New Zealand captain Ali Riley has left Chelsea Women after a single season to join Bayern Munich, becoming the second Kiwi to sign with the German giants following Sarpreet Singh.
The 31-year-old wing-back arrived in London from Swedish club Rosengard but suffered a foot injury in pre-season restricting her to 17 appearances, seven of them starts.
“For a player her age, it’s absolutely vital she’s playing week in, week out. We couldn’t guarantee that with the squad numbers we have,” said Chelsea manager Emma Hayes.
“She’s made a telling impact on the Chelsea community, throughout the club — the amount of compliments I’ve received, from the media team, the education department, through to commercial.
“They’ve all said what a wonderful role model she is for the women’s department. She’s an advocate of a lot of positive news stories and I wish her all the best with her next career move. She’ll be a huge success.”
The move to Germany is a fantastic one for Riley, a 129-cap international, as Bayern are one of the top clubs in the women’s game. They have finished runners-up in the Frauen-Bundesliga for the past three years and last season they made it all the way to the Champions League semi-finals.
— FC Bayern Frauen (@FCBfrauen) July 18, 2019
“I’m very excited and looking forward to getting started and being part of this great club,” Riley said.
“Of course I want to win titles and I’m looking forward to playing in the Champions League. I want to bring in my experience and spirit and help make the club successful.”