Ante Miličić has been officially announced as the head coach of the Matildas for the FIFA Women’s World Cup later this year.

The 44-year-old is no stranger to the national team set up, having gone to the two most recent men’s World Cups as an assistant to Ange Postecoglou and Bert van Marwijk respectively.

He was also an assistant for the Socceroos’ 2015 Asian Cup triumph and has spent time recently as a mentor to the Olyroos (U23s) and as head coach of the Young Socceroos (U20s).

With plenty of experience as an assistant and with young players, Miličić’s first test will be the Cups of Nations which kicks off in just 10 days.

FFA Chairman, Chris Nikou, believes Miličić will bring tremendous qualities to the post.

“Ante [Miličić] has been involved in Australian football at the elite level for many years,” Nikou said. “While he is highly regarded from a technical standpoint, he is also exceptionally knowledgeable in the development and implementation of high-performance football environments, and understands the Australian sporting and football culture.

“FFA is delighted to provide Ante – who has served a long apprenticeship in the game at both club and national team level – with the opportunity to lead the Westfield Matildas in France,” he said.

While there is no denial that Miličić has been in and around the national team set ups in this country there is some trepidation about his lack of experience coaching women’s football.

There’s throwing people into the deep end and then there’s placing someone, even if it is only temporary, into the eye of a storm and into the top job before a team’s biggest ever international tournament where expectations both internally and externally have never been higher.

Obviously Miličić must be given a chance but the words of Chloe Logarzo must be heeded following her chat with the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I hope the nation kind of understands [with] a new coach coming in, how we go in the first three games might be a bit ‘how ya going’. I’m just looking forward to how his style of play is and how he comes into the team if he is elected.” she said.

The Matildas’ Cup of Nations campaign begins in Kogarah against New Zealand on February 28.

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Marissa Lordanic
marissa.lordanic@gmail.com