Alen Stajcic

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Alen Stajcic
Alen Stajcic at 2017 Algarve Cup.jpeg
Stajcic with the Matildas in 2017
Personal information
Full name Alen Stajcic [1]
Date of birth (1973-11-02) 2 November 1973 (age 50)
Place of birth Australia [2]
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1994 Mount Druitt Town 6 (0)
1994–1997 Bonnyrigg White Eagles 35 (2)
1998 Bankstown City Lions 13 (2)
2000 Western Sydney Passion
2000–2002 Sutherland Sharks 38 (2)
Managerial career
2002–2004 New South Wales Sapphires
2008–2014 Sydney FC (Women)
2014–2019 Australia (Women)
2019 Central Coast Mariners (caretaker)
2019–2021 Central Coast Mariners
2021–2023 Philippines (Women)
2023– Perth Glory
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 11 August 2007

Alen Stajcic (Serbian Cyrillic : Ален Стајчић, romanized: Alen Stajčić; born 2 November 1973) is an Australian football manager and former player, and is the current manager of Perth Glory in the A-League. He was the head coach of the Philippine women's national football team from 2021 to 2023. While as a footballer he was a NSW Premier League player and an Australian Youth Representative.

Contents

Since turning his hand to coaching he had become the head coach of the NSWIS women's soccer team, head coach of the Hills Sports High School Football Program and the head coach of the Australia women's national under-20 soccer team. [3] He was appointed coach for Sydney FC in the first season of the Australian W-League. [4] From 2014 to 2019, he was the head coach of the Matildas.

He helped the Philippines qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, which was the country's first ever appearance in a World Cup, after leading the team to the semifinals of the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup.

Club career

A former NSW Premier League player and captain with Bonnyrigg, Bankstown and Sutherland, Alen represented New South Wales at the youth level and played for several clubs within the National Youth League and Winter Super League.

Managerial career

Alen Stajcic had been the head coach of the NSWIS Women's Football Program from 2002 to 2013. Widely considered as one of the best football nurseries in Australia, the program produced over 30 senior Internationals in that 10-year period. He was also the head coach of the Women's National Soccer League side, the NSW Sapphires, which he guided to a premiership in the 2003/04 season. He started as head coach of HSHS in the foundation year (2003) and has gone on to win many titles and good performances.

In 2006, he was the assistant coach for the Young Matildas while they were competing at the FIFA U/20's Women's Championships in Russia. Unfortunately they bowed out in the group stage, missing the next round by 1 point to Brazil and Russia. As of 05/03/07 Stajcic became the Young Matildas Coach.

In 2008, Stajcic became the inaugural Sydney FC Women's head coach, until 2014. They qualified for the semi-finals in all 6 seasons, winning 2 grand finals and 2 premierships along the way. In 2013, Sydney FC beat Japanese powerhouse NTV Beleza and Sth American Champions Colo Colo to claim 3rd place the IWCC in Japan.

Australia women

As of September 2014, Stajcic was appointed full-time head coach of the Australian women's national football team, the Matildas. In the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada, they became the 1st Senior Australian Football Team to win a knockout match in a World Cup when they defeated Brazil 1–0 in the Round of 16 before losing 1–0 to Japan in the quarter-finals. Earlier in 2014, Stajcic had led the Matildas in an Interim capacity, to a Silver Medal at the Asian Championships.

In March 2016, the Matildas qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time in 12 years. Along the way eliminating World Cup finalists Japan. The Matildas topped the Asian Qualifying group and were undefeated in the tournament. The Matildas subsequently attained their highest-ever FIFA Ranking of 5. At the 2016 Rio Olympics Australia were grouped with Canada, Germany and Zimbabwe. Australia progressed through to the quarter-finals, where they were beaten 7–6 on penalties by Hosts Brazil after a 0–0 draw.

