W-League: Canberra set to lose championship coach

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Championship-winning coach Liesbeth Migchelsen is set to depart Canberra United on a high after completing some unfinished business to end a successful two-year stay in Australia.

Migchelsen is entertaining coaching offers in her native Holland and admitted after Canberra’s Westfield W-League Grand Final win over Perth Glory last Sunday that she was unlikely to return for a third season.

“I have several options where I can go, but I first had to finish this job and that’s what I did,” Migchelsen said.

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“We shall see where I go to … I’m probably not coming back next season.”

Migchelsen guided Canberra to their second W-League championship in four years, overcoming the disappointment of failing to make the Grand Final in her first season in charge despite the team winning the league with a then-record points total.

Canberra stunned Perth in last Sunday’s season decider after Glory went into the match as the red-hot favourite to claim a maiden W-League championship following their own record-breaking campaign.

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Migchelsen said the unlikely 3-1 triumph had been made all the more sweeter given the team had to pick themselves up after last season’s heartbreak.

“Last year we finished on top and lost the semi-final and this year we finished third and we ended up in the final and won the final, but that’s football,” she said.

“We talked to each other about having some unfinished business left … that’s why everyone was so highly motivated to win the championship and win this game.”

Meanwhile, grand final hero Ashleigh Sykes has set her sights on higher honours after her second-half brace helped Canberra win the championship.

Sykes scored twice in four minutes late in the second half to ice a grand final victory for the women in lime green and the following day was named in the Matildas training squad for next year’s World Cup in Canada, alongside Canberra teammates Michelle Heymann and Ellie Brush.

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The 23-year-old attacking midfielder has just five international caps to her name, but she has been earmarked for a key role in Australia’s World Cup campaign in June 2015.

“I’d really like to push on and become a key part of the squad, that’s the target for now,” Sykes said.

“We’ve got six months leading into the World Cup so there’s plenty of chances for everyone who has played well in the season to get into that final squad for the World Cup.

“I’ve got great competition with Lisa De Vanna, Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord so it’s going to be tough but I’m looking forward to it.”

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