With Ante Milicic possibly leaving to take up his Macarthur FC contract, we explore five potential replacements to lead us on the path to 2023 World Cup glory.
1. Joe Montemurro (Australian)-
The Arsenal 2018/19 WSL Championship winning manager is one of the most highly regarded women's football coaches in the world. He has spent three years at Meadow Park with two trophies under his belt already. He was the WSL Manager of the Year in 2018/19 and was also a nominee for the FIFA World Women's Manager of the Year in the same season.
Prior to coaching at Arsenal, Montemurro won back to back W-League titles with Melbourne City in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
The Australian is an UEFA Pro Licence holder and has been coaching senior women's football for the past seven years. A fantastic student of the game, he is also completing his PHD on Sports Pyschology Performance, something that would him in good stead when dealing with the pressure that will inevitably come with a home World Cup.
His assistant at Meadow Park for the past two seasons has been Aaron D'Antino, another well known Australian.
If FFA want an Aussie flavour in their coaching structure, Montemurro could be their man.
2. Carolina Morace (Italian) -
The best thing about Morace is she wants to be Australia's coach and wants to rebuild our system from the ground up. She will take a wholistic approach to making the Matildas a powerhouse well beyond 2023.
A glittering playing career involved a starring role at the inaugural 1991 World Cup, part of a decorated 153 game international spell that netted 105 goals. Domestically she scored over 550 goals, winning 12 Golden Boot awards in Serie A, including a staggering 11 in a row from 1987–88 to 1997–98.
Morace also won numerous trophies at club level including the 1994/95 Serie A title with ACF Agliana, where Matildas legend Angela Iannotta was her team mate.
She coached the Italian national team from 2000-2005, where she helped them qualify for two European Championships. A fantastic achievement considering the limited pool of women players Italy had at the time.
After taking the head coaching role with Canada in 2009, she won four major trophies including the 2010 CONCACAF Cup, 2010 and 2011 Cyprus Cups and 2010 Four Nations Tournament.
She took Canada to sixth place in the world and at the 2017 World Cup, her Canadian team was lauded for their high tempo play in attack and defence.
Morace also had a short stint as coach for Trinidad and Tobago in 2016-17.
Morace’s first club role was with Lazio Women in 1998, before becoming the first woman in Italy to secure a head coaching position with a men’s team, taking on the reigns at Viterbese in the Serie C. Her latest club role was with the newly formed AC Milan Women in 2018, where they finished an impressive third where they beat powerhouse Juventus.
She is a FIFA and UEFA Technical Instructor