Phoenix women add experience to maiden squad

The Wellington Phoenix have finalised their inaugural squad on the eve of their maiden Liberty A-League Women season.

The Phoenix have signed experienced defender Talitha Kramer as their 20th and final player.

Kramer brings invaluable experience to the team, having played 21 matches for the Western Sydney Wanderers over the course of the 2017/18 and 2018/19 W-League seasons.

She trained with her teammates for the first time in Wollongong this morning, ahead of their historic opening match against the Wanderers at WIN Stadium tomorrow night.

It is a homecoming for Kramer, as she played for the Illawarra Stingrays in the New South Wales Women’s competition during the winter.

“It’s great being a local player and I’ve played in the W-League previously so I’m hoping to help the girls in any way I can,” Kramer said.

“I know for a lot of the girls this is the first professional competition they’ve played in so I’ll help guide them along.

“I know a lot of the players in the league because I’ve played with them before. I know how teams are structured and their style of play so I’m hoping I can help in that way with insight into the other teams.”

Kramer hasn’t featured in the W-League for the past two seasons because of serious groin and knee injuries, but made 12 appearances for the Stingrays this year and scored five goals.

“I had a really good season, the body feels really good and I’m so excited to get back into the A-League again.

At 30, Kramer is four years older than the next eldest Phoenix squad member, which has an average age of just 20.

“I’m a bit above that average age, that’s for sure,” she quipped.

“I’m definitely looking forward to meeting everybody and having a chat with the coaches.”

Because of her late addition to the squad, Kramer won’t be considered for Wellington’s maiden match against the Western Sydney Wanderers tomorrow night.

The first match of the Liberty A-League Women season will kick-off at 7:05pm NZT and will be broadcast live and free-to-air on Prime.