Ante Milicic appointed as Matildas coach for the Women's World Cup

The rumours of the identity of the new coach has been confirmed by the governing body

Ante Milicic has been confirmed as the new Matildas interim coach by Football Federation Australia and will lead the team through the upcoming Women’s World Cup.

News first emerged last week that the appointment of Milicic was imminent, with the 44-year-old to replace Alen Stajcic, who was controversially sacked last month.

Milicic’s first challenge in the new role will be in the upcoming Cup of Nations on home soil before June’s World Cup in France – where he will step aside after the tournament for a full-time coach to be appointed.

“It is an honour to be appointed head coach of the Matildas and I am determined to make the most of this opportunity together with the squad and staff,” Milicic said. 

“As demonstrated throughout the W-League this season, which culminated in Saturday’s thrilling Grand Final in Sydney, Australia has many fantastic players right now and I know that the squad that is ultimately selected will be eager to seize its chance in France.

“With three matches coming up in quick succession at the Cup of Nations, the friendly tournament will provide our group with the opportunity to set its standards both on and off the pitch as we look ahead to the FIFA Women’s World Cup with great belief and optimism.”

Milicic was a Socceroos assistant coach at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups and was also a part of the team’s 2015 Asian Cup triumph.

FFA CEO David Gallop made it clear that Milicic’s familiarity with the national team set-ups was a strong factor in his Matildas selection.

“There was no shortage of exceptional Australian and international applicants interested in this elite role,” Gallop said.

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“Ante’s intimate involvement with our national teams Unit over the past five years ensured that he will commence the position with a clear understanding of the systems in place, and with sound relationships with key technical, backroom, and administrative staff already forged.”

The Matildas will face New Zealand, Korea Republic and Argentina in the upcoming Cup of Nations, with their first match kicking off at Jubilee Stadium on February 28th.

Following a friendly with the USA in April, the green and gold will then prepare to take on Italy, Brazil and Jamaica at the World Cup in France.

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