Canberra United Head Coach Heather Garriock believes the Canberra United Winter program (CUW) is the perfect stepping stone for players wanting to make their mark in the Westfield W-League.
The CUW program was introduced in 2018, and is aimed at providing elite training and matches for the region’s best female footballers.
Garriock says the program assists players in making the transition from the Canberra United Academy program (CUA), and club football, to the Westfield W-League.
“I think the CUW program is really important, especially to be able to bridge that gap from our CUA program, as well as being able to bring in players from other clubs that are of a high quality,” Garriock said.
“It’s great that the clubs release the players so they can be in the CUW program, so all the best players in Canberra are in the program.”
Over the last two years, the CUW program has complimented the CUA program, which is targeted at elite players under the age of 18.
Garriock believes the two programs can work together to create a pathway from U/18's to the W-League.
“I think anybody that’s under the age of 18, they need to be in the CUA program,” Garriock said.
“That way I get to coach all the best U/18 players and try to utilise the CUW program for the over-18 players that are potentially going to contribute to my W-League team.
“That’s the goal going forward.”
The CUW program will run until the start of the Canberra United preseason, which will begin on October the 1st.
“I’m just really excited for the W-League to kick-off this season,” Garriock said.
“I’ve got the core group from last year’s squad together, and we’re going to add some new faces as well which will freshen things up.”