Ex-Canberra United coach Liesbeth Migchelsen has passed way at age 49. She was battling cancer.
Liesbeth Migchelsen was a dutch footballer, coach and pioneer of women's football in her country. She started her illustrious career in 1990 where she played club and national team for two decades. Migchelsen did so through a time of little support for the women's game in the Netherlands.
Born on the 11th of March 1971 in Harderwijk, Netherlands, she started playing football with her local side VVOG. She then moved on and played club football for other Dutch sides including Puck Deventer, AZ, Fortuna Wormerveer and SV Saestum as well as German side FFC Heike Rheine.
She won the Dutch Eredivisie three times.
At the international level she first played for the Dutch National team in 1990 and over the next 18 years amassed 95 caps for the Lionesses. The defender retired from the national team in 2008 after having served much of her career as captain.
After her club and international career, Migchelsen transitioned to coaching. Working first with the KNVB, the Dutch FA, as a trainer, her first head coaching job was with Canberra United in 2013.
Through her stewardship, Canberra went on to win the W-League Premiers in her first year in charge. The following season Migchelsen lead the club to its second W-League Championship in 2014. Canberra won the grand final with a 3-1 victory over the Perth Glory.
Migchelsen then moved on to be an assistant coach to Vera Pauw and the South African national team. She was part of the coaching staff during the Banyana Banyana's 2016 Rio Olympic campaign.
Following that she also served as an assistant coach for the Chinese U-20 WNT and a technical analyst for Thailand's WNT during the 2019 Women's World Cup.
Players who played alongside her as a footballer describe Migchelsen as being a rock in defence and a great leader. Players served under her as a coach have described her as a great teacher and mentor. Many have come out with messages of condolences. They include:
South African National team captain Janine Van Wyk:
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former technical staff member to @verapauw during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Liesbeth â€œLizzâ€ Migchelsen😥— Janine Van Wyk (@Janinevanwyk5) May 27, 2020
Although our paths crossed only for a short while, I had learned so much from her & her detailed analysis of the game. RIP Lizz💔 pic.twitter.com/H1cHXAxc3Y
Dutch national team member, European Champion and WWC finalist Meryl van Dongen:
Vreselijk verdrietig te horen dat Liesbeth Migchelsen is overleden. Geweldig om haar als coach gehad te hebben, ze was een echte leader by example. Rust zacht in de voetbalhemel pic.twitter.com/7QIVZQYP1Z— Merel van Dongen (@merelvd) May 27, 2020
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former head coach Liesbeth â€œLizzâ€ Migchelsen, who died in the early hours of Wednesday morning (27 May 2020).— Canberra United (@CanberraUnited) May 27, 2020
Read here 👉 https://t.co/q8Pjek0Zb2 pic.twitter.com/c1aSX1tqMi
Migchelsen passed away on May 27, 2020. She died surrounded by her loved ones and her beloved dog Marro.