Despite qualifying for the 2019 Women's World Cup, Stajcic was sacked from his position by Football Federation Australia for reasons that were not made clear by the FFA at the time of the sacking, with FFA board member Heather Reid making cryptic remarks about how people "would be shocked" if they knew the reasons, with leaks to the media resulting in Lucy Zelic claiming the facts were legally confidential. Australian player Sam Kerr posted on Twitter saying "My trust was in Staj to lead us to the World Cup final & I believe he was the best coach for that". Stajcic took legal action against the FFA for the sacking and the veil of secrecy behind it, and in May 2019 this legal action lead to a settlement with a 'six figure' settlement accounting for the loss of potential World Cup bonuses and reputation damage. [5] Heather Reid said in a statement following the settlement, "I apologise unreservedly for the damage, distress and hurt that I have caused to Alen Stajcic as a professional football coach". [6]

Central Coast Mariners

Following the sacking of Mike Mulvey from Central Coast Mariners, on 12 March 2019 Stajcic was appointed as the caretaker head coach for the club. [7] On 2 May 2019, Stajcic was appointed head coach on a 3-year contract until the end of the 2021–22 A-League season. [8] [9] In the final 6 games of season he was in charge for 2 wins and 4 losses.

The 2019/20 season was his first as the full time head coach, and the Mariners finished in last place with 5 wins, 3 draws and 18 losses from 26 games.

The early stages of the 2020/21 season went very well for the Mariners, and they won 5 of the first 7 matches, putting them in outright first place with 15 points. After initially leading the league at the season's halfway point, the Mariners ended up finishing the regular season in third place, the club's highest league finish since 2014, with the club achieving a record of 12 wins, 6 draws and 8 losses. [10] The Mariners' season ended with a 2-0 elimination final loss to Macarthur FC.

On 17 June 2021, Stajcic confirmed his departure from the Mariners. [11]

Philippine women

In late October 2021, Stajcic was appointed as head coach of the Filipinas, the Philippine women's national football team, ahead of the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup. [12] [13] By reaching the semifinals, following a penalty shootout win over Chinese Taipei, the Philippines qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, the first time the side had ever qualified. [14] Stajcic became the only Australian-born coach to qualify for 3 FIFA World Cups. In March 2022, Stajcic would renew his contract with the Philippines which is set to last until the World Cup despite offers from Australia and Europe. [15] [16] In his guidance, he helped the team winning the 2022 AFF Women's Championship, the country's first regional trophy by blanking Thailand in the final 3-0. [17]

Stajcic and his assistant Nahuel Arrarte were also appointed in January 2023 to oversee the under-17 and under-20 women's national teams. [18]

At the FIFA Women's World Cup, the Philippines under Stajcic did not advance out of the group stage. Despite this however their run was considered as a success by the federation with the Philippines securing at least a win against co-host New Zealand in their debut. Stajcic and Arrarte's contract expired by the end of the tournament and did not renew. [19] [20]

Perth Glory

In August 2023, in the days following Philippines' exit from the Women's World Cup, Stajcic was announced as manager for Perth Glory marking his return to the A-League. [21]

Personal life

Stajcic has two children. [22] His daughter Anika is a professional footballer currently playing for Perth Glory in the A-League Women competition, and has represented Australia at youth level. [23] [24]

Managerial statistics

As of 11 December 2023 [25] [26]
TeamNatFromToRecord
GWDLWin %
Sydney FC Women Flag of Australia (converted).svg October 2008December 201477461318059.74
Australia women Flag of Australia (converted).svg September 2014January 201964361513056.25
Central Coast Mariners Flag of Australia (converted).svg March 2019June 20216322932034.92
Philippines women Flag of the Philippines.svg October 2021July 20234224315057.14
Perth Glory Flag of Australia (converted).svg August 2023Present7115014.29
Total2531294183050.99

Honours

As a player

As a coach

Philippines Women's National Team
Central Coast Mariners A-league Team
Australian Women's National Team
Sydney FC Women's Team
NSW Sapphires

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References

  1. "FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 – Squad List: Philippines (PHI)" (PDF). FIFA. 11 July 2023. p. 23. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
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  3. "Coach Profile". FootballAustralia.com.au. Football Federation Australia. 27 May 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
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  5. Rugari, Vince (9 February 2021). "Football Australia director Heather Reid facing push to oust her from board". The Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment Co. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  6. Bossi, Dominic (31 May 2019). "FFA loses face and cash in apology to Stajcic". The Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment Co. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
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  13. "Ex-Matildas coach Stajcic named new PWNFT head coach". Tiebreaker Times. 26 October 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
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  16. del Carmen, Lorenzo (11 March 2022). "Despite offers from Australia, Europe, Stajcic still made 'decision of the heart'". Tiebreaker Times. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  17. Carmen, Lorenzo del (17 July 2022). "Filipinas make history, cop PH's first-ever AFF Women's crown". Tiebreaker Times. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
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