Unmissable women’s season announced

The Wellington Phoenix women’s team’s Unmissable first home season has been confirmed, with Australian Professional Leagues (APL) unveiling the draw for the expanded 2022-23 Liberty A-League.

The women are scheduled to play nine matches in Aotearoa this season, after being forced to play out the entirety of their inaugural campaign in Australia.

Eight of their home games are planned to be played at Sky Stadium in Wellington, with the club hopeful of taking the other match to Auckland.

Five of their fixtures in the capital will be played as double-headers with the Phoenix men.

All of the women’s matches will be played at family-friendly times, with the latest kick-offs being 5:35pm on a couple of Saturdays.

New head coach Natalie Lawrence will lead the side out in their maiden match in Wellington against heavyweights Melbourne City in round one on Sunday, November 20.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – APRIL 17: A general view of Sky Stadium during the A-League men’s match between Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners at Sky Stadium, on April 17, 2022, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

They will return to Sky Stadium the following Saturday to host newcomers Western United in their second standalone fixture.

The women’s next three home games, on Saturday, December 17, Monday, January 2 and Sunday, January 22 will all be double-headers with the men.

Their next individual fixture will be against beaten grand finalists Sydney FC on Sunday, February 25, following the competition’s FIFA international break. The venue has yet to be confirmed, but the club is hoping to take the match to Auckland.

Subject to finalising venue availability, they will be back at Sky Stadium the following Saturday to play Brisbane Roar as part of a double-header.

The women’s final standalone fixture is against Perth Glory on Saturday, March 18 before rounding out the regular season a fortnight later with a blockbuster double-header against Melbourne Victory.

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 16: Phoenix fans cheer their side during the round seven A-League Women’s match between Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar at WIN Stadium, on January 16, 2022, in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome has welcomed the release of the women’s draw.

“As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve never been this excited heading into a Phoenix season,” Dome said. “A big reason for that is we’re able to bring the women home for the first time.

“It’s the start of a massive 12 months for women’s football in New Zealand and I simply can’t wait for our opening game against Melbourne City.”

Dome has set the bar high, targeting a record A-League women’s crowd for the season opener.

“I want to see 10 thousand plus fans come to Sky Stadium on Sunday, November 20.

“The players and staff deserves a big homecoming for everything they went through in their maiden season in Australia and we have the chance to show everyone that we have the best fans in the A-League.”

The Phoenix women will assemble in Wellington next month for the start of pre-season training.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 01: Kate Taylor of the Phoenix (L) celebrates scoring a goal during the A-League Women’s match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix at Wanderers Park, on March 01, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Wellington Phoenix women’s draw 2022-23 (home games in bold, DH denotes double-header with men, kick-off times in NZT):

Sunday, November 20 vs Melbourne City at Sky Stadium – 3pm
Saturday, November 26 vs Western United at Sky Stadium – 3pm
Sunday, December 4 vs Melbourne Victory at TBC venue, Melbourne – 6pm
Saturday, December 10 vs Canberra United at McKellar Park, Canberra – 5pm
Saturday, December 17 vs Adelaide United at Sky Stadium – 5:35pm (DH)
Tuesday, December 27 vs Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium – 7:10pm
Monday, January 2 vs Western Sydney Wanderers at Sky Stadium – 12:25pm (DH)
Saturday, January 7 vs Western United at City Vista Recreation Reserve , Melbourne – 5pm
Sunday, January 15 vs Perth Glory at Macedonia Park, Perth – 9pm
Sunday, January 22 vs Canberra United at Sky Stadium – 12:25pm (DH)
Saturday, January 28 vs Brisbane Roar at Perry Park, Brisbane – 5pm
Sunday, February 12 vs Western Sydney Wanderers at Wanderers Football Park, Sydney – 5pm
FIFA international break – February 13-22
Saturday, February 25 vs Sydney FC at TBC venue – 5pm
Saturday, March 4 vs Brisbane Roar at TBC venue – 5:35pm (DH)
Saturday, March 11 vs Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee, Sydney – 5pm
Saturday, March 18 vs Perth Glory at Sky Stadium – 5pm
Saturday, March 25 vs Newcastle Jets at No. 2 Sportsground, Newcastle – 5pm
Saturday, April 1 vs Melbourne Victory at Sky Stadium – 12:25pm (DH)