Concerning the developments regarding Matildas’ Head Coach Alen Stajcic earlier today, Football Coaches Australia (FCA) would like to pass on the following three statements from some of the sport’s most respected coaching figures: Heather Garriock, Nahuel Arrarte and Phil Moss.

Heather Garriock, Current Canberra United W-League Coach and former Matildas’ Assistant Coach:

“I have been coached by and coached with Alen Stajcic in the National Team set up and can honestly say I am highly respected as a female player and coach.”

“Alen’s commitment and genuine passion for women’s football this past 17 years has been admirable.”

“’Staj’ is someone who drove the highest standards from day one. He asked players to give everything of themselves for the nation, because he believed that Australia should aspire to be World Champions. Going towards this year’s World Cup, he had carefully crafted together a squad that was ready to carry out that mission.”

“We understand there will be disgruntlement from time to time, especially among those players who miss out on selection. But his record of developing players and performances at major tournaments has put Australia on the world map.”

“His ultimate legacy is that he oversaw a period that transformed the Matildas into one of the nation’s most loved National Teams, across all codes and genders.”

Nahuel Arrarte, outgoing Matildas’ Assistant Coach:

“I have been with the Matildas for the past 18 months working as Alen’s assistant. In all my years in football, as a player and coach, I have seldom come across a more dedicated and selfless individual.”

“Alen is a man of passion and principles, not just performance. He pushed the boundaries because he understood that driving a culture of excellence in women’s football was the only way forward. The remarkable results he achieved were a testament to his leadership.”

“There is no doubt that Alen challenged Australia’s players to be the best they could be. He never takes short-cuts and is scrupulous with details, in training and on match day. His motto was all about lifting to team to levels they’d never reached before.”

“Alen came in at a time when the Women’s football program was in disarray. His ability to calm the warring factions and put the players’ needs first was testament to his leadership. He personally re-built the team, almost from scratch, and carefully nurtured countless teenage talents into senior stars.”

“Following his departure, it was with a heavy heart that I submitted my resignation to Football Federation Australia earlier today.”

Phil Moss, FCA President:

“When it comes to contributions towards Australia’s National Teams, very few have achieved more than Alen Stajcic.

“Today, the Matildas have lost not only a world-class coach but a fearless advocate for women’s football.”

“It is important that the decision-makers in the sport make decisions for the right reasons. In this instance, that evidence has not been forthcoming. The broader process used to end Alen’s tenure was highly questionable.”

“This is not how any coach deserves to be treated, least of all those in charge of the National Team.”

“It is yet another sad day for our coaching fraternity. Another coach has been terminated prematurely. Today, Australian coaches stand in absolute solidarity with one of our members and express genuine disappointment at Alen’s departure from a project he was so close to seeing through.”


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