Stajcic to lead Matildas to World Cup

Alen Stajcic will lead the Matildas to the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year after being named the permanent coach of the national team on Monday.

Stajcic received the nod from Football Federation Australia after a successful interim stint during the AFC Women's Asian Cup in May.

The W-League's Sydney FC coach, took on the Matildas in a caretaker role when then-coach Hesterina DeReus fell out with the player group and was sacked.

Stajcic went on to guide the Aussies to the final of the prestigious tournament where they lost  1-0 to Japan.

The 40-year-old made has made no secret of the fact he would like to take on the women's World No. 10 team permanently and will lead the Matildas through a defining period.

“It’s an honour to be appointed as full time head coach of the Westfield Matildas,” Stajcic said.

“I enjoyed the experience of working with the playing group at the Asian Cup earlier this year and I’m grateful to the FFA for giving me this opportunity.

“I’m excited about the future of the women’s football and look forward to working hard with the playing group to ensure the Matildas succeed on the international stage.

“The Matildas are entering a busy but exciting period with the World Cup in Canada closely followed by the 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers and then the Olympic Games in Rio over the next 18 months.

“There is no doubt we face an important phase but we have a very talented young group of players and I’m confident that with hard work we will be able to do Australia proud.”

FFA CEO David Gallop congratulated Stajcic following an exhaustive process that saw him appointed from an impressive list of Australian and international coaches.

“I’d like to congratulate Alen Stajcic on his appointment,” Gallop said.

“He did a tremendous job to take the team to the final of the Asian Cup earlier this year at short notice. 

"There were difficult circumstances that led to the early termination of the previous coach’s contract and we are certain he will continue to improve the team in a positive environment.

“FFA undertook a long interview process to ensure we appointed the best possible person for the job.

"We had credible applicants from all over the world but our senior management and the Football Development Committee agreed that Alen was the best person to lead the Matildas into the future.”

Stajcic will continue to coach Sydney FC - who have just recorded back-to-back wins in the W-League - in the short term to ensure a smooth transition for the Sky Blues.

“I’d like to thank Sydney FC for allowing me to take up this opportunity and I will work through a transition period to make sure there is minimal disruption while starting my work with the Matildas,” he added.