Phoenix confirm Ferns duo will not return for next women’s A-League season

Football Ferns Paige Satchell and Emma Rolston are out of contract and will not return to the Wellington Phoenix for the new women’s A-League season.

This has been confirmed by Phoenix head coach Paul Temple in a media briefing.

Having signed 12 players for the new season, Temple was asked about out-of-contract players such as Satchell, Rolston, international midfielder Betsy Hassett, U-20 international Zoe McMeeken and goalkeeper Lily Alfeld.

Main photo: New Zealand’s Paige Satchell playing against Argentina in February. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Of Satchell and Rolston, Temple said:

“I’ve had a conversation with both of them and so we won’t be bringing them back for this season and I think they’ve got some other things that they’re looking forward to doing.”

New Zealand U-20’s Zoe McMeeken. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

He said the club was keen to keep defender McMeeken involved.

“She’s a really good young player,” he said. “I think people forget how young she actually is. She’s been involved for the first two seasons so we see Zoe staying with us.”

Temple said the club was working with Alfeld to help plan her recovery from long-term injury.

“There’s probably still a little bit more time needed on making a clear decision on what we’re going to do with Lily but we want to support her as a club and obviously we want to have her involved just in the club as well.

“I think everyone saw last season what a great influence she is so we’re just working through that with Lily and the medical team.”

Temple said he had not caught up with Hassett since the Ferns’ elimination from the World Cup, and she had returned to Iceland where she has been playing outside the A-League season.

“We’ll reconnect over the coming weeks and we’ll see where that gets to.”

Temple said the World Cup had taken more of an emotional toll on New Zealand’s players than people were aware of.

“They put so much effort and energy into that over the last probably eight to ten weeks so I think a lot of them are just unwinding and kind of regenerating,” he said.

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