The Wellington Phoenix are delighted to announce the signing of Kiwi players Charlotte Lancaster and Alyssa Whinham to scholarships with the A-League Women’s team.
They both know how special it is for them to be a part of our inaugural squad, and that these type of opportunities in the professional space don’t come around often; so I’m confident they’ll put in 110% effort and treat this season as a learning – and fun – experience.
Although the Club has filled its allotment of 11 Kiwi players for the upcoming season, it has been granted special dispensation by Football Australia to have Lancaster and Whinham join the team as New Zealand scholarship players.
Alyssa Whinham, an 18-year-old attacking midfielder, has played with the Canterbury Pride in the Women’s National League since 2019 – teaming up last season with fellow Phoenix signings Kate Taylor and Zoe McMeeken as the Pride captured its third successive championship. Earlier this year Whinham played for Coastal Spirit in Mainland’s WPL competition.
Charlotte Lancaster is an 17-year-old defender who hails from Napier in the Hawkes Bay. She debuted for Central Football in the Women’s National League in 2018 at 15 years old, and was named as their Female Player of the Year last season. Lancaster most recently played for Palmerston North Marist’s FC, which finished 2nd in the W-League.
Whinham and Lancaster have experience playing alongside each other, with both players called up into the New Zealand U-20 camps earlier this year. They were also both members of the NZ U-16s side that came in second at the 2019 CFA China International Youth Football Tournament – with Lancaster named as Player of the Match in the team’s 2-1 win over Thailand to claim silver.
Wellington Phoenix Women’s Head Coach, Gemma Lewis, says that this is a great opportunity for these two young players to gain some professional experience.
“I’m really pleased that we’re able to offer Alyssa and Charlotte a chance to be part of this team, it’s great for us and great for their career ambitions too,” says Lewis.
“They both know how special it is for them to be a part of our inaugural squad, and that these type of opportunities in the professional space don’t come around often; so I’m confident they’ll put in 110% effort and treat this season as a learning – and fun – experience.”
The Wellington Phoenix A-League Women’s squad now stands at 15 players, with the team expected to travel to New South Wales early next week in preparation for the 2021/22 A-League season.