Wellington Phoenix have backed midfielder Grace Wisnewski's decision to cut her A-League Women season short and return to New Zealand for mental health reasons.
Wellington midfielder Grace Wisnewski will miss the final two games of the Phoenix's inaugural A-League Women season to return home to New Zealand for mental health reasons.
Wisnewski, 19, previously sat out Wellington's February 4 game against Melbourne Victory as she dealt with anxiety.
She will miss Sunday's game against Western Sydney and next Friday's clash with Perth, and is due to fly home on Monday when New Zealanders can travel from Australia without going into MIQ.
"This hasn't been a decision that's been easy for Grace to make. She's a big part of this team both on and off the field," coach Gemma Lewis said.
"We're incredibly proud of the bravery that Grace has shown to ask for help when needed and to prioritise her mental wellbeing.
"She's a brilliant player but also such an incredible person and we feel lucky to have had her be part of this first Wellington Phoenix team.
"Everyone here will miss Grace but both the players and staff are fully behind her and we're some of her biggest supporters on her mental health journey."
NEWS - Wellington Phoenix midfielder Grace Wisnewski is returning home to New Zealand for mental health reasons.— Wellington Phoenix (@WgtnPhoenixFC) February 25, 2022
The entire club supports Graceâ€™s decision and we canâ€™t wait to see her back playing when sheâ€™s ready.
Kia kaha Grace! 💛🖤
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Energetic midfielder Wisnewski played 90 minutes in all 11 of her matches, including Wellington's breakthrough 3-0 win over Canberra.
"We are immensely proud of Grace and her courage to do what is right for her and her mental health," Phoenix general manager David Dome said.
"Despite being just 19, she is a role model for young athletes because of both her performances on the pitch and how she has conducted herself during what has been a trying season for the whole team.
"The entire club stands in solidarity with Grace and we look forward to seeing her back on the pitch when she's ready."
The full A-League Women's schedule can be found using this link.