Football: Former Matildas coach takes over PH women's team

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2021 01:21 PM

Australian coach Alen Stajcic speaks during the team's press conference in Edmonton, Canada on June 26, 2015. File photo. Geoff Robins, AFP
Australian coach Alen Stajcic speaks during the team's press conference in Edmonton, Canada on June 26, 2015. File photo. Geoff Robins, AFP


MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) on Tuesday announced that Australian coach Alen Stajcic will now be calling the shots for the Philippine women's national football team.

Stajcic, 47, will steer the Philippines in its bid for a first ever FIFA Women's World Cup berth through the AFC Women's Asian Cup in January 2022 in India.

He succeeds Marlon Maro, who guided the women's team to a second straight AFC Women's Asian Cup berth after victories over Nepal and Hong Kong in the AFC Women's Asian Cup qualifiers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last month.

Stajcic comes with a remarkable resume that includes a five-year run with the Australian Women's National Team, highlighted by back-to-back appearances in the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cups, as well as the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where the Matildas reached the quarterfinals.

He was shortlisted for The Best FIFA Women's Coach award in 2018.

"We are thrilled that Alen Stajcic has accepted the position to be the head coach of the Philippine Women's National Team," said PFF President Mariano "Nonong" Araneta.

"Coach Alen Stajcic has the capabilities to elevate the Philippine Women’s team on the Asian stage and beyond," added PFF general secretary Atty. Ed Gastanes. "We look forward to what he can bring to the team which has qualified to the final competition of the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022."

Meanwhile, Maro has been appointed as the head of PFF Coaching Education.

Araneta acknowledged Maro's contributions to the women's program as he steered them to an Asian Cup berth despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We see how Coach Maro is a vital stakeholder on the growth of the beautiful game in the country and his appointment as PFF Coaching Education head is testament to his already significant contributions and what he still can contribute to the country's football development," said Araneta.

The Philippine women's national team is set to hold a training camp and player tryouts in Irvine, California from November 10 until January 15.

The AFC Women's Asian Cup runs from January 20 to February 6, with five spots in the FIFA Women's World Cup at stake.