Football: Wellington Phoenix players heated at A-League bosses

Andrew Durante of the Wellington Phoenix tackles George Mells of Adelaide United during their game in searing conditions. Photo / Getty
Andrew Durante of the Wellington Phoenix tackles George Mells of Adelaide United during their game in searing conditions. Photo / Getty

Irate Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante has challenged A-League bosses to undergo the torturous heat test his players were subjected to in Adelaide.

Players and officials at the Wellington club are still hot under the collar at being forced to play in temperatures approaching 40C in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Adelaide United.

Phoenix management unsuccessfully asked officials to push back the late afternoon kick-off time and say player welfare was put at risk.

Australian defender Ryan Lowry was vomiting at halftime but played on while his team-mates all felt their standards drop as the match went on.

Veteran defender Durante hit back at Football Federation Australia's decree that conditions were acceptable under its safety guidelines.

"I'd like to see the head of the A-League come out and play 90 minutes in that heat and see how they react to it," he said.

"It was borderline dangerous. A 4.30pm kick-off was madness in my opinion and I think it affected the game."

Another Phoenix veteran, Vince Lia, says the players were still feeling the affects at training four days later.

Two days out from their home match against Western Sydney Wanderers, players were still complaining of heavy legs.

Lia said he and others were forced to break the game down into segments, with drinks breaks every 15 minutes regarded as an oasis.

"I was saying 'get through to the next one'. I was playing little battles in my head all game.

"I was buggered the whole time, pretty much."

Durante rejected the FFA's complex "Wet Bulb Guide" formula to measure player comfort levels, believing simple common sense should prevail.

He hoped a Professional Footballers Australia survey on the matter going around A-League clubs would ultimately result in changes.

-AAP

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