Nicole Sykes is the latest W-League players off to Sweden | (Credit: Getty Images) Nicole Sykes is the latest W-League players off to Sweden | (Credit: Getty Images)

Sweden appears to be the European destination for 2013 and not just because of the European Championships due to kick off in June/July of this year.

It is also the destination for several W-League players as they look to test themselves against some Europe's, and the world's best, in the Damallsvenskan.

Canberra United's Nicole Sykes is the latest W-League player to be signed by a Swedish outfit with the United Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year snapped up by Kristianstads DFF.

On the 22 year old's signing, Kristianstads coach Elisabet Gunnarsdottir was effusive in her praise.

"We are very pleased that Nicole Sykes decided Kristianstads," said Gunnarsdottir.

"She's fast, aggressive and standby safe which fits into the type of play we've been looking for. In addition, she is useful on several defensive positions, something we also wanted."

"I look forward to working with Nicole, and am convinced that she will fit into Kristianstads DFF. To get the award Players' Player of the Year says a lot about a player's character. "

chawkins_signing_sweden Carys Hawkins in her Sunnana kit | (Credit: Carys Hawkins)

Sykes will be up against a number of familiar W-League faces including Perth Glory's Carys Hawkins who returns to Sweden after an excellent first season with first division side Umeå Södra.  This time the Glory full back is heading to the big time with top flight team Sunnanå.

"Last season (in Sweden) was great as I had an opportunity to develop in different areas of my game," Hawksins said in an interview with

“It feels awesome. I'm so lucky to be here!  Also being in a new environment helped me identify strengths and weaknesses and I was able to use the ample time that I had to work on them."

“I expect by the end of the season that my football to be of a much higher calibre as well as being stronger and fitter.”

Sykes and Hawkins both join Matildas' goalkeeper Lydia Williams in what is consistently considered one of the top women's football leagues in the world.

Williams, who is returning from an ACL injury, is on the roster for Piteå and looks to return to full time football this season.  Also in Sweden is former Melbourne Victory captain Jodie Taylor who will be lining up for one the power teams Göteborg while W-League sensation Petra Larsson will be returning to her side regular side Linköping.

So with plenty of W-League players in action, we will be keeping a close eye on Sweden for a number of reasons in 2013.