Sport

Canberra United insist title ambitions haven't taken a hit after coach moves to South Africa

Former Canberra United skipper Ellie Brush is adamant assistant coach Raeanne Dower can be successful if she moves into the top job, insisting a change of coach will not affect the team's bid for consecutive W-League titles.

Championship-winning mentor Elisabeth Migchelsen has accepted a position as South Africa's women's national team assistant and won't return to the capital for United's title defence later this year.

Canberra United boss Heather Reid will make a recommendation to the Capital Football board of who should be her replacement, with Dower one of the leading candidates.

Brush is confident the coaching change won't stop the team's development as it bids for more success.

"Rae knows everyone, she could definitely step in and hopefully she stays on in some capacity if she's not head coach," Brush said.

"Having her around would help make it a seamless transition and that would be ideal.

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"She's had head coaching roles in the past, so what we've seen she's definitely got the capabilities to do it. I guess it depends if she wants it or not and what other candidates are around."

Canberra is keen to appoint an Australian coach having previously worked with Migchelsen and Jitka Klimkova.

Dower has worked alongside Migchelsen for the past two seasons and her appointment would make for a smooth transition.

Brush hopes to reignite her hopes of playing for the Australian Matildas at the World Cup this year when she returns to Canberra on Tuesday for a training camp at the AIS.

Brush was ruled out of a two-game trip to New Zealand to recover from a quad strain, but is hopeful of getting picked to play at the Cyprus Cup.

The Matildas will play against the United States, Sweden and Nigeria when the World Cup begins in Canada in June.

But they will get warm-up matches when they play England, Finland and the Netherlands in the Cyprus Cup before a four-week tour of Europe.

Canberra stars Ashleigh Sykes and Michelle Heyman are in the Matildas squad while goalkeeper Lydia Williams is on track to make her comeback from a knee reconstruction.

"It's a good way for Liz to go out with some success, winning the W-League trophy last season," Brush said.

"I don't think we'll take a step back in Canberra, we've got a core squad that's remained the same and we'll pick up where we left off. The drive for next season is already pretty strong, we want to back it up."

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