Wellington Phoenix midfielder Grace Wisnewski will sit out Friday's A-League Women match against Melbourne Victory due to mental health reasons.
Wellington Phoenix are fully supporting Grace Wisnewski with the teenager withdrawing from Friday's clash with A-League Women champions Melbourne Victory for mental health reasons.
Phoenix coach Gemma Lewis said 19-year-old Wisnewski made herself unavailable for selection due to the short turnaround from Monday's clash with Perth.
The midfielder has been dealing with anxiety and Lewis lauded Wisnewski's honesty both towards the team and in being comfortable with the reason for her absence being made public.
"We support her and think she's an incredible player, an incredible person, but obviously this has been big for her," Lewis said.
"Even before coming here she was working through mental health and deals with some anxiety.
"We support her in that space and we've supported her through this whole program both at home and now here.
"With the short turnaround, she doesn't quite get a good recovery space and settles in enough time to be ready to go again and doesn't want to put the team in unnecessary harm by her potentially not playing as well as she would like to.
"We're super supportive of that ... it's important that she feels confident enough for us to be honest about it in this space and I think that's amazing for her to kind of show that."
An ever-present during Wellington's inaugural ALW season, Wisnewski faced a similar situation before the 5-0 loss to Sydney FC which came just three days after taking on Newcastle.
With that experience in mind, Lewis said it was "probably the right decision" even if it does leave the last-placed Phoenix without Wisnewski's energy and work rate in midfield against Victory.
Centre-back Mackenzie Barry is also unlikely play a second game in five days after featuring in the 3-2 loss to the Glory as she builds fitness from a recent ankle injury.
It means Isabel Gomes and Te Reremoana Walker -- dropped for the Perth match for disciplinary reasons after breaching COVID-19 protocols -- are almost certain to slot straight back into the line-up to face the Victory at WIN Stadium.
The full A-League Women's schedule can be found using this link.