|Full name||Canberra United Football Club|
|Capacity||3,500 (460 seats)|
|Head coach||Njegosh Popovich|
|2021–22||7th of 10|
Canberra United Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in the southern Canberra suburb of Wanniassa, Australian Capital Territory. Founded in 2008 by Capital Football, the club was an inaugural member of the W-League and the only club not affiliated with an A-League Men team. Canberra United currently competes in the A-League Women, A-League Youth and NPLW leagues. Canberra's home stadium is McKellar Park and the club is two time champions and three time premiers of the W-League.
The first announcement of the club came in July 2008, coinciding with the establishment of the new W-League. The formation of the new club presented a unique situation in the league, that it was not associated with an established A-League side. In August, Canberra appointed Matildas assistant coach Robbie Hooker as coach for the inaugural season, and ACT Senator Kate Lundy as club chair.United also announced its first key signing in local Canberran and Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams. Hooker made a number of key signings in the first registration window, also securing Caitlin Munoz, Amy Chapman, Grace Gill-McGrath, Hayley Crawford, Rhian Davies, Thea Slatyer for the inaugural season. The squad was further expanded in the lead up to the first round, signing on a number of players from the ACT and Southern NSW, and also signing Sasha McDonnell and Kara Mowbray from Queensland. The final squad presented significant strength on paper, boasting eight full internationals and a further four Young Matildas.
United started the season steadily, alternating losses and wins in the opening rounds, including a win over eventual Premiers Queensland Roar. Scoring came with some difficulty for the side, with four goals in their opening first five matches. Influencing this record was an injury to striker Caitlin Munoz in Round 1, keeping her sidelined for a number of weeks. Munoz's return to the side in Round 6 immediately lifted the scoring rate, contributing four goals in the last five rounds. Despite early losses, Canberra were unbeaten in the last seven rounds of the competition, achieving a third-placed finish with a record of four wins, four draws and two losses. Canberra's strength throughout the season has been in defence, drawn from a number of experienced players. In front of a dependable Williams in goal, a defensive backline led by Thea Slatyer and captain Ellie Brush frustrated opposition and ensured the second-best defensive record in the competition, bettered only by Premiers Queensland.
United won their away semi-final against Newcastle Jets,and progressed to the inaugural final, where they were defeated by Queensland Roar.
There were a number of changes at Canberra for their second season, most notably the departure of Robbie Hooker and appointment of Ray Junna as coach.Junna has commenced preparations for the new season to establish a new squad, and has retained most of the locally based players. Star striker from the previous season Caitlin Munoz is unable to play this season due to a knee operation, but has accepted an assistant coach role with Junna.
Before the season the team appointed Liesbeth Migchelsen, a former Dutch International, as head coachand Raeanne Dower as assistant coach.
Canberra United booked their place in the W-league Finals series with the most unlikely of wins over Premiers Perth Glory in the final match of the regular season. United needed at least 1 point to make the finals but faced off against the hardest of opponents in the Glory who had run away with the Premiership title with ten wins from eleven matches heading into the final match at Viking Park, Canberra. Things did not seem like they were going to plan when United went behind in the 53rd minute but they came from behind with goals to Heyman & Sykes clinching third spot in the league and finals football.
Canberra United drew Melbourne Victory for the W-League semi-finals and headed down to Kardinia Park in Geelong to square off for the right to line up in the Final. American import, Chantel Jones, proved to be the influential winner as United progressed to the Grand Final thanks to her glovesmenship in a tightly fought penalty shootout after the match ended nill – nill. Chantel revealed after the match she chose to go left in the Victory's final penalty kick because their previous four penalties also went to the left hand side. This proved a treat as Jones saved the shot before guest signing, Kendall Fletcher, stepped up to slot the final shot into the net and book the girls from the Capital a ticket to the Grand Final.
United came up against familiar foe in the Grand Final as they faced the Premiers Perth Glory for the second time in three matches. the Glory were heavy favourites leading into the match after setting a string of records including most goals scored, most points accumulated, highest winning streak to start the season and getting the privilege to play at home for the final at Perth Oval. But it was United who would cause a boilover in the west to secure their second Championship in the club's history. United opened the scoring with a pulsating strike by Stephanie Ochs but the Glory pulled level through their own long range strike by Shelina Zadorsky. This set the stage for a tense finish to the match and the 2,671 fans were treated to some football drama as just when it looked like the Glory would go on with things and get a second, it was in fact the visitors who snatched a second goal through the ever reliable Ashleigh Sykes. A minute later Perth had won a penalty and up stepped Australia international Kate Gill to take the shot. Chantel Jones stood strong and pulled off a good save to keep United in the lead which was duly doubled a minute later as Sykes grabbed her Grand Final brace and secured the title for Canberra. Canberra did miss a penalty in stoppage time with Mackenzie Arnold saving Grace Gill's shot but it was already all over by that stage.
