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Klimkova seeks new blood at Spanish tournament

Canberra United coach Jitka Klimkova is keen to boost her squad.

Canberra United coach Jitka Klimkova is keen to boost her squad. Photo: Melissa Adams

Jitka Klimkova plans to stack the Canberra United squad with the maximum number of internationals in order to be more competitive next season, and will begin her hunt at an under-23 tournament in Spain later this month.

Klimkova hasn't signed a contract to return to the helm of United but has given every indication she will, and is already looking ahead to find the three international players permitted on the roster, as well as potentially another marquee player.

The last W-League season was the most competitive in its five-year history, with Melbourne Victory proving the value of internationals, making their first W-League grand final after recruiting three internationals as well as Welsh midfielder Jessica Fishlock as a guest player for seven matches. Canberra United had one international on its roster, Ariane Hingst, with Americans Nikki Washington and Kristen Mewis signing on late in the season as injury replacements, and the club missed the finals for the first time.

To increase the internationals in season six, Klimkova will travel to Spain at the end of February to scout an international under-23 tournament between the US, Norway, Sweden and Germany.

''I will just really look around and try to find the best internationals for the whole season, that's the goal, not just for a few games, but they should stay here from the beginning to the end of the season,'' Klimkova said.

''We have a few possibilities and I really want to use it, not like last season, we just had Ari and we were focusing on the young ones, but I think the young ones need to have more experienced players around.'' Adding to the recruitment equation is Canberra United's stock of Young Matildas players, with the national team due to play a tournament in October.

''So far we have five players in under-20s, so again we have to be ready for this and we have to have the players from overseas … so that's again the motivation why we have to bring the internationals to Canberra,'' Klimkova said.

The Czech coach has been using her European connections to assist United players to find off-season contracts. She said Jennifer Bisset, Nicole Sykes and Ellie Brush are likely to sign with Scandinavian clubs in the coming week.

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