Klimkova named Football Ferns' WC coach

·1-min read

Former Czech international Jitka Klimkova has been named coach of New Zealand's national team for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, which they will jointly host with Australia.

Klimkova is a W-League winning-mentor with Canberra United, where she coached Matildas Lydia Williams, Michelle Heyman and Hayley Raso.

She also coached one-time dual-sports star Ellyse Perry, urging her to commit to soccer or cricket, leading to Perry's departure from the club.

Klimokova worked with Matildas boss Tony Gustavsson in the USA set-coaching up.

"We're delighted to appoint a coach of Jitka's calibre to lead the Football Ferns," New Zealand Football chief executive Andrew Pragnell said.

"Jitka has a real love for Aotearoa, is a passionate coach, a very strong communicator, and experienced across a range of international football systems."

Unlike the Matildas, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics and are established inside the world's top 10 nations, New Zealand face an uphill battle to make an impact at their home World Cup.

New Zealand have never won a game or qualified from the group stage at six previous tournaments.

"Our goal is to win our first ever games during the World Cup. And what is the better timing than at home on our home soil?," Klimkova said.

"I'm so honoured and proud to be the Football Ferns head coach ... it's going to be an amazing journey."

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