Stajcic to coach Philippines women's team

Alen Stajcic has been appointed to coach the Philippines women's soccer team in the 2022 Asian Cup.
Alen Stajcic has been appointed to coach the Philippines women's soccer team in the 2022 Asian Cup.

Ex-Matildas boss Alen Stajcic has returned to the women's game, appointed head coach of the Philippines national team.

The 47-year-old, who was controversially sacked from his Australia role in January 2019, was unveiled by the Philippine Football Federation on Tuesday.

It means Stajcic could face Australia at January's Asian Cup in India, as the Philippines chase a historic berth in the 2023 Women's World Cup.

Stajcic was available after leaving Central Coast Mariners in June despite leading the A-League Men club to their first finals campaign in seven years with a successful 2020-21 season.

"His appointment shows the commitment and determination of the PFF to give our women's national team the best possible chance to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup," PFF president Mariano Araneta Jr said.

"Coach Alen Stajcic has the capabilities to elevate the Philippine women's team on the Asian stage and beyond."

Marlon Maro, who guided the Malditas - translated as Feisty Ladies - to their second consecutive Asian Cup with victories over Nepal and Hong Kong in qualifiers last month, has been appointed head of coaching education for the PFF.

Joining Stajcic in his new role will be Nahuel Arrarte who was his assistant at the Matildas and Mariners.

The Malditas' preparations for next year's Asian Cup will start with a training camp in California from November 10 until January 15.

Australian Associated Press