Football: Goals won't be an issue, says Wellington Phoenix striker David Ball

Wellington Phoenix striker David Ball insists the loss of last season's star striker Gary Hooper won't stem the flow of goals for his side.

On Saturday, the Phoenix will kick start their 2020/21 A-League campaign with a 'home' game at Wollongong's WIN Stadium against two-time defending champions Sydney FC on Saturday.

Hooper's knack for being in the right place at the right time as a proven goal-scorer was key to the Phoenix's success last season, and the impact of his absence was often noticeable.

The Phoenix signed former English Premier League striker Tomer Hemed as Hooper's replacement, and Ball feels his addition and the quality across the park will ensure the goals keep coming.

"Gary is a fox in the box," Ball tells Newshub. "That's where he's spent all his career, scoring goals in the six yard box and he had a knack for it.

"The great thing with our side is we've got goals from all over the front four. I packed in with some, Davila as well.

"So as long as we have three of the strikers scoring the amount of goals we scored last year, we'll have no problem, and with Tomar experience and quality, I think he can certainly do that for us."

The Phoenix have had another off-season of mass turnover among the playing roster, losing eight players this season, including six regular starters.

But the 31-year-old believes that the quality of the team culture will help the new players jell quickly. 

"I think the new guys have settled really well and we've got a great culture at the club," the Englishmen says. 

"I think coming into the club as a new player, it's really easy to settle in.

"We got some good talented Kiwi lads that have come in and we have Tomer come in as well, so we have some real quality and we've managed to keep a lot of the lads from last year, especially the spine of the team."

Many viewed the Phoenix as one of the best sides in the competition last season, and fans will be hoping that form is replicated in their upcoming  

Phoenix have had an encouraging pre-season, with five wins from their six friendlies, so will be hoping to carry that momentum through for the games that really matter.