Klimkova heads to New Zealand

Canberra United coach Jitka Klimkova has signed a contract to lead the New Zealand under-17 national team, The Young Football Ferns.

Canberra United can confirm that Head Coach Jitka Klimkova has signed a contract to lead the New Zealand under-17 national team, The Young Football Ferns as they bid to reach the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Costa Rica as well as be assistant coach to the New Zealand under-20 national team for their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign for Canada later in the year.

Klimkova had been in constant contact with Capital Football about her possible return to Canberra United for the 2013/14 Westfield W-League Season and whilst she was attempting to fit both commitments into her schedule it is now unlikely that she will be able to return for the entirety of Season 6.

Klimkova was disappointed to leave Canberra but told Canberra United player Sally Shipard she expected the club would continue to be successful.

"I am happy with this experience and challenge ahead of me. It was always my dream to take a national team to a World Cup. These players are really talented and I can help develop them, they have potential, but it is sad too, even though I am close to Australia, I will miss the Westfield W-League and my team Canberra United, a lot.

"We are working to find a great coach- someone with fresh ideas but who will continue what we started in Canberra. That can be a positive for the team. I will be there at pre-season to help the hand-over for the new coach, it is important for the standard at Canberra to be maintained! The thought of not being the coach of Canberra United is difficult... But I am sure I will be back one day."

Canberra United CEO Heather Reid gave Klimkova her warmest wishes for the future.

“Whilst it-s disappointing for Canberra United and Australian football fans that we-ve lost such a terrific coach to the Kiwi-s, we support Jitka and her desire to lead a team to a FIFA World Cup,” Canberra United CEO Heather Reid said.

“We understand the angst and difficulties that she faced in making the decision to reach for her dream of leading a team in an international competition and we wish her all the best over the next year.”

It-s expected that Klimkova, who led United to an undefeated maiden Westfield W-League title in Season 4, will be in Canberra in the next few months with the New Zealand under-17, and possibly the New Zealand under-20, squads before meeting with Canberra United in September as she has offered to assist with pre-season training, trials and final squad selection in the lead up to the Westfield W-League Season 6 commencing in late October.

Reid has been in discussions with several possible coaches in Australia and overseas and it-s expected that a replacement coach will be finalised within the next month.