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Nov 07, 2013   |  3:25PM AET

Nicole Sykes named United Captain

Nicole Sykes named United Captain

Canberra United has announced that defender Nicole Sykes has been awarded the Captain’s armband for Season Six of the Westfield W-League.

Canberra United has announced that defender Nicole Sykes has been awarded the Captain-s armband for Season Six of the Westfield W-League. The decision sees Sykes become only the third Captain in the club-s history with Ellie Brush and Lydia Williams having had the honour of leading Canberra for the first five editions of the national women-s competition.

Coincidentally when Sykes leads the team onto the pitch for the Round 1 match against Brisbane Roar this weekend she will be participating in her fiftieth match for United, becoming only the second player after Brush to achieve this monumental feat.

“I am delighted to have been afforded the honour of leading Canberra United for Season Six of the Westfield W-League.” Sykes commented. “It-s a huge privilege especially as it was voted for by the players. It means a huge amount to me as I care so passionately about Canberra United. To be able to step up and take more of a leadership role is something that I am very proud to do. I hope to be able to lead by example, bringing the team together on match day and ensure that the messages we have learned during the week are implemented during the match.”

Predominantly a left-sided defender, Nicole Sykes has been a top quality addition since joining the team in its debut season in the Westfield W-League alongside her twin sister Ashleigh. The Hornsby, NSW born junior, played her early football with a variety of local club sides including Sass SC, Amaroo Rangers, the Western NSW Panthers and Dubbo Devils. It was while at the Devils that her talent began to flourish and saw her included in the 2008/2009 Canberra United squad. Initially expected to be in the squad as a utility and back-up to her more experienced peers, Nicole did not have to wait long for a first start, included in the team that recorded a maiden Westfield W-League victory with a thrilling 1-0 away win over Queensland Roar.

For 2009, Nicole stepped up her importance to the squad started and all eleven matches as United aimed to repeat their first year success, only to fall short at the semi-final stage. Incredibly, despite being a defensively minded player, Nicole had an international debut she will never forget. Selected for the Westfield Young Matildas team for their match with Finland in Varese, Italy on 25 May 2009, she not only starred, but struck an unlikely hat-trick as the Australians crushed their opponents in an astonishing display. She blossomed as a player in 2011/12 being ever-present at left back in a Canberra United defence that had the joint second best goals against record in the entire league with only nine goals getting past the staunch rearguard.

Nicole netted her only Canberra goal last season, the match-winner in the crucial 1-0 victory over the Newcastle Jets at Deakin Stadium on 8th December 2012 and ended the campaign as Canberra United Player of the Year and Player-s Player of the Year. She spent the off-season playing with Kristianstads IF in Sweden and Canberra Olympic in the local ACT Women-s Premier League.

STATISTICS
Name: Nicole Sykes (#13)
Position: Defender
Date of Birth: 15 December 1991
Place of Birth: Hornsby, NSW
Clubs: Sass SC, Amaroo Rangers, Western NSW Panthers FC, Dubbo Devils, Canberra Olympic, Kristianstads IF (SWE)
Representative Honours: Westfield Young Matildas
Young Matildas: 4 appearances (debut: 25/05/09 v Finland (Varese) W 7-0 – 3 goals)
Goals: 3 (v Finland (3) – 25/05/09)
Canberra United Debut: 01/11/08 v Queensland Roar (away) W 1-0
Goals: 1
Canberra United Cap Number: 15

PREVIOUS CANBERRA UNITED CAPTAINS
2008/09 – Ellie Brush
2009 – Ellie Brush / Lydia Williams (Co-Captains)
2010/11 – Ellie Brush / Lydia Williams (Co-Captains)
2011/12 – Ellie Brush
2012/13 – Ellie Brush