Ali Riley has left Chelsea Women to sign for Bayern Munich in the German top flight.
The wing-back joined from Swedish side Rosengard in the summer of 2018, a few months after facing us in the Champions League, and last season made 17 appearances for the Blues, seven of them starts.
Prior to her six years in Sweden she played for Western New York Flash, where Emma Hayes was the general manager.
Riley is a vastly experienced player having captained New Zealand since 2007 and accrued more than 130 international caps. However, her time at Chelsea was hindered due to suffering a niggling foot injury in pre-season.
Regarded as a fans’ favourite and a valued team-mate due to her highly energetic and likable personality, the Los Angeles-born defender leaves having made a great impression during her season here with us.
Riley’s final Chelsea appearance was against Yeovil Town in our penultimate game of the season, when she played 90 minutes in an 8-0 win.
Manager Hayes said: ‘Ali never really got started with us after suffering an injury in pre-season, which made it hard for her to get in the team on a regular basis.
‘As the captain of New Zealand, and 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 and the lack of Champions League football.
‘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.’
We would like to wish Ali the best of luck for her future.