Phoenix eye Cup success

The Pre-Season Cup is no longer a warm-up exercise for the Wellington Phoenix - it's now a chance to claim the club's first silverware.

The Pre-Season Cup is no longer a warm-up exercise for the Wellington Phoenix - it's now a chance to claim the club's first silverware.

The Phoenix brought in a number of new signings over the off-season and were originally viewing the Pre-Season Cup as a way of introducing new combinations and working towards hitting top form for the A-League season opener against the Queensland Roar on August 17.

But after a 1-0 home win over the Central Coast Mariners, a 1-1 away draw with the Roar and Saturday's night epic 3-2 comeback win over highly-fancied Sydney FC, the Phoenix are only a home win away from tasting glory.

Standing in their way are the Melbourne Victory, who will look to spoil those aspirations at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.

"We went into the Pre-Season Cup with an attitude around getting some quality games under our belts. But the further we went we started thinking 'hang on, we can go somewhere and maybe have a shot at winning this'," new Phoenix defender Jon McKain said.

"Now we're in the final, we want to win it. The feeling in the change room and at training is just unbelievable.

"The belief within the team is there, that's what is really noticeable. We've recruited well this year and we've got a good group of boys in.

"But it's the belief within the group that's key - when you've got quality players onboard and everyone has faith in themselves and each other then everything else takes care of itself."

McKain has extra incentive as he has the chance to become the captain who lifts the silverware on Wednesday evening.

With 2008/09 skipper, and fellow newcomer to the Phoenix, Andrew Durante suspended for two yellow cards, McKain takes the captain's armband against the Victory.

"It's an honour. Obviously it was an unfortunate situation for Andrew last weekend but it's a big honour for me to lead this club out in a final and in front of our fans - it doesn't get much better than that."

Qualifying for the final is also another major coup for Phoenix owner Terry Serepisos, chief executive Tony Pignata and coach Ricki Herbert just 18 months into the club's existence.

It will be the first time a New Zealand side has qualified for an Australian competition final and comes as a welcome boost after the torturous years of the Auckland-based Kingz and Knights franchises.