Klimkova's waiting game
Canberra United coach Jitka Klimkova has been impressive during her time in the W-League. Photo: Melissa Adams
Canberra United mentor Jitka Klimkova has her fingers crossed that she receives a Christmas present money can't buy - the job as coach of the Matildas.
After an extensive two-hour interview with Football Federation Australia earlier this week, the reigning W-League championship-winning coach expects to find out later this month if she will get the nod as the boss of Australia's women's team.
Exacting revenge against the Melbourne Victory - the first of only two teams to have beaten Klimkova's side during her season-and-a-half stint in the national capital - in Saturday's clash at McKellar Park will only strengthen her claims.
The Czech Republic international swept everything before her in a sensational debut campaign in Australia, going through last season unbeaten and guiding Canberra to its inaugural title.
That led to the FFA headhunting Klimkova for the vacant Matildas post in their search to replace Tom Sermanni, who has accepted the top job with the United States.
''[The interview] went pretty well, so I am satisfied,'' Klimkova said. ''I had prepared the presentation about myself, my coaching style, my vision and my mission about what I would do if I was the coach.
''To get the job, wow, that would be huge.
''My dream is to be a national team coach and I would be the happiest coach in the world.''
About 60 applications were received for the Matildas post as the rebuilding begins ahead of the 2015 World Cup in Vancouver.
After a quarter-final appearance at last year's tournament, the current Asian Cup champions have shown they are capable of challenging the best on the world stage.
''I see really huge potential in Australian football,'' Klimkova said.
''If you have time for the preparation and you have more time with the girls on the field, that's what gives you a chance to be successful.''
United's unbeaten streak came to a halt at 16 games in November when the Victory capitalised on a depleted outfit, missing star striker Michelle Heyman and defending player-of-the-year Sally Shipard, with a comprehensive 3-0 win.
Back-to-back victories against Perth and Newcastle have put United (third, 14 points) back in the title hunt, however it can't afford a slip up, with only three points separating first and sixth on the ladder.
With the exception of pacy striker Ashleigh Sykes and midfielder Grace Gill, United is back to full strength, with central defender Caitlin Cooper returning from a knee injury.
That gives Klimkova a welcome selection dilemma after German import Ariane Hingst impressed in a stop-gap role in defence in last week's 1-0 win against the Jets.
''Caitlin Cooper and Ellie Brush have great cohesion, but the other thing is Ariane Hingst is so experienced she can play there,'' Klimkova said.
''She did really well in her first game as a centre back.
''It will depend on how Caitlin Cooper feels today and if she is ready because it's a really big game for us.''
W-League: Canberra United v Melbourne Victory at McKellar Park, 2pm.