Lewis named NZF’s women’s coach of the year

The Wellington Phoenix congratulates Gemma Lewis on being named women’s coach of the year at the New Zealand Football Awards.

Lewis expertly guided the Phoenix women through their maiden A-League season, under trying circumstances, while also juggling her other roles; managing the Future Ferns Domestic Programme (FFDP) and coaching the New Zealand U-20 women’s team.

She had limited time to put the inaugural Phoenix squad together, a minimal pre-season and her young team, nearly all of which were first-time professionals, were forced to live away from home for five months and play all of their matches in Australia.

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 29: Wellington Phoenix head coach Gemma Lewis speaks to the media during a Wellington Phoenix A-League Women Welcome to Country & Smoking Ceremony at Albert Butler Park on November 29, 2021 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Despite the challenges and against all odds the women picked up a memorable point on debut and won two of their final four games to narrowly miss out on ninth place on goal differential.

Gemma Lewis has been reappointed for the 2022/23 Liberty A-League season.

The New Zealand Football Awards covered both the 2020 and 2021 calendar years due to the impact COVID-19 had on international football and futsal and domestic competitions in 2020.

The winners were chosen by a panel of expert judges as well as a fan vote. 

Former Phoenix defender Liberato Cacace was named NZF’s young men’s player of the year.