Vicki Linton departs CU

Canberra United regrets to announce the departure of Head Coach Vicki Linton.

Vicki was appointed to the Head Coach role in July 2020, building on her already-impressive resume which included roles as assistant coach with the Westfield Matildas, head coach of the Junior Matildas and Melbourne Victory’s Westfield W-League side, as well as a stint as a FIFA Women’s Football instructor.

In her first season at the helm, she led Canberra United to the W-League semi-finals for the first time since 2017.

Season 2021-22 was not as successful, however the team showed strong improvement and renewed self-belief in the second half of the season and a full home and away draw may have seen United challenge for a spot in the final four. 

In season 2020-21, Vicki also wrote Canberra United into the history books, appointing and leading the first all-female coaching staff in the history of the W-League.

Notably, fourteen players made their W-League/Liberty A-League debuts under Linton’s stewardship, including Canberra United Academy products Sasha Grove and Chloe Lincoln, and Junior Matildas Jessika Nash and Emma Ilijoski. 

Assistant Coaches Emily Husband, Sarah West, and Ali Reza Efe, and Goalkeeper Coach Chantel Jones, made their A-League coaching debuts working under Vicki’s leadership.  

She also brought star forwards and former Matildas Michelle Heyman and Ashleigh Sykes out of retirement to lead Canberra’s attacking line, both returning to form and demonstrating why they have icon status amongst Canberra United’s members. 

Capital Football CEO Chris Gardiner thanked Vicki for her service to Canberra United. 

“Vicki has led Canberra United through two of the most difficult seasons in our history, with unprecedented challenges in a COVID-persistent environment,” Gardiner said. 

“Her strong focus on building a unified culture within the team ensured resilience in the face of strict league-imposed travel and training protocols, regular testing, COVID-cases within the playing group, unpredictable short-notice fixture changes, and the increased exposure-risk associated with traveling interstate for matches. 

“Despite the challenges, Vicki demonstrated her commitment to development through nurturing and providing opportunities for our young, local players to transition into professional footballers. 

“We respect Vicki’s desire to be closer to family in Sydney and wish her all the very best for the future,” he said.

Vicki said she was proud of what the club had achieved during her tenure as Head Coach. 

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach Canberra United and the Canberra United Academy, and I want to thank management, staff and players who have worked tirelessly to contribute to everything we have achieved on the field, and in building the program over the last two seasons. 

“I wish the club every success moving forward,” she said. 

Vicki has also stepped down from the Head Coach role at the Canberra United Academy, where she made a lasting impact on the next generation of Canberra United stars by coaching and mentoring the ACT’s talented youth players.