Lukas Kelly-Heald

18 Defender
biography-icon Biography


Lukas Kelly-Heald joined the men for the start of pre-season training in July after signing a landmark four-year deal with the Wellington Phoenix. It is the longest contract in club history.

The 1.98m tall defender, who is comfortable playing as a left-sided centre back or fullback, is a born and bred Wellingtonian. He played his junior football at Island Bay United and spent one season at North Wellington before joining the Phoenix academy at the start of 2021.

Kelly-Heald made his debut for the reserves in August 2021 before becoming a regular in Chris Greenacre’s starting XI the following year. He featured in all 18 matches for the reserves in the 2022 Central League.

His performances earned him selection in the New Zealand squad for the OFC U-19 Men’s Championship in Tahiti. Despite being one of the youngest players in the group he started four of New Zealand’s six matches, including the semi-final and final, playing 90 minutes each time.

His twin brother Alby is the reserves’ no. 1 goalkeeper.

> 2022-23 season

Lukas Kelly-Heald featured in eight of the reserves’ nine matches in the 2022 National League, starting seven, upon his return home from Tahiti.

He was selected for the New Zealand U-22 side for their two matches against China’s U-24 team in March 2023 and he started the second game in Wellington.

Kelly-Heald started seven of the reserves’ first eight matches in the Central League before heading to Argentina for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

He established himself as a key member of the starting XI in Argentina and missed just one of New Zealand’s four matches when he was rested.

Upon his return home Kelly-Heald helped the reserves prize the O’Brien Shield from Waterside-Karori. It was the first time the Wellington Phoenix name was etched on the challenge trophy.

He was announced as the men’s 16th signing on the first week of pre-season training.

“Growing up in Wellington watching the Nix week-in, week-out it’s like a dream come true to now be part of the first-team squad,” Kelly-Heald said.

“It’s always been a cool experience going to the stadium to watch the Phoenix and you aspire to be them and get to their level.

“It’s great to have the coaches and staff show their faith in me with a four-year contract. My parents and family are over the moon.”









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