Wellington Phoenix announces Lewis and Lawrence to be first female A-League coaches

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Wellington Phoenix and New Zealand Football (NZF) are delighted to announce the first coaching team for the club’s first-ever women’s A-League team.

In consultation with the NZF, Gemma Lewis was selected as Wellington Phoenix A-League women’s head coach, with Natalie Lawrence serving as assistant coach for the 21/22 season.

Lewis and Lawrence will join Canberra United as the only all-female coaching staff in the women’s A-League competition, with Lewis being the fourth female coach named in the 10-Club league – the first time in A-League history -Women’s league as the competition has touted this number.

Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome said the selection won’t come as much of a surprise as the two coaches are highly regarded as the elite in New Zealand and among the best qualified to lead the first professional women’s football team in this season. country.

“We are extremely pleased that Gemma and Natalie are leading the charge with the nation’s very first professional women’s football team, our Phoenix women’s team this year,” said Dome.

“It will undoubtedly be a huge learning season for us and the team given the players we are looking at, but it is also a chance for the coach and the players to show the rest of Australasia what it is. ‘they can do.

“We expect to have a very young development-oriented team with the majority of new players in the pro ranks – so this is a great opportunity for women’s football in New Zealand as we prepare for the World Cup. FIFA Women’s 2023, and we hope Kiwis unite behind Gemma, Natalie and this team as they make New Zealand history on the big stage.

Lewis joins the Phoenix with an exceptional pedigree as a player, coach and mentor. Her playing career saw her appear in England’s top women’s football with Cardiff City as well as international appearances for her native Wales, before moving on to coaching via the NZF’s elite tracks.

She was assistant coach of New Zealand’s bronze medalist Under-17 team at the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay â„¢, and assistant coach of the Ferns Football at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. FIFA, France 2019 â„¢.

Lewis also has coaching experience in the National Women’s League – winning the title with Auckland Football in 2017 – and in 2018 was selected by FIFA to be part of an elite coach mentorship program, which l view framed by Japanese women’s team head coach Asako Takemoto.

Over the past two years, Lewis has overseen the development of some of the country’s most promising young players as manager of the Future Ferns Domestic Program (FFDP) at the NZF, alongside her role as head coach of the NZF. U-20 women’s national team. team.

Lewis says it’s a huge moment for women’s football in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

“It’s really exciting to lead the Wellington Phoenix A-League women’s first team. This team is such an important part of the women’s journey in New Zealand, especially in the run-up to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at home, ”said Lewis.

“I am particularly looking forward to giving young players their first taste of professional football as we announce our first signings over the next few weeks and prepare for our first game on December 3.”

Lawrence serves as assistant coach of Wellington Phoenix after a successful stint as assistant coach and FFDP and U20 coach / mentor in New Zealand football, where she led the implementation of the talent development program and the talent acceleration program for girls.

Lawrence has built a solid reputation as a women’s and youth football development coach, in part through her experience in the United States, Canada – as the Vancouver U16 REX Whitecaps Head Coach and Coach- head of the Academy – and New Zealand; the latter comprising the head coach of the National Women’s League capital football team and the youth head coach of the Wellington team.

“I am delighted to be a part of this inaugural Wellington Phoenix team and to be a part of this huge moment for women’s football in New Zealand,” said Lawrence.

“The opportunities this team offers for the game in New Zealand are huge, and I can’t wait for us to kick off the first campaign.”

New Zealand football CEO Andrew Pragnell says Lewis and Lawrence are the perfect tandem to help lead this new team in their first year.

“This is an exciting time for football in New Zealand, both confirming the first coaching team for the Wellington Phoenix A-League women’s team and having coaches qualified through the neo football coaching system. -Zeeland, ”Pragnell said.

“Gemma and Natalie have done a brilliant job across the national and international game and will make a great team to take charge of the first professional women’s team at Aotearoa.”

Lewis and Lawrence are currently working on finalizing the squad for the Phoenix A-League women’s team to compete next season, with the first player announcements to be made public in the coming weeks.

The team are expected to travel to New South Wales in the near future as they prepare for the start of the 2021/22 women’s A-League season in Australia; with Wellington Phoenix taking on the Western Sydney Wanderers on Opening Night on Friday, December 3, 2021 in a doubles program with the Men’s Phoenix A-League team.

Women’s A-League draw (until December 27, 2021)

R1 – HOME Vs Western Sydney Wanderers *, Location to be confirmed, 7:05 p.m. NZT, Fri December 3, 2021

R2 – AWAY Vs Newcastle Jets *, McDonald Jones Stadium, 7:05 p.m. NZT, Friday December 10, 2021

R3 – AWAY Vs Sydney FC *, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, 6:05 p.m. NZT, Sunday December 19, 2021

R4 – HOME Vs Newcastle Jets *, location to be confirmed, 8:45 p.m. NZT, Mon December 27, 2021

* Indicates a doubles schedule with the men’s A-League team

Added article: Monday, October 11, 2021


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