Centre back signs on for a second season

Rebecca Lake has jumped at the opportunity to re-sign with the Wellington Phoenix.

The centre back has recommitted to the club for the 2024-25 Liberty A-League, having established herself as an integral member of the women’s squad in her first season in Wellington.

Lake, 25, missed just one of the team’s first 18 matches and was promoted to vice-captain after being named as one of seven kaitiaki at the start of the campaign.

“I’m really excited to sign for another season,” she said.

“I loved last season. Obviously, it was my first year in professional football but I felt like I’d been with the team for a long time.

“I really enjoyed the environment and I believe the facilities we have are the best in the league, so it was a pretty easy decision to return.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 3: Rebecca Lake of the Phoenix passes the ball during the A-League Women round 18 match between Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix at La Trobe University Sports Fields, on March 3, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Martin Keep/Getty Images)

The Nix women narrowly missed out on the finals this year after back-to-back wooden spoon finishes in their first two seasons.

“I hope we can carry on where we left off and push for better results.

“I want to be a consistent starter, a leader and have more influence over games to hopefully get the results that we need so we can push for top six.

“Whether that’s putting my body on the line and stopping goals, or scoring them at set pieces, that’s something I’d really like to be the best at.

“My first goal is coming this season.”

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – DECEMBER 10: Rebecca Lake (L) and Emma Main of the Phoenix take the field to warm up during the A-League Women round seven match between Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory at Porirua Park, on December 10, 2023, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Lake missed the team’s last four matches because of a high ankle sprain and has only recently come out of a moon boot.

“I’ve recovered well from surgery. The surgeon said I’m tracking well, and the physio said I’m tracking well.

“Time is on my side so I’m taking my time with new exercises every week and I’ll be well and truly ready to go before pre-season.”

Phoenix head coach Paul Temple has heralded Rebecca Lake’s re-signing as “great news”.

“Before suffering her ankle injury in Perth Bex had showed she had the quality to step up to the  A-League,” Temple said.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – MARCH 17: L to R, Rebecca Lake, Marisa van der Meer and Kelli Brown of the Phoenix look on during the A-League Women round 20 match between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC at Porirua Park, on March 17, 2024, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

“She was really starting to find her feet at this level so I’m delighted we get to continue that journey with her.

“Bex is also a fantastic person. She really emerged as a leader in the group and she is going to add great value on and off the pitch for the team this coming season.

“I’m excited about the improvement still to come from Bex as she builds her experience and confidence in the league.”

Paul Temple now has six players contracted for the 2024-25 A-League season, with discussions continuing with other off-contract players.