A-League: Phoenix striker David Ball unsure if he's impacted by NZ's border restrictions

Wellington Phoenix striker David Ball is unsure if he can return to New Zealand with the country's new strict border rules in place. 

England-born Ball left his young family in Wellington and is currently in isolation with his Phoenix teammates in Australia, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Last Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced anyone arriving in the country after midnight would need to be isolate for 14 days. 

His announcement came during the Phoenix's 3-0 win over the Melbourne Victory in Wellington, meaning neither side had any time to make it back before the deadline. 

Since then, New Zealand and Australia have implemented strict border rules to minimise the spread of COVID-19, which allows only citizens, residents, or people from the islands (NZ) to enter the country. 

The rules might be loosened before the Phoenix return to New Zealand, but the situation is still unsettling for Ball. 

"New Zealand acted quite quickly about this and Australia followed soon after," Ball told Bradford-based newspaper Telegraph & Argus.

"But New Zealand are now shutting the borders to non-residents. It affects me slightly, because I'm on a working visa.

"We'll have to get some clarity from immigration that I can get back in, but you’d like to think they will use some common sense."

Ball, 30, admitted the last week has been difficult, especially with his family still in Wellington. 

"Everybody is making sacrifices to be over here," he added.  

"My eight-year-old understands what is going on, but I have to tell the younger one how many sleeps it's going to be before dad can come home.

"We've got 14 days to look after ourselves, then hopefully the league continues when we finish self-isolation. Our next game would be April 5."

Ball isn't the only player missing his family, with fellow import Ulises Dávila missing the birth of his first child, due to the extreme circumstances. 

Dávila had planned to join his partner in Mexico for the birth, but those plans fell through. 

Other import players at the Phoenix are German Matti Steinmann, and England duo Steven Taylor and Gary Hooper, while the travel restrictions also affect any Australian-contracted players the Phoenix have.

Ball, who was named A-League's Player of the Month for February, admitted the adjustment to life in isolation was tough, but the squad was determined to compete for the title. 

"We had to get on the first flight possible afterwards, because Australia have started a self-isolation policy of 14 days for anyone coming into the country.

"It's tough, but we’ve had a really good season and want to finish well."

Ball signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix, after playing in England's third division with Bradford City.

He has scored in three of his last four games to help the Phoenix sit third on the A-League standings.

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