Six players to leave Phoenix as new women’s coach makes ‘tough calls’

posted in: A-League (Women), News

The Wellington Phoenix have farewelled six women’s players, including five founding squad members.

Forwards Ava Pritchard and Charlotte Lancaster, midfielders Isabel Gomez and Te Reremoana Walker, defender Saskia Vosper and goalkeeper Georgia Candy won’t be returning to Wellington for the 2023-24 Liberty A-League season.

Pritchard, Lancaster, Vosper, Gomez and Walker have been with the Phoenix since the women’s team was formed in 2021, while Candy was the squad’s back-up ‘keeper last season.

Temple: ‘They were tough calls to make’

New head coach Paul Temple has thanked all six players for their contributions to the club.

“They have all helped establish the first professional women’s football team in New Zealand and have left a lasting legacy,” Temple said.

“I spoke to all of six players to let them know they wouldn’t be offered contracts for next season.

“They were tough calls to make, especially to Ava who has been a mainstay of the team over the first two seasons.”

Pritchard (20) featured in all the women’s matches over the past two A-League seasons.

She will forever be remembered as the team’s first goal scorer. She found the back of the net five times in 32 matches.

Main photo: Wellington Phoenix players celebrate Ava Pritchard’s deflected goal during the A-League match against Melbourne City last November. Photo: Dave /

Isabel Gomez … played in all 14 games in the Phoenix’s first season.

Gomez (20) was limited to five appearances off the bench in the 2022-23 A-League, after featuring in all 14 games in the team’s inaugural campaign.

She memorably provided a no-look pass that led to Betsy Hassett’s second goal in the Phoenix’s 5-0 win over Canberra United in January.

Vosper (24) featured 25 times for Wellington over the past two seasons, including starting the team’s maiden match against Western Sydney Wanderers.

She started three matches in the 2022-23 A-League, all of which came in succession either side of Christmas.

Saskia Vosper … made 25 appearances for the Phoenix

Walker (19) played just five times as a substitute last season, after featuring in all but one of the Nix’s 14 games in their maiden campaign.

She was one of four scholarship players in the 2022-23 squad.

Lancaster (19) was on a scholarship contract for the past two seasons.

She made 12 appearances off the bench before making her first start for the club in late March, when she provided the assist for Chloe Knott’s goal in the 3-1 win over Adelaide United.

Georgia Candy … no contract for the next A-League season. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Candy (22) was in goal for that match after deputising for Brianna Edwards throughout the 2022-23 season, having joined the Phoenix as a scholarship player in October.

The Wellington Phoenix wish them all the best for their footballing futures.


This story is published with the help of the Wellington Phoenix.

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