AAP Soccer

FFA closing on Matildas coach appointment

By AAP Newswire

A new Matildas coach is expected to be in place by the end of the month.

The FFA hopes to name a successor to Ante Milicic, who stepped down in July, by the end of September.

That would allow the team's new leadership to be in place ahead of plans to bring the squad together for the November international window.

"It's not a hard deadline, but I would like to have the coach wrapped up and announced by the end of this month," FFA chief executive James Johnson told AAP.

"That would then give us some time to make the announcement for the whole country to get excited by the new coach, to sit down with the new coach and discuss what the November camp looks like and really get into the weeds of that discussion."

Johnson confirmed the FFA was now down to a shortlist of preferred candidates for the person expected to lead the Matildas to the 2023 World Cup on home soil.

"We're right at the back end of a process where we've gone on a proactive headhunting exercise to identify candidates, both locally and globally, that we believe will elevate the performance of this team," he said.

"It's been very thorough."

Johnson said there was no preference for the coach to be Australian or foreign, and he had consulted with the Matildas' leadership group throughout.

If the ideal candidate is currently working at a club, Johnson said there could be a "transition period", after which the appointed coach would then focus solely on the Matildas role.

"As with any coaching appointment, there might be a transition period depending on the candidate you go for," Johnson said.

"But we're looking at this as a four-year appointment, four-year cycle, four opportunities -Tokyo (Olympics), the Asian Cup (in India) in 2022, World Cup in '23 and then Paris Olympics in '24.

"So over that four-year cycle for the majority of that period, obviously that coach will be focused on the Matildas and the Matildas only."

While European countries are currently in camp ahead of their qualifiers for the 2022 European championships, Australian players are remaining with their clubs during the current international window and will not come together in the October window.

The Matildas will assemble for the first time under a new coach in the November window with a camp, and potentially a game, in Europe - where the majority of Australia's top players are now based.

"When it comes to games, we're in discussions with several associations at the moment, we'd like to have a game, absolutely," Johnson said.

"But there's practical issues we've got to work through with quarantine rules differing from country to country."