Phoenix claim record ALW transfer in Fraser's US move

Wellington midfielder Macey Fraser has moved to the Utah Royals in the United States for what the Phoenix believe is a record A-League Women (ALW) transfer fee.

The NWSL side has paid a six-figure sum to secure the New Zealand international on a three-year deal with an option for a fourth.

"It’s an unreal opportunity," Fraser, 21, said.

Wellington have not disclosed the sum, but say it is more than the previous ALW record.

That's understood to be $100,000 paid by fellow NSWL club Bay FC for Melbourne City goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx in February.

"This is a red letter day for Macey and the club," Phoenix football director Shaun 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."

Fraser joined the club's academy as an unheralded teenager in 2021, making a club-high five assists this campaign, and debuting for the national team earlier this year.

After helping the Football Ferns qualify for the Olympics, Fraser is considered a likely squad member for the Paris Games, where New Zealand will face the hosts, Colombia and Canada.

Fraser said she was grateful to the Phoenix "for giving me the chance to play professional football" and her family.

"I learnt football from my brothers so I owe a lot to them," she said.

Gill said the bumper transfer showed the need to invest further in women's football.

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

"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.

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

Utah hope Fraser can help flick the switch on their campaign, currently sitting second-bottom of the NSWL after four rounds.

"Macey is a player that can make an immediate impact on our team," Royals sporting director Kelly Cousins said.

"Not only does she have the temperament, but has the technical and physical abilities to succeed in the NWSL."

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