Football: Auckland-based Wellington Phoenix fans prepare to jump ship as new side readies to enter A-League

While the Phoenix men and women's sides both enjoyed a successful trip to Auckland, it's clear when the men return next season they'll be walking into enemy territory.

Saturday's fixture was the final time the Phoenix men will be able to soak up home support in Auckland, with the arrival of an A-League franchise in the city next season.

And it's clear Phoenix fans in Auckland are ready to jump ship to their new team.

The Phoenix gave the Auckland crowd plenty to cheer about, as a 1-0 win over Melbourne City took the Kiwi team temporarily top of the league.

American Bill Foley is bringing a team to Auckland.
American Bill Foley is bringing a team to Auckland. Photo credit: Getty Images

Tops were off at the 80-minute mark, and Nix fans were in full voice at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart.

But with Auckland's entry to the A-League given the green light, it may well be the last time the Wellington side feel the love in the city of sails.

"We've always had a good record here in Auckland," said Phoenix coach Giancarlo Italiano. "I hope that continues, even as the away team."

And those there to cheer on the Nix yesterday are ready to swap allegiances for a new home team next season.

"Auckland all day long," said one fan when asked who they'll support next season.

"Auckland as my first team, Wellington Phoenix as my second team," said another.

While Auckland's arrival into the A-League may put a dent in the Phoenix's fan base there, the move is being welcomed by general manager David Dome.

"To have someone else come on board and help with the development of players is only going to be good," Dome told Newshub.

"And of course, we'll get a great rivalry out of it as well."

That's a rivalry the Phoenix will no doubt cherish.

Meanwhile, Dome isn't concerned about a player drain north. The club has already begun the process of safeguarding the Nix future.

Auckland-raised natives Alex Paulsen and Ben Old have both been tied down to long-term deals as evidence of that.

"We've got a very strong academy," continued Dome. "So we're developing good young players, and then signing them to long-term contracts is really the future strategy."

A strategy the Phoenix hope will keep their winning run in Auckland going, even without the fan base to cheer them on.