Former Canberra United forward ‘syked’ to join coaching staff ahead of W-League season

Lachlan Roberts 28 September 2018

Ashleigh Sykes is back at Canberra United. Photos: Supplied by Canberra United.

Former W-League Golden Boot and Julie Dolan Medal winner Ashleigh Sykes has joined Canberra United staff as Heather Garriock’s assistant coach for the upcoming season.

Sykes scored 37 goals while playing for Canberra United, including 12 in one season to guide United to the premiership, and said she is excited to begin a new chapter in her football career.

“I am already looking forward to the season beginning again,” Sykes said.

“I will obviously be involved in a different capacity this year, but it’s an exciting step in my football career and I can’t wait to work alongside Heather in the professional environment we have within Canberra United.

“This club has been a big part of my life so contributing again as a coach and helping the next generation of players is very important to me.”

Sykes had a glittering career, spanning ten seasons in the W-League for Canberra United, with three premierships and two championships. The electric forward picked up the Julie Dolan Medal for the player of the season in 2015/16 as she led United to the semi-finals, and was the Golden Boot winner in 2016/17, thanks to an eight-goal haul in a sensational January that saw her finish on 12 goals.

After joining Canberra United for the inaugural season of the W-League, Sykes went on to make 108 appearances in Green across the decade, establishing herself as one of the competition’s premier forwards.

Sykes retired at the end of last season and took up a role as Game Development Manager at Capital Football while undertaking coaching courses.

Head coach Heather Garriock welcomed Sykes’s appointment and believes she would be a great addition to the sideline staff during the upcoming season.

“I had an excellent working relationship with Ash during the last season and I can’t wait for that to evolve into a winning coaching team,” Garriock said.

“Ash has an excellent football brain and will bring so much to the sideline.

“She embodies all of the values of Canberra United so well and has left a big imprint on the club through her playing days, so it is a strong indicator of her passion for the club that she is changing roles and staying involved.”

The 2018/19 Westfield W-League season is set to begin next month.

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