Unsurprising news...former Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Hooper has still got it

While football in the UK and almost all of Europe has shut down, the Australian A League continues...for now at least.

Sunday, 15th March 2020, 9:41 pm

Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Hooper is now plying his trade down there, with New Zealanders Wellington Phoenix, and while they are about to head into some disruption due to the coronavirus, Pheonix are in superb form.

The Nix are third in the A League table but face something of a challenge over the next few weeks. Their home game against Melbourne Victory was likely the last in Wellington this season because of travel restrictions caused by the global coronavirus outbreak.

Their opponents now face a 14-day isolation period on returning home to Australia and it is likely that Phoenix will play out the remainder of their campaign outside their home country in a bid to cause the least amount of disruption.

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Hooper and his team mates, like the rest of the league, look set to complete their fixtures behind closed doors and in an Australian base, after they themselves complete the 14-day isolation period.

However, the club’s chief executive says he won’t force players to make the journey.

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"It's thrown all our plans into disarray again," Dome told Sky Sport, cited by New Zealand Herald.

Gary Hooper of Wellington Phoenix during the round 23 A-League match between Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium on March 15, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images)

"We've got some plans in place for potential ways forward… I still think something based in Australia is the most likely option.

"It'll be all the players, at least the ones who want to go. We're not going to force players to go; we won't mandate it because players have families, there are some players who are expecting children… we'll give them that option."

Whatever happens, Phoenix signed off on what should be their final home game of the season with a 3-0 win over Melbourne and it will come as no surprise to see that Hooper still has that eye for goal.

The ex-Owl scored the second of the three goals with a brilliantly executed header.

Gary Hooper of Wellington Phoenix controls the ball during the round 23 A-League match between Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium on March 15, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images)

It was the 32-year-old’s sixth of the season.