15 Oct 2021

Phoenix announce first signing for W-League

2:27 pm on 15 October 2021

Goalkeeper Lily Alfeld is the first player signing of the new Wellington Phoenix A-League Women's squad.

Lily Alfeld.


Kiwi-born Alfeld spent last season with Perth Glory, starting all 12 matches and making a league-leading 53 saves.

As one of seven New Zealand players in the A-League Women's competition last season, 26-year-old Alfeld joins with fellow Kiwi Claudia Bunge as one of only 14 players to play all 1080 minutes across the season.

Known as an acrobatic defender, Alfeld's achievements in her maiden campaign saw her named as a nominee for the PFA Player of the Month Award for December/January, while also winning the Save of the Week Award on two straight occasions.

Prior to this, Alfeld spent four seasons at Louisiana State University in the United States, before returning home in 2018 to be part of NZ Football's Future Ferns Domestic Programme - which helps young Kiwi women make the jump from domestic football and into their professional careers.

Alfeld said she was "beyond stoked" to be joining the Phoenix for its inaugural season.

"I'm thrilled to get this opportunity, I grew up watching the Men's Phoenix team and back then I never really thought it'd be an option for me; obviously I'm just so excited it's happening, to be able to get to play professionally at 'home' is pretty special," Alfeld said.

Reflecting back on her first season in the A-League Women's competition, Alfred said it was "rough" at times but she enjoyed the experience.

"It was an amazing opportunity and my first go playing professional football, so there was a lot to learn in that season and at times it was pretty tough - but overall such a positive experience.

"I think season [with the Phoenix] it'll be kind of a similar situation, in that a lot of the girls in the squad are quite young and are going into this as a development experience - but I'm excited to be going into this season knowing what I'm going to face and with some A-League experience under my belt."

Wellington Phoenix Women's head coach Gemma Lewis said Alfeld would be counted on to bring her A-League experience into a squad primarily made up of young players new to the professional football space.

"We know Lily is a quality goalkeeper and we also know she had a positive impact on her squad last season - both on and off the field," Lewis said.

"She will bring a lot of stability and leadership to this team and we know the younger players will look up to her, as she has that professional experience and knows the A-League Women's competition.

"We're very excited that Lily is our first signing for the Phoenix Women's side and we're keen to announce the rest of the squad over the coming week."

Alfeld said she was excited to be part of history as a member of New Zealand's first professional women's football club.

"To be part of the first, inaugural season [with the Phoenix], it's a chance to create a bit of history so I would love to go out and have a positive start for what will hopefully be many seasons to come; it's a role I'm very honoured to get a chance to do and I can't wait to get started."

The club's first ever match in this competition is scheduled for 3 December against Western Sydney Wanderers.