Liberty A-League transfer record ‘smashed’ as Phoenix star heads to ‘one of the world’s top leagues’

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Wellington Phoenix academy star Macey Fraser has joined National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Utah Royals for a reported record Liberty A-League outbound transfer fee.

Fraser, 21, was a shining light for the Phoenix in her debut season under her former academy coach Paul Temple, scoring three goals and notching a team-high five assists.

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Macey Fraser in action for Wellington.

The New Zealand international, who penned a three-year professional contract with the Phoenix in August, has signed a multi-year deal with the NWSL club for an undisclosed fee which the club claims has “smashed” the Liberty A-League transfer record.

“This is a red letter day for Macey and the club,” said Phoenix director of football Shaun Gill.

“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 Wellington 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 full-time pro contracts like Macey’s.”

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The current record outbound transfer fee by an A-League Women club belongs to Melbourne City, who broke the record twice in January with the departure of Canada goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx to Bay FC, and then Kaitlyn Torpey to San Diego Wave.

Fraser, whose dream debut season at the ‘Nix included becoming a senior New Zealand international, and led to five Football Ferns caps, said “it’s an unreal opportunity” to join Utah and continue her career overseas.

Macey Fraser in action for New Zealand.

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

“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.”

“I look back at the past season and just think ‘wow, I’ve grown so much’,” she added. “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.”

Buy tickets to the Liberty A-League Finals Series HERE!