Tommy Oar and the Central Coast Mariners are awaiting the results of scans to learn the full extent of the attacker’s knee injury.
Oar limped off early in the Mariners 1-1 draw with Sydney FC on Sunday after a sickening-looking hyper-extension of his left knee.
While initial fears were the former Caltex Socceroos winger had torn his ACL, Mariners coach Mike Mulvey confirmed the club would know more after scans.
"We think that the knee is intact. He's going to go for an MRI (on Monday)," Mulvey said after the game.
"He said his foot stuck on the pitch, it was a little bit spongy. But he did roll his ankle so that maybe took a little bit of pressure off the knee."