Reigning champions Canberra United have signed up 5 new players for the 2015–16 season. These include Mexican international Veronica Perez, New Zealand forward Emma Kete, Emma Checker, Jenna McCormick and rookie Nickoletta Flannery. Veronica Perez is the first Mexican international to play in the W-League. Emma Kete is also returning to the club after previously have won the W-League title in its 4th season. Meanwhile, Nickoletta Flannery is a local Canberra product who has been in tremendous form. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams is back in the squad, returning from a knee injury that put her out of action last season.Canberra United's leading goalscorer of all time, Michelle Heyman also signed on for a 6th successive year with the club.
The primary club colour of Canberra United is green, chosen principally since it did not clash with the other seven clubs in the inaugural competition. They are the second elite sporting team from the city to wear a green jersey after National Rugby League club, Canberra Raiders. This has led to some cross-promotion between the two 'green machine' teams.The Canberra United badge depicts the flagpole of Parliament House, a symbol of Canberra.
Canberra's current home ground for W-League home matches is Viking Park , a multi-purpose stadium within the Tuggeranong region in Canberra's south.The stadium has a grand stand and hills surrounding a rectangular playing surface. The capacity for Viking Park is 7,000 with 1,000 seats in the grand stand. United moved into Viking Park at the beginning of the 2020/21 W-League season following the closure of McKellar Park by the owner due to COVID-19. Canberra United's maiden home ground was McKellar Park, a purpose built football ground within the Belconnen region in Canberra's north-west. The club played at McKellar for seven years with a handful of matches played at alternative grounds including: Deakin Stadium, AIS Enclosed, Viking Park and Canberra Stadium. The FFA partnered United with Central Coast Mariners in 2009 and 2016/17 to feature in 'double-header' W-League and A-League fixtures at Canberra Stadium.
|Home stadium history|
Canberra United had the highest attendance in the W-League in the inaugural season with an average crowd of 1,029. Their first home match attracted a crowd of 1,637 against Central Coast Mariners (9 November 2008).
The largest attendance to watch a Westfield W-League match at McKellar Park was 2,512 for the Grand Final against Brisbane Roar (28 January 2012).
The largest attendance to watch a Westfield W-League match at Canberra Stadium was 2,595 against Melbourne City (12 November 2016).
|Season||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor||Secondary sponsors|
|2011||Rock Development Group|
|2015–16||Nike||University of Canberra||CBR (ACT Government)|
|2020–21||Apelle||Club Lime (Home) |
University of Canberra (Away)
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Current as of 30 January 2017
|Chief Executive Officer||Chris Gardiner|
|Head Coach||Njegosh Popovich|
|Assistant Coach||Antoni Jagarinec|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Tim Davies|
|Team Doctor||Dr. Wilson Lo|
|Media Manager||Russ Gibbs|
Current as of 17 September 2021
|Canberra United head coaches|
|1||Robbie Hooker||October 2008||January 2009||12||5||4||3||41.7%|
|2||Ray Junna||June 2009||February 2011||22||9||4||9||40.9%|
|3||Jitka Klimková||August 2011||January 2013||23||14||5||4||60.9%|
|4||Liesbeth Migchelsen||August 2013||December 2014||27||17||2||8||63.0%|
|5||Rae Dower||March 2015||February 2017||26||15||4||7||57.7%|
|6||Heather Garriock||October 2017||February 2020||36||12||6||18||33.3%|
|7||Vicki Linton||December 2020||February 2022||13||6||4||3||46.2%|
|7||Njegosh Popovich||May 2022||present|
|Biggest win||7–2||Perth Glory||17 January 2017|
|Biggest loss||0–6||Sydney FC||15 January 2022|
The Canberra United Academy was set up in 2016 to represent the Capital Football High Performance Program, aligned with the FFA national technical strategy, catering for players from the ACT and the surrounding region. Originally the Academy ran programs for both girls and boys from U-10 to first grade.The boys program was met with opposition by the established ACT NPL clubs, who believed the Academy would take their best young players. The Clubs lobbied and threatened to break-away and establish a new league if the Academy was not removed from the first grade Capital Football NPL league. In 2017, after just one season, the boys program was amalgamated with the FFA Centre of Excellence program. As of 2020, the Academy runs girls and women's programs including U-13, U-15, U-17, Reserves and First Grade at NPLW level.
In addition, the Academy also runs a men's U-23 Y-League program, having been granted a National Youth League licence from the 2017–18 season onwards.
|Canberra United Season-by-Season W-League Results|
|Season||Regular season||Finals||Top scorer||Leadership|
|2008–09||10||4||4||2||14||10||+4||16||3rd||2||1||1||1||2||-1||Runner-up||Caitlin Munoz||4||Ellie Brush||–|
|2009||10||4||2||4||17||12||+5||14||4th||1||0||1||0||3||-3||Semi-final||Tseng Shu-o||4||Lydia Williams|
|2013–14||12||9||0||3||28||8||+20||27||1st||1||0||1||1||2||-1||Semi-final||Michelle Heyman||7||Nicole Sykes||–|
|2016–17||12||7||2||3||33||21||+12||23||1st||1||0||1||0||1||-1||Semi-final||Ashleigh Sykes||12||Ellie Brush||Michelle Heyman|
|2017–18||12||5||1||6||24||27||-3||16||5th||–||Elise Thorsnes||6||Michelle Heyman||Ashleigh Sykes|
|2018–19||12||3||4||5||13||18||-5||13||8th||–||Rhoda Mulaudzi||4||Rachel Corsie||–|
|2019–20||12||4||1||7||13||29||-16||13||6th||–||Simone Charley||5||Nikola Orgill||Karly Roestbakken|
|2020–21||12||6||4||2||21||16||+5||22||4th||1||0||1||0||3||-3||Semi-final||Michelle Heyman||10||Kendall Fletcher||–|
|2021–22||14||2||7||5||24||29||-5||13||7th||–||Michelle Heyman||9||Michelle Heyman|
Belconnen United Football Club is an Australian semi-professional association football club based in the northern Canberra region of Belconnen, ACT. The women's First Grade team currently competes in the National Premier Leagues Capital Football.
Capital Football is the trading name for the ACT Football Federation Incorporated, the state governing body for soccer in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), but also has affiliated clubs based in surrounding areas of New South Wales. It is affiliated with Football Australia, the national governing body.
Viking Park is an 7,000 capacity multi-sport stadium located in the Tuggeranong Valley suburb Wanniassa, Canberra, Australia. It has a rectangular playing surface which is used primarily to host rugby union matches but additionally has hosted rugby league, Association football and baseball. It is home to the Tuggeranong Vikings and all matches of the ACTRU Premier Division finals, the Canberra Vikings who compete in the National Rugby Championship and the Tuggeranong Vikings Baseball Club. Viking Park is also regularly utilised by ACT-based Super Rugby club The Brumbies, who use the venue for training and who used to play home matches in the Australian Provincial Championship there.
Soccer in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is predominantly amateur with a local, interstate, national and international history. Football in the ACT is organised and administered by Capital Football and involves teams from within the ACT and surrounding NSW regions, Monaro, Southern Tablelands and Riverina.
Canberra Croatia Football Club is an Australian semi-professional soccer club based in the suburb of Deakin in the south of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. Founded in 1958 the club currently competes in the National Premier Leagues Capital Football.
The National Premier Leagues Capital Football 1 is a soccer competition contested by clubs affiliated to Capital Football. The league is the highest level competition in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) region. It is a subdivision of the National Premier Leagues and sits in Level 2 in the overall Australian league system.
West Canberra Wanderers Football Club, previously known as Woden-Weston FC is a semi-professional football club based in Canberra, Australia. The club currently competes in the National Premier Leagues Capital Football.
McKellar Park, formerly known as Belconnen Soccer Centre and McKellar Soccer Centre, is an association football stadium in the Canberra suburb of McKellar, in Australia. The playing surface is rectangular in shape and is used almost exclusively for association football matches. The venue is the home ground of National Premier Leagues Capital Football club Belconnen United FC and W-League club Canberra United FC.
The 2009 W-League season was the second season of the W-League, the Australian national women's football (soccer) competition. The season was played over 10 rounds followed by a finals series. Sydney FC were both the champions and premiers after finishing the regular season at the top of the table and defeating Brisbane Roar 3–2 in the grand final.
Canberra Olympic FC is an Australian semi-professional Association football club based in the suburb of O'Connor in the north of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The club was founded in 1956, and currently competes in the National Premier Leagues Capital Football.
Tuggeranong United FC are an association football club based in the southern Canberra region of Tuggeranong, ACT, Australia. The club competes in the highest level of football in the ACT, NPL Capital Football.
Cooma Tigers Football Club is an Australian semi-professional association football club based in Cooma, New South Wales. The club is affiliated with Capital Football and currently competes in the Community State Leagues Capital Football in the ACT. Cooma's home venue is Nijong Oval.
Dan McKellar is an Australian professional rugby union coach. He is currently the head coach of Super Rugby team the Brumbies and was previously head coach of the University of Canberra Vikings in Australia's National Rugby Championship.
Gungahlin United Football Club is an Australian semi-professional football club based in the Canberra district of Gungahlin, ACT. Gungahlin currently competes in the National Premier Leagues Capital Football with home matches played at the recently constructed Gungahlin Enclosed Oval.
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Grace Maher is an Australian football player who currently plays for Canberra United in the Australian A-League Women, and KR in the Úrvalsdeild kvenna in Iceland. She previously played for Melbourne Victory.
Melissa Maizels is an Australian soccer goalkeeper who last played for Australian A-League Women team Melbourne Victory. She previously played for Perth Glory and Canberra United.
Deakin Stadium is an association football ground located in the south-central Canberra suburb of Deakin, ACT. It is the home ground of Canberra Croatia FC in the NPL ACT.
The 2017–18 W-League season was the tenth season of the W-League, the Australian national women's association football competition.
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For the first three campaigns, Robbie Hooker (season one) and Ray Junna (season two and three) shared duties.