Ever-present midfielder departs the Phoenix

The Wellington Phoenix have agreed to release Chloe Knott from the remainder of her contract.

The experienced midfielder, who has yet to miss a match in the Phoenix women’s team’s history, has made the difficult decision to put her professional football career on hold as she believes it is no longer sustainable for her to continue.

Knott, 27, has found it challenging working a fulltime job alongside being a part-time A-League footballer, while also meeting her financial obligations.

The call to put her footballing career on hold was made apparent when her joy of being in the Phoenix environment was no longer outweighing the financial strain she was feeling.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – OCTOBER 11: Chloe Knott enjoys a laugh during a Wellington Phoenix A-League Women media opportunity at NZCIS on October 11, 2023 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

“The decision to leave the team has been the toughest one I’ve ever had to make and is not something I have taken lightly,” Knott said.

“I feel lucky for all the lessons and experiences I have had over the past three seasons, and mostly for the connections and friendships I’ll have for the rest of my life.

“I’m at a stage in my life where I feel free and empowered to choose the spaces that are most conducive to my personal fulfilment and becoming the person I want to be.”

Chloe Knott has played every one of the Phoenix’s 38 matches since the women’s team was established in 2021 and has found the back of the net five times, including the match-winner against Perth Glory in Auckland on Saturday night.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 07: Players from both teams enter the field during the round nine A-League Women’s match between Western United and Wellington Phoenix at City Vista Recreation Park, on January 07, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)

Knott has also been one of Wellington’s leaders over the past two years. She led the Nix for the majority of the 2022-23 season in the absence of injured club captain Lily Alfeld and was named one of the team’s vice-captains under new head coach Paul Temple.

“I want to thank Chloe for the fantastic service she’s given this team and the club,” Temple said. “Her attitude and commitment have always been incredibly professional. She’s an amazing person and we will certainly miss having her presence around the training ground.

“It’s without doubt disappointing to lose a player like Chloe, but we have to respect her decision and support her with finding a better work-life balance. 

“In a way, it’s fitting she was able to finish up scoring the winning goal in her hometown on Saturday night.”

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – NOVEMBER 25: Chloe Knott of Wellington celebrates a goal during the A-League Women round six match between Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory at Go Media Stadium, on November 25, 2023, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

The Wellington Phoenix coaching staff are looking at potential replacements for Knott with the squad’s depth being tested as fellow midfielder Grace Wisnewski is sidelined for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.