Sacked Matildas Coach's Surprising New Job
He's gone from the elite to the absolutely hopeless.
But Allen Stajcic obviously loves a challenge. In his time at the helm of the Matildas he took our national women's team from 11th to 6th in the official FIFA rankings.
And now, the man who was sacked from the Matildas in January after unfavourable results in team culture surveys, has an even bigger challenge.
Stajcic has been appointed caretaker coach of A-League cellar dwellers the Central Coast Mariners. He replaces Mike Mulvey, who was cast aside after the Mariners' 8-2 loss to Wellington Phoenix on the weekend.
The Mariners are having an absolute shocker this year. They sit last on the A-League ladder with just one win in 21 games.
Before the season, Usain Bolt trialled with them and couldn't make the squad. If that felt like a slap-in-the-face for Bolt at the time, it probably feels like a let-off now.
In a statement on their website, the Mariners said:
'Staj’ as he is affectionately known, won the W-League Coach of the Year award twice (2010/11 & 2013/14) during his time with Sydney FC. Stajcic’s successful spell at Sydney FC was also recognised with an induction to the Club’s Hall of Fame.
Amongst his list of impressive accolades as a head coach are also Coach of the Year honours at the prestigious 2017 AIS Sport Performance Awards and nomination for FIFA Coach of the Year in 2018.
With six games remaining this season, Stajcic’s tenure commences immediately, with the details of his first training session still to be advised.
"We’re well aware of the hard work ahead of us, but that starts now," Stajcic said. I relish a challenge and can’t wait to get started."
Stajcic fronts the media at 1pm and we'll update this story then.