The actual cause of Alen Stajcic’s surprise sacking remains a mystery to many in the world of football. Stajcic has arguably led the Matildas through their most successful period. It will also remain a mystery for the foreseeable future, with CEO, David Gallop, insisting that his focus will be on the upcoming World Cup. With Ante Milicic announced as the new coach, it has clearly been a turbulent few weeks for the women’s game in Australia.
Gallop has also confirmed that the Football Federation Australia will not be reviewing Stajcic’s sacking, despite ongoing calls for Stajcic’s termination to be looked into. The CEO insisted that the decision regarding Stajcic was governed by “clear legal and professional reasons”, despite their being an obvious lack of clarity.
Stajcic calls out FFA
Stajcic himself has been highly vocal regarding his confusion at his shock termination as the Matilda’s head coach. He argued that no one from the FFA had approached him to suggest that there were any issues regarding his coaching style. However, two key reports were conducted by the FFA, which included player surveys. The surveys collated information from the players, revealing that a culture of fear and stress had begun to plague the playing group.
Because of these findings, Stajcic’s position as head coach seemingly became untenable and he was subsequently sacked as head coach in January of this year. The fallout from his unceremonious exit continues, with many suggesting he was terminated too quickly without giving him a chance to rectify the problems.
Milicic looking towards World Cup
While the turmoil regarding his predecessor continues, Milicic has spoken publicly for the first time as the new head coach of the Matildas. Milicic’s first act as coach was to name the squad for the upcoming tournament: the Cup of Nations. Unsurprisingly, he has named a relatively unchanged team, retaining many of the core players that characterised the Stajcic era.
It is a sad and confusing end to Stajcic’s tenure as coach, a position he held from 2014-2019.