Phoenix announces first signing for the W-League

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Goalkeeper Lily Alfeld is the first player in the new Wellington Phoenix women’s A-League roster.

Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kiwi-born Alfeld spent his final season at Perth Glory, starting all 12 games and making 53 saves in the league.

As one of seven New Zealand players in last season’s A-League women’s competition, the 26-year-old Alfeld, together with her Kiwi colleague Claudia Bunge, plays as one of only 14 players every 1080 minutes during the season.

Known as an acrobatic defender, Alfeld was nominated for her successes in her first campaign as a candidate for the PFA Player of the Month Award in December / January and at the same time won the Save of the Week Award twice in a row.

Alfeld previously spent four seasons at Louisiana State University in the United States before returning home in 2018 to be part of NZ Football’s Future Ferns Domestic Program, which enables young Kiwi women to make the leap from domestic football to professional careers.

Alfeld said she was “more than excited” to join the Phoenix for its inaugural season.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity, I grew up with the men’s Phoenix team and at the time I never really thought it would be an option for me to play professionally ‘at home’ is very special,” said Alfeld .

Looking back on her first season in women’s A-League, Alfred said it was “rough” at times, but she enjoyed the experience.

“It was a great opportunity and my first appearance in professional football. So there was a lot to learn this season and it was tough at times – but such a positive experience overall.

“I think season [with the Phoenix] It’s going to be a similar situation as many of the girls on the squad are still quite young and are doing this as a developmental experience – but I’m looking forward to going into this season and knowing what I’m up to and with some A-League- Experience under my belt. “

Wellington Phoenix Women head coach Gemma Lewis said Alfeld will be confident that she will bring her A-League experience to a squad made up mostly of young players who are new to professional football.

“We know Lily is a great goalkeeper and we also know that she made a positive impact on her squad last season – both on and off the field,” said Lewis.

“She will give this team a lot of stability and leadership and we know the younger players will look up to her because she has this professional experience and knows the A-League women’s competition.

“We are very excited that Lily is our first addition to the Phoenix Women and would like to announce the rest of the roster in the coming week.”

Alfeld said she was excited to be part of history as a member of New Zealand’s first professional women’s football club.

“To be part of the first, first season [with the Phoenix], it’s a chance to make a bit of history, so I’d love to go out and have a positive start into what will hopefully be the many seasons to come; It’s a role that I’m very honored to do and I can’t wait to get started. “

The club’s first game in this competition is scheduled for December 3rd against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

-RNZ


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