Thanks, Coach

Rae Dower
Head Coach Rae Dower departs Canberra United with a fantastic legacy behind her.

Rae Dower's message to the fans that she would be departing Canberra United earlier this month was met with a fantastic display of respect from our fans.

The Queensland native is back home after wrapping up Westfield W-League Season Nine with the team in Green, and had only thanks for the people she met in her time here.

"I think at the end of the day it [fondest memory] has to be the people that I've been fortunate enough to meet," Dower said.

"From all the staff at Capital Football to our coaching staff, all the players, their families, sponsors, media, volunteers, fans..."

"The whole football community was so warm and welcoming and I've made some lifelong friendships."

Dower has spent four years in the Capital, a period in which United have made the finals every season, won the Championship in Season Seven and claimed the Premiers Plate twice, including this season.

But as much as the trophies will form a part of the club's history under Dower, the Youth setup that she has helped foster will be a large part of her Canberra United legacy and something that she looks forward to seeing the fruits of down the track.

"That's something that I'm really proud of with the evolution of the Canberra United Academy and a fully established female player pathway from U10's all the way through to Canberra United in the W-League."

"This season we never set out deliberately to bring in a bunch of 'kids', but we did need to regenerate an ageing squad." 

"We just found that these youngsters were the next best players to bring into the squad, regardless of their age and that they were good enough now."

That young group included Karly Roestbakken, who scored against reigning Premiers Melbourne City at just 15 years of age in their first ever defeat, Nickoletta Flannery who is nominated for the NAB Westfield W-League Young Player of the Year award, the outstanding Grace Maher, youngest member of the squad Laura Hughes, defender Clare Hunt and goalkeeper Georgia Boric.

"What's even more exciting," Dower continued, "is that I know how good the next crop of players are coming behind them and believe me this club is in great hands for a long time to come."

As much as anything though, the family environment of Canberra United is what has stuck with Dower, and says it his something she will always remember.

"The culture at the club is second to none and that's been borne out of a lot of good people over the last 10 years creating that family atmosphere," she said. 

"It was easy for me to embrace that and strive to enhance it even further because it suits my leadership style and leaving behind my own family meant the big, happy green family were able to fill that void personally."

Dower's good relationship with the CU fans also apparently has a little bit to do with us not wearing "traditional" south of the border colours.

"The best thing about Canberra and Canberra United is that they are green," Dower laughed.

"I don't know how I would have gone if they had to wear blue!" 

"I actually found Canberra to be very progressive, cultured and civilised and it's easy to see how they've won many awards for being the most liveable city in the world because I can't really fault it, except for the winters of course!"

Dower will undoubtedly miss Canberra but it will be reciprocated by the Canberra United fanbase who have grown to love Dower and her involvement in the community and with the McKellar Park faithful on any number of matchdays.

So from everyone at Canberra United we just want to say Thanks, Coach.