The Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) chief executive James Johnson has reportedly said that the new Matildas head coach announcement will be made within two weeks. It was in July this year that current coach Ante Milicic rejected an offer to continue with the Matildas through to the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and instead honouring his existing deal with A-League newcomers Macarthur FC.
Johnson then said that Milicic’s successor had to take Matildas “to the next level”;
“If we want to be the best in the world, we will need to consider the best in the world.”
The main candidate to the post has been said to be the 56-year-old Italian Carolina Morace, who has reportedly already been interviewed twice for the position. Morace, who made 150 appearances for Italy as a player, has also coached the Italian women’s national team (2000 – 2005) as well as the Canadian women’s national team (2009 – 2011). In 2016 she took over the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national team before she became the AC Milan coach in the 2018-2019 season.
It is understood that Morace has got a main opposition for the position in Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, who is now reported as a serious contender for the job. Hayes currently coaches the Matildas star striker Sam Kerr in Chelsea, a team she has lead to win three FA Women’s Super League titles as well as two FA Cups. Before Chelsea the 43-year-old was the head coach for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Chicago Red Stars.
Among the few remaining potential candidates it’s also believed that the Swede Tony Gustavsson is considered. Gustavsson, who has been the assistant coach to former US Women’s National Team (USWNT) coach Jill Ellis during the successful World Cup campaigns in 2015 and 2019. Among the rumoured has also been Arsenal’s Joe Montemurro but he is believed to not be in the race anymore.
It is then down to three; Carolina Morace, Emma Hayes or Tony Gustavsson to become the head coach for Matildas during the World Cup Adventure on home soil in 2023.