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Klimkova overlooked for Matildas

AUSTRALIA'S loss is Canberra United's gain, with the defending W-League champion eager to extend coach Jitka Klimkova's contract for next season.

Klimkova missed out on the Matildas job in favour of former Dutch international Hesterine de Reus, who was appointed as Tom Sermanni's successor on Saturday.

The Canberra Times understands Football Federation Australia informed Klimkova of its decision on Friday night - along with the other unsuccessful candidates who had been interviewed for the position - 24 hours before Canberra United's vital game against ladder-leader Perth Glory.

The announcement of the new coach of Australia's women's team came a day after The Canberra Times revealed members of the Matildas squad wrote a letter to the FFA indicating they would prefer a man fill the post.

Canberra United chief executive Heather Reid supported the coaching choice and lamented the actions of the Matildas players who penned the letter.

''That letter was unfortunate and it's disappointing that it was sent,'' Reid said. ''Obviously we've got the best person for the job, and it happens to be a woman.


''She brings a raft of experience and qualifications.

''It shows coaching is not just a man's job.''

De Reus boasts substantial experience both on and off the pitch, having been capped by her country 43 times before coaching for the past 18 years, including the Jordan women's national team from 2010-2012.

She will step down from her current role as head coach of PSV/FC Eindhoven in the Dutch women's league to take over the Matildas in January.

The appointment received the tick of approval from Matildas captain and goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri, who tweeted, ''Yes! New coach for Christmas! Great choice #excited''.

Klimkova's immediate goal is guiding an injury-depleted Canberra United to the finals so it can defend last season's championship.

Reigning player of the year Sally Shipard will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, while star import Nikki Washington is returning to the US for personal commitments.

Washingon was signed as injury cover for Ashleigh Sykes up until this weekend, but United wanted her to stay once the extent of Shipard's injury was known.

United is poised to make an announcement early next week on another American signing, who is expected to arrive in Australia on New Year's Day.

The club's next priority is retaining Klimkova beyond the current campaign.

''As soon as this season is finished, then we will discuss terms for season six,'' Reid said.

''I can't see any reason why she wouldn't seriously consider coming back and continue to be our coach for next season.''

FFA chief executive David Gallop said de Reus was the standout candidate for the Matildas job, with her aims to defend the Asian Cup and deliver qualification for the 2015 women's World Cup.

"We put in place a very thorough search process and we had extremely high-calibre coaches apply from Australia and overseas," Gallop said.

"Hesterine has 18 years of coaching experience, all the relevant technical qualifications and an impressive track record.

''She has the right mix of experience and skills for this important position.''