Gemma Lewis has made history as she became the first women head coach of women A-League. The renowned football club, Wellington Phoenix, has announced the appointment of former Wales international, Lewis. The former Wales international has earned a reputation as one of the country’s top female coaches. Currently, she is serving as the New Zealand under-20 coach and manager of the Future Ferns Development Programme.
The announcement of Gemma Lewis as the inaugural head coach of the Phoenix women’s team comes just over eight weeks out from the team’s opening game against Western Sydney Wanderers on December 3. At 31, Lewis will become the second-youngest coach in the A-League Women behind Perth Glory’s Alex Epakis.
Furthermore, Lewis will be backed by New Zealand under-20 assistant coach Natalie Lawrence. The appointment of Lewis and Natalie has made the Phoenix just the second club after Canberra United to have women in the head coach and assistant positions. Phoenix disclosed that Gemma and Natalie will be the country’s first-ever professional women’s football team as they now become Phoenix women’s squad.
In addition, Lewis has supervised the development of some of the most talented young female players in the country, as manager of the Future Ferns Domestic Programme (FFDP) at NZF, combined with her role as head coach of the U20 women’s national team for the past two years. Moreover, Lewis has an outstanding history, both as a coach and a player, after playing in the English top-flight with Cardiff City and Chelsea, and as an international for her native Wales.