Football Ferns Emma Rolston and Grace Wisnewski won’t be fit in time for the Wellington Phoenix’s history-making A-League match against Melbourne City on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Rolston was initially included in the Phoenix squad named for the match but coach Natalie Lawrence has since confirmed the player’s back issues have ruled her out.
Main photo: Emma Rolston … will be sidelined on Sunday.
She joins goalkeeper Lily Alfeld, Isabel Gomez, Michaela Robertson and age group international Grace Wisnewski who are confirmed as unavailable.
Alfeld has had knee surgery, Gomez has a bruised foot, Robertson has had a concussion and Wisnewski tore her calf while in training camp with the Football Ferns.
Earlier in the week, Lawrence said she hoped Wisnewski might be able to recover in time for the A-League fixture but the 20-year-old midfielder will miss the start of the season.
READ MORE: Rolston joins Phoenix for new A-League season >>>>
The Phoenix game against Melbourne City is the first time a women’s A-League match has been played on New Zealand soil. The club is targeting a crowd of 10,000 for the fixture, which would be an A-League record for a standalone game.
Game to be played on Sunday November 20, 2022
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 3pm (NZT)
Head coach Natalie Lawrence has briefed the media on her squad:
The named squad for Sunday is:
2. Saskia VOSPER, 3. Kate TAYLOR, 4. Mackenzie BARRY, 5. Marisa VAN DER MEER, 7. Chloe KNOTT, 9. Ava PRITCHARD, 10. Alyssa WHINHAM, 11. Betsy HASSETT, 12, Brianna EDWARDS (gk), 13. Paige SATCHELL, 15. Zoe MCMEEKEN, 17. Claudia CICCO, 18. Te Reremoana WALKER, 19. Charlotte LANCASTER, 20. Milly CLEGG, 21. Michaela FOSTER, 22. Georgia CANDY (gk).
Unavailable: 1. Lily ALFELD (gk) (injured), 6. Isabel GOMEZ (injured), 8. Grace WISNEWSKI (injured), 14. Michaela ROBERTSON (injured), 16. Emma ROLSTON (injured).
Melbourne City will be without Football Fern striker Hannah Wilkinson who is unavailable due to a quad injury.
The Victorians have signed Chilean Maria Jose Rojas as Wilkinson’s replacement, as the New Zealander is expected to miss the opening weeks of the season.
New Zealand international Katie Bowen has been named in the matchday squad but as a recent signing, she may be on the bench.
Bowen joined City after leaving the North Caroline Cougars by mutual consent. She played in the Ferns defence against South Korea.
Melbourne City squad
1. Sally JAMES (GK), 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 4. Chelsea BLISSETT, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 7. Julia GROSSO, 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 13. Emina EKIC, 14. Katie BOWEN, 15. Emma CHECKER (C), 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 19. Maria Jose ROJAS, 20. Caitlin KARIC, 21. Isabella ACCARDO, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 24. Daniela GALIC, 25. Darcey MALONE.
Unavailable: 5. Tori TUMETH (ACL), 9. Holly MCNAMARA (ACL), 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN (foot), 17. Hannah WILKINSON (quad).