Above: Michaela Robertson, who was previously part of the Phoenix Academy was the first player from Wellington to be selected for the club’s A-League Women side. Today’s announcement will offer even more opportunities for local players. Photo: Friends of Football.
New Zealand Football has announced that Wellington Phoenix reserves will be joining the women’s National League Championship this year.
The news comes as a major milestone for the Wellington Phoenix’s fledgling women’s academy programme.
As is already the case in the men’s competition, the Nix reserves have been granted an automatic qualification spot to support the club’s women’s youth development.
Wellington Phoenix director of football Shaun Gill has welcomed the announcement saying: “Having entry into the women’s National League is a critical part of the pathway for the development of young female footballers in New Zealand. It’s also critical to ensuring there’s gender equality within the academy programme.”
There will be three women’s teams playing out of the Phoenix academy in 2023, with under-15, under-17, and under-20 sides all entered in Capital Football competitions.
“A big thank you must go to Capital Football and all of the clubs within the federation for their support, to ensure we can have three women’s teams play in local competitions this winter.
“Having the under-20s play in the National League at the end of the year is the final piece of the puzzle.”