Matildas Coach Booted Over 'Unsatisfactory' Team Environment
Matildas coach Alen Stajcic has been sacked after surveys revealed players were unhappy with the environment and culture of the team.
The surprise announcement was made on Saturday.
Two confidential surveys were undertaken by Football Federation Australia (FFA) of the Matildas side to evaluate the team culture.
The FFA change of leadership was required to improve the culture of the team after "unsatisfactory"results were returned, it said in a statement.
David Gallop, CEO of the FFA, said the organisation was "committed to providing the best possible environment" and reviews of the Matildas set-up would be ongoing.
“The ultimate responsibility for driving change and leading a high-performance environment that puts the team in the best possible position to achieve what they are capable of, rests with the Head Coach," he said at a press conference on Saturday.
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"We no longer have confidence that Alen is the right person to lead the team and staff."
FFA CEO David Gallop admitted the survey findings were "serious" enough to warrant a leadership change just five months out from the World Cup.
"There was the view that things had deteriorated in recent times," he said
Stajcic took over the role of Head Coach in 2014, after Hesterine de Reus was ousted by player power.
But Gallop denied this was the case for Stajcic.
“Of course the view of the players is important, but this is not a decision arrived at by the players, it is a decision arrived at by us (the FFA) with the responsibility to set standards in that team,” he said.
The undertaking of the two surveys came after players’ body Professional Footballers Australia requested an audit be done of all the national teams, Gallop said.
The initial audit was carried out by Wellbeing Audit in partnership with PFA, before a supplementary one by Gender Equality Culture Survey conducted by Our Watch.
Gallop admitted the FFA had not decided on a replacement coach, but “needed to move quickly” because of the upcoming Cup of Nations starting February and the World Cup in June.
Stajcic had coached the Matildas to their highest-ever ranking of fourth in the world, as well as taking them to the quarter finals of the 2015 World Cup and champions of the Tournaments of Nations.
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