Canberra United has been dealt a cruel blow heading into the final home match of the W-League season as players look to send sacked coach Heather Garriock out on a high.
Brazilian international Camila Martins Pereira has been ruled out for the rest of this season after suffering a MCL injury at training.
It leaves United without a second international player as they look to rectify their 2019-20 campaign, having already dropped out of finals contention for the third straight season.
Canberra sits sixth on the ladder with two matches remaining, conceding 15 goals in the past four games without being able to score one of their own.
It led to Capital Football's decision to not renew Garriock's contract beyond this season, with the former Matildas player set to coach her final two matches with the club.
The chance to send Garriock out on a high will add extra motivation for United's clash with Adelaide United at McKellar Park on Sunday.
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Midfielder Laura Hughes says while the players are saddened by her impending departure, they're staying as professional as possible to finish the season.
"It's upsetting as a club to lose a coach like Heather," Hughes said.
"With football, you never know what can happen but we were prepared to take the news whether she was signing on again or not. We're ready to move on as a club.
"Heather has put in 100 percent for us this season, hopefully we'll do that for her in the next two games and send her off well.
"She's [also] given me an opportunity to perform at this level and I've transitioned well into cementing my spot in a W-League squad. I'm forever grateful, so I'm hoping to play well for her over these last couple of weeks."
Hughes is one of four footballers who have played for Canberra since Garriock's inaugural season, along with Karly Roestbakken, Taren King and Aoife Colvill.
She's confident Garriock will be able to find a coaching opportunity elsewhere in the W-League once her contract ends in April.
"Heather is a young coach and is still developing, so I wouldn't be surprised if she popped up overseas or in Australia," Hughes said.
"I know this is only a small bump in her career and she'll get right back onto it."
Garriock's squad will be bolstered by the return of Roestbakken ahead of Sunday's clash, with the 19-year-old returning from Matildas duty on Friday.
She played her first international match on home soil when Australia thrashed Taiwan 7-0 in an Olympic qualifier last week, before backing up her strong performance against Thailand.
Some of her Canberra teammates braced the wild weather to cheer her on at Campbelltown Stadium, including a face-painted Hughes.
"I'm so proud of her, as soon as I heard she was starting [against Taiwan] I wouldn't miss it for the world," Hughes said.
"We brought signs and I got my face painted, we were all there supporting her. She played really well and then had another good game against Thailand, hopefully she also plays well against China.
"She's definitely been a missing player for us, she's quality up and down the wing. We're excited to have her back with us this weekend."
W-LEAGUE Round 12
Sunday: Canberra United v Adelaide United at McKellar Park, 4pm.