The Melbourne Victory have signed Paige Zois and Harriet Withers for the upcoming season.
Paige Zois is a product of the Victory's W-League Elite Girls Program. The youngster has so far made two appearances for the Victory's senior team. She made her club senior debut as a 16-year-old against Jiangsu Sunin during the AFC Women's Club Championship.
Zois then got her A-League Women debut last season in the Victory's 6-0 loss to the Brisbane Roar. She came on as a substitute in her only appearance of the campaign.
During the W-League offseason she played in the NPLW Victoria and represented the FC Bulleen Lions this past year. She had previously been a member of South Melbourne FC.
Enjoyed being on the call with @marissalordanic as @FCBulleenLions ran out 5-0 victors over @FCAlamein at the Veneto Club.— Joey Lynch (@joeylynchy) June 21, 2021
Paige Zois got things going for the Lionesses with this absolute peach of an early effort. pic.twitter.com/4VPI8ZZb45
The Melbourne Victory have showed their faith in Zois, signing her to a new two year contract. Speaking of the experience and the season ahead the midfielder said:
"It is so exciting, when I found out the news I was so excited and grateful for the opportunity that Jeff gave me and yeah, I am super excited to get started."
She later added: “Last season was an amazing experience for me to be with the A-League Women full-time and I’m excited to be a part of it again this season.
“Melbourne Victory has been a part of my development for a number of years now and to continue my journey at Victory with Jeff and the squad is something I’m looking forward to.”
Victory's Head Coach Jeff Hopkins said when the signing was announced:
“We’re proud to see one of Victoria’s best up and coming talents continue their footballing journey at Melbourne Victory.
“Paige’s commitment to the Club is testament to our Elite Girls Program and how it continues to develop some of the state’s finest female footballers for today and the future."
The 17 year old, who turns 18 next month, has played for the Junior Matildas, including representing Australia at the 2019 U-16 AFC Championship.
The Victory have also announced the signing of Harriet Withers. The 25-year old Australian joins the club after a season with cross-town rivals Melbourne City.
The forward made her A-League Women debut for City last season against Canberra United. She went on to make seven more appearances in scoring one goal in their 2020-21 campaign. Speaking of the move Withers stated:
“I’m excited to be joining this Championship-winning side and can’t wait to work with Jeff and his team to build on that success this season,” Withers said.
“Last season was really exciting for me - returning home to Australia and making my mark in the league - and I’m looking forward to building on that at Victory.”
Prior to playing in the W-League Withers had spent time abroad in America where she played Murray State College. She had an outstanding collegiate career there picking up the team's Player of the Year three times.
She also scored 37 goals in her NCAA career. After leaving Murray State she spent some time at Bard College where she served as the soccer team's Assistant Women's Coach.
Head coach Jeff Hopkins is excited about adding the proven goalscorer to his side:
“We’re pleased to have Harriet on board with the Club this season as we make the finishing touches to our title-defending squad,” Hopkins said.
“Harriet burst onto the scene in the league last season and her pace and finishing caught the eye of everyone at the Club so we look forward to see what she can bring in Victory colours.”
And congrats to Harriet Withers! A derby winner as a debut goal?! 😍pic.twitter.com/R0BelP6GOa— The Far Post (@thefarpostpod) January 21, 2021