Defender Marisa van der Meer signs new deal with Wellington Phoenix

The Wellington Phoenix have bolstered the women’s backline with a new contract for defender Marisa van der Meer.

She joins fellow centre backs Mackenzie Barry and Rebecca Lake in coach Paul Temple’s squad for the next Liberty A-League.

Van der Mee (22) has been sidelined since December, when she ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee while on international duty with the Football Ferns.

Main photo: Marisa van der Meer … looking forward to playing again.

“It’s been a long rehab, so I’ve been thinking about what I want to do and obviously football is something I love to do,” she said.

“I want to get back on the pitch and I want to keep playing.

“I started my rehab at the Phoenix, and I want to continue it with the club.

“I’m excited to see the team again and see who’s joining and who’s staying.”

Marisa van der Meer … her rehabilitation is going well after her ACL injury.

Van der Meer is progressing well little over five months since having surgery.

“I’ve been doing a lot of change of direction, introducing that. I’ve been kicking a ball which is also nice, just dribbling.

“It’s the same thing every week but then slowly adding in new things. I’ve been hopping and jumping as well.

“I’m doing a lot more, which is great, and the physios up here are taking care of me really well.

“My nine to 12 month mark will be September to December, so we’ll see how we go. There isn’t any urgency. I just need to be feeling good and passing my return to play tests.”

WATCH: Teammates share their recovery from injury in two-part series >>>>>

While she’s in Auckland, Marisa van der Meer is also completing the final placement for her physiotherapy degree.

“It’s a four-year degree, and it’s only taken me four and a half years, so I’ve been able to manage it pretty well with football.

“It’ll be nice to tick off and then I won’t have to do any more study. I’ll be working and learning instead.

“I’m not too sure what capacity it’ll look like but I’m looking at trying to do some work alongside football.”

Mackenzie Barry … already signed for next season.

Van der Meer is also looking forward to renewing her centre back partnership with Phoenix women’s player of the year Mackenzie Barry.

The duo started the first six matches of the 2023-24 season as the team made their best ever start to a campaign with four wins.

“It’s been so cool seeing Mack doing so well.

“I’m really excited about playing with her again and it’ll be nice to have that solid duo together at the back.”

Phoenix head coach Paul Temple is delighted van der Meer has signed a contract extension.

“Marisa is a great person within our squad,” Temple said. “She brings significant value to the team and I’m excited to see her playing again on return from her injury.

“Her partnership with Mack was a big reason why our start to the season was so strong and we missed her a lot for the rest of the campaign.

“So I’m very happy Marisa’s returning and I can’t wait to get back to work with her on the training pitch.”

Rebecca Lake … returns to the Phoenix for another season.

Players signed for next season

Phoenix women’s head coach Paul Temple has seven players contracted for the 2024-25 A-League season, with discussions continuing with other off-contract players.

The players signed are Marisa van der Meer, Mackenzie Barry, Olivia Ingham,  Zoe McMeeken, Manaia Elliott, Daisy Brazendale and Rebecca Lake.

READ MORE: Wellington Phoenix sign new deal with women’s vice captain Rebecca Lake >>>>

Players who are leaving

Players who have departed the Wellington Phoenix after the expiry of their contracts include Football Ferns Kate Taylor and Grace Wisnewski.

American imports Hope Breslin and Hailey Davidson have left, with Davidson signing for hometown club Dallas Trinity who will play in the new USL Super League.

Forward Kelli Brown becomes a free agent after completing her second stint at the Phoenix.

READ MORE: Midfielders Grace Wisnewski and Hope Breslin leave Wellington Phoenix >>>>

READ MORE: Out-of-contract Kate Taylor and Kelli Brown to leave Wellington Phoenix >>>>

READ MORE: Wellington Phoenix fullback heads home to Dallas to join new pro’ league club>>>>

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