Melbourne City snap up Phoenix star attacker ahead of Champions League bow

Melbourne City have added some firepower to their attack ahead of their Liberty A-League Premiership defence, signing Wellington Phoenix forward Mariana Speckmaier on a two-year deal.

Dario Vidosic’s side have wasted little time in finding a replacement for club-record goalscorer Hannah Wilkinson following her departure, recruiting Venezuela international Speckmaier following an impressive campaign with Wellington.

Despite playing just one season for the Phoenix, the 26-year-old etched her name into the club’s record books, scoring 10 goals in 21 appearances to make her Wellington women’s all-time leading goalscorer.

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“I am thrilled to be joining Melbourne City,” said Speckmaier, who rejected Wellington’s offer of a new contract in order to sign with the reigning Liberty A-League Premiers.

“The opportunity to join a club of City’s professionalism and play an exciting brand of football is one that I couldn’t turn down.

“With the very first AFC Champions League this season, I can’t wait to contribute to the team’s success, meet my new teammates and begin pre-season training.”

Crowned both Wellington Phoenix’s Golden Boot winner and voted Women’s Player of the Year by local media, Speckmaier becomes City’s second arrival this off-season following the signing of Alexia Apostolakis from Western Sydney Wanderers.

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“Mariana is a versatile attacker with international experience and her inclusion will significantly bolster our team,” said Melbourne City head coach Dario Vidosic.

“We all saw firsthand her qualities in the league last season, and we very much believe that she’s a perfect fit for us as we look forward to both the A-League Women’s season and the AFC Women’s Champions League.” 

With more arrivals expected in the coming weeks, City are currently undergoing a squad rebuild ahead of the new campaign following a series of high-profile exits.

With all-time leading goalscorer Wilkinson already departed, City also waved goodbye to prodigious young talent Daniella Galic earlier this week as well as the likes of Barbara, Julia Grosso, Emina Ekic and Naomi Chinnama.

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