Former Banyana assistant coach passes away

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Former Banyana Banyana assistant coach Liesbeth “Lizz” Migchelsen has sadly passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Migchelsen passed away in her home country the Netherlands after a short battle with cancer.

The 49-year-old was assistant coach to Vera Pauw at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and also took charge of the national Under 20 squad.

Banyana captain Janine van Wyk has paid tribute to Migchelsen and described her as an approachable person.

“Coach Lizz came across as a hard, tough looking woman that scared many players away but when she took the pitch at training as a coach, she was the complete opposite. She was approachable, direct and went into such depth on detailed analysis of the game that taught players how to view the game differently,” van Wyk told FARPost.

“It’s so sad to hear of her passing and I believe she didn’t want to tell anyone about her illness (stage 4 lung cancer) until I received a text from coach Vera Pauw that reached out to me last night to tell me the heart-breaking and shocking news.

“I can just imagine what coach Vera is going through as she was her ‘right hand woman’ to Vera’s decisions on and off the field at times. My heart goes to her family and loved ones and may God comfort and give them strength during this very difficult time,” said van Wyk.

Between 1990 and 2008, Migchelsen represented the Netherlands women’s national team 95 times.

She was appointed as head coach of Canberra United in the Westfield W-League in 2013, helping the club secure the Premier’s Plate in her first season in charge.

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By Ofhani Munyai

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