09/10/2021 02:00

The Wellington Phoenix women’s team will join the W-League for the 2021/22 season. Photo / Getty

The Wellington Phoenix announced the creation of the first professional women’s soccer team in New Zealand history.

Following the recent announcement by the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) that three expansion teams will join the W-League ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Phoenix and New Zealand Football confirmed that a first Phoenix women’s team will join the W-League -Liga for the 2021/22 season.

The Phoenix W-League team is supported with staff and resources from New Zealand Football.

Phoenix CEO David Dome says this is an exciting moment for both the club and women’s football in New Zealand.

“This is the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance to create a professional women’s football team in New Zealand,” said Dome.

“Thanks must go to APL and the incredible work they have done since taking control of the A and W leagues eight months ago; their strategic focus on helping the nations’ elite soccer players play more games and more To offer opportunities – on both sides. ” of the Tasman’s – is vital to the growth of the game.

“This will enable us to further expand our extremely successful academy program by expanding our youth development program for women – which has already begun developing the next generation of W-League footballers.

“Make no mistake, this is a huge success for New Zealand football as it opens up yet another avenue for women to become professional football players, where they can both develop their skills and showcase their talents to the rest of the world – and more Opportunities for Kiwi soccer players should shine.

“And finally one more plea – a lot of Mahi has come forward to get where we are today: from the club, APL, New Zealand Football and others. Now we are asking for support from the economy of New Zealand and Australia.

“This is a unique opportunity to work with New Zealand’s first professional women’s football club and have a proven track record of doing something very special – and we need partners to help us do that.”

Melbourne Victory celebrates after winning the W-League grand final in April.  Photo / photo sports
Melbourne Victory celebrates after winning the W-League grand final in April. Photo / photo sports

Andrew Pragnell, CEO of New Zealand Football added, “Establishing a professional path is a big moment for women’s football in Aotearoa and across the OFC region. This is the culmination of years of work between New Zealand Football, Wellington Phoenix, Football Australia and most recently APL to bring a Kiwi side to the W-League and I want to applaud everyone who helped make this happen.

“This is a moment of real collaboration that will benefit the game on both sides of the Tasmanian Republic ahead of our joint hosting of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Along with our improvements to women’s national competitions and the upcoming announcement of our legacy plan around “2023 is an exciting time for women’s football in New Zealand.

“Although more details about the team will be revealed in the coming weeks, this is a moment to celebrate and I can’t wait to see the team on the pitch at the start of this year’s W-League season.”

APL Leagues Commissioner Greg O’Rourke says Phoenix’s inclusion in the W-League is significant.

“We promised that we would act quickly to implement our vision of our strategy for growing women’s football and when Wellington joins the W-League next season, more games and more football will be created immediately,” said O’Rourke .

“It follows a groundbreaking collective bargaining agreement that immediately raises the standards in all of our clubs, especially for the players on the W-League teams.

“We’d like to thank both Football Australia and New Zealand Football for helping us grow the W-League. This is an exciting day for APL, but just another step in our bold plans for the game to grow.”

The Phoenix will be busy working with other parties over the next few weeks to build a competitive team for the 2021/22 W League season. Dome is confident the club can put together an energetic and exciting squad in its inaugural season.

“We’ve all been in the background for the past few years and we’ve been working towards this very moment – now that we’ve got the green light, I’m confident that the club will be able to finish the squad relatively quickly in preparation for the season.” Start of the season.

“We are very much looking forward to making history for women’s football in New Zealand.”