The Wellington Phoenix are excited to announce that experienced midfielders Chloe Knott and Grace Jale have been signed to the Club’s inaugural A-League Women’s squad, which is set to compete in the 2021/22 Season for the first time.
In addition to what these two experienced players bring to the Phoenix on the field, it’ll be their contribution off the field that’ll be just as important. – Gemma Lewis, Head Coach.
English-born Knott, 25, attended Rangitoto College and moved to the United States in 2014 at the age of 18; enjoying a successful four-year stint at Georgetown University that saw her record two goals and seven assists over the 2015 and 2016 seasons. After graduating from Georgetown she joined Durham Women FC in England to compete in the FA Women’s Championship, while also studying towards her Masters.
Knott has spent the last two seasons with the Northern Lights in the ISPS Handa Women’s Premiership, scoring seven goals as one of the league’s most dominant players.
22-year-old Jale attended Auckland’s Mt Albert Grammar School, helping to lead them to a national First XI championship, and has also played for the Eastern Suburbs premier women’s team and the Bay Olympic Club Team – being named Player of the Year with the former. Jale also both attended and played at North Carolina’s prestigious Wake Forest University in the United States.
Jale is a current member of the NZ Football Ferns, with four caps and two goals to her name. She debuted for the New Zealand senior national team against Tonga at the 2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup and has represented her country in the under-17 and under-20 national teams. In 2016 Jale competed in two FIFA Women’s World Cup events, the U-17 Cup in Jordan and U-20 Cup in Papua New Guinea.
Wellington Phoenix A-League Women’s Head Coach, Gemma Lewis says that both players will bring a measure of experience and toughness to a young squad.
“We welcome Chloe and Grace to the Phoenix squad; we know they’ll bring some quality to our side in its first year,” says Lewis.
“In addition to what these two experienced players bring to the Phoenix on the field, it’ll be their contribution off the field that’ll be just as important – helping to give our younger players, many of them new to professional football, some much-needed guidance and support throughout the season.
“I know Chloe and Grace can’t wait to get started this season, it’s going to be exciting times for both Nix fans – and for everyone who is keen to see women’s football continue to thrive in New Zealand.”
Wellington Phoenix General Manager, David Dome says that as the Phoenix Women’s squad continues to take shape, so does the need for sponsors and partners to support this team in its first year.
“It’s a remarkable achievement to have built New Zealand’s first professional women’s football squad, all within this Covid landscape; but for this team to be successful we need help from the business sector,” says Dome.
“We invite businesses and organisations from both sides of the Tasman to help support us on this journey as we continue to develop this vital pathway for young women footballers.”
Lewis will join Knott, Jale and other members of the new A-League Women’s squad in Wellington this week for training, before the team flies to New South Wales, Australia to prepare for the start of the 2021/22 Season.
Further signings to this squad will be announced this week.