A-League's Phoenix to return to NZ in May

After more than 12 months on the road, Wellington have confirmed they'll return to New Zealand to play two A-League matches across the Tasman in May.

For the first time in over a year A-League matches will be played in New Zealand, with Wellington Phoenix confirming clashes with Western United and Perth Glory in May will be held across the Tasman.

The Phoenix last played in New Zealand on March 15, 2020, before the competition was halted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then the Phoenix have played most of their matches in NSW, basing themselves in Wollongong for the 2020-21 season.

The establishment of a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand has, however, created the possibility of the team hosting fixtures at home.

The first match will be against Western at Sky Stadium on May 22 with a clash against the Glory to be played at Auckland's Eden Park on May 30.

Phoenix general manager David Dome is hoping fans will turn out in strength for the games after a 433-day exile.

"Our target is at least 15,000 fans attending both these pivotal matches - making each the largest A-League crowds this season - a worthwhile target that recognises what this team has done in its re-location to Australia," Dome said.

"The players and football operations staff have been magnificent in how they have handled the relocation. Not once has anyone complained, they've just got on and got the job done. I hope the fans get out in support to show their appreciation for that."

Wellington have put themselves firmly in the finals hunt this season with Ufuk Talay's men picking up three wins in their past four matches to sit just two points behind sixth-placed Western heading into Saturday's clash with Brisbane.