Chloe Knott has joined Alyssa Whinham in committing to the Wellington Phoenix beyond the upcoming Liberty A-League season.
The hardworking midfielder has signed a new two-year deal with the Phoenix, after being one of just two players to start all 14 matches in the women’s maiden season.
Knott, 26, scored two of the Nix’s goals, including the first in the team’s breakthrough 3-0 win over Canberra United in February.
She also showcased her versatility by playing in an unfamiliar position up front.
“It was definitely an easy decision to re-sign with the club,” Knott said. “I was super keen to get back into it after last season as it felt like we had a lot of unfinished business.
“As a team we want to be competitive next season. We don’t want to just be in the league to make up the numbers.
“We want to win games and hopefully finish a lot higher than we did last season.”
Knott was born in England but went to high school in Auckland and wants to play for the Football Ferns in the future.
“I have to stay in New Zealand to fulfil the eligibility requirements but I’m not complaining.
“A two-year deal for me means a bit of stability and means I can plan for the next two years with the Phoenix.
“I think there are going to be some tears as it’s going to be very emotional to be on New Zealand soil after last year. To have fans and family in the stands will be really awesome.”
While the Phoenix women won’t assemble in Wellington until October, Knott and a number of her team-mates have been taking part in an off-season programme in Auckland, under the guidance of head coach Gemma Lewis.
“I’ve been training with a lot of the girls already like Paige [Satchell], Alyssa [Whinham] and Kate [Taylor].
“We’ve all been in together since the Phoenix season finished and those partnerships will hopefully be fine-tuned for the season ahead.”
Lewis is delighted Knott has re-signed with the club as she believes “Chloe embodies what the Phoenix are about in terms of her work ethic, her professionalism and her commitment”.
“She didn’t care who she was playing against, she always gave whatever she could and made an impact on the game,” Lewis said.
“We saw that with the turnovers she created and some of the scrappy goals that she created, which are hard to come by.
“Chloe also played wherever we put her last year and is really flexible in that respect.
“She can play as a midfielder really well, she can play in the forward line and she can still be effective.
“She’s an athlete and we know she’s only getting better and better as a result of being involved in the off-season programme.”
Chloe Knott is the Phoenix women’s eighth signing for the 2022-23 Liberty A-League season, joining fellow foundation players Lily Alfeld, Kate Taylor, Alyssa Whinham, Mackenzie Barry and Brianna Edwards and Football Ferns recruits Betsy Hassett and Paige Satchell in the Wellington squad.