Football: Wellington Phoenix squad returning to full strength after COVID-19 runs through Kiwi club

For Wellington Phoenix, the past few weeks have been as disruptive as any with COVID-19 wiping out over a dozen of their players.

It forced the postponement of three of their games, and for two of those players who tested positive, being back on the training field has never felt better. 

He's used to scoring goals for fun, but over the new year period Reno Piscopo was instead isolating in his Sydney apartment after contracting COVID-19.

"I had a bit of the sniffles here and there," he says. "But I wasn't too bad."

Roughly three-quarters of the Phoenix squad have tested positive throughout the season,  including Piscopo and his flatmate Matthew Bozinovski - who felt the effects of COVID.

"I was really sick," says Bozinovski. "Body aches, shivering, aching, the works."

But both players have now tested negative and have been back training getting ready to go. 

"Now we just have to get fit and get 100 percent for the upcoming games," Piscopo adds.

But with the majority of the squad isolating at the moment with the virus, training has been scarce.

"[We've] had a few tough sessions with limited numbers this week," adds Bozinovski.

But they're finding a silver lining in this COVID outbreak.

"I think it's best that everyone's got it at the moment," says Piscopo. "So once everyone gets out, we can move on with the season, with the training and get straight back into it."

And one of their first assignments will be an FFA Cup semi-final after their historic penalty shootout victory last week.

"There's a lot to look forward to in the next part of the season," says Bozinovski.

And hopefully that includes staying COVID-free.