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Phoenix's Fraser picks up big US contract

Updated: Apr 19

Macey Fraser in action for the Wellington Phoenix women's side has been recruited to the US National Women's Soccer League
Macey Fraser has been recruited to the US National Women's Soccer League. PHOTO: DAVE LINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Wellington Phoenix midfielder Macey Fraser has secured a dream move to one of the world’s top leagues after a breakout rookie season for the Wellington side.

The 21-year-old has signed with the Utah Royals in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) on a multi-year deal.


The Royals have broken the A-League Women transfer record to land Fraser, who graduated from the Phoenix Academy to sign a three-year pro contract with the Nix last August.

“It’s an unreal opportunity,” Fraser said. “I came into the academy not knowing if I even wanted to play football anymore, so this season has been huge for me.

“Paul [Temple] has helped me enjoy the game again. I’m really grateful for the Phoenix for giving me the chance to play professional football.

“I also couldn’t have done it without my family. They’re all my rocks. I learnt football from my brothers so I owe a lot to them.”

Fraser scored three goals and led the Nix with five assists, including finding the back of the net in just her second match, helping Wellington to a 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in October.

“I look back at the past season and just think ‘wow, I’ve grown so much’. Coming into professional football is really eye-opening, but I’ve learnt how to be a professional on and off the field.

“It’s excited me and made me want to keep learning and grow. I want to be the best player I can be. I want to show everybody what I can do and how hard I’m willing to work to do it.”

Fraser’s eye-catching performances for the Nix saw the former New Zealand age-group international called-up to the Football Ferns for the first time in November.

Illness ruled her out of the trip to Colombia but Fraser has since played five matches for the Ferns, including the two recent internationals against Thailand in Christchurch.

Phoenix director of football Shaun Gill congratulated Fraser on her move to the NWSL.

“This is a red letter day for Macey and the club,” Gill said. “She’s been one of the best talents in New Zealand for several years and it’s great the Phoenix have been able to help her realise that potential.

“Her move shows the high performance pathway we’ve created for female footballers in Aotearoa.

“Macey was one of the first women to join the club’s academy in 2021 and after one season with our A-League programme is about to join a team playing in one of the top leagues in the world.

“We wish her all the best at the Royals and we look forward to helping our other players realise their footballing dreams abroad.”

For that to happen regularly, the Phoenix need more support.

“It’s fair to say we’ve almost single-handedly built the high performance pathway for football in New Zealand.

“For the women’s game to continue to grow and in order to build on the success of last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup there needs to be greater investment in high performance pathways that lead to fulltime pro contracts like Macey’s.”

Fraser will join the Utah Royals once she has secured a USs work visa.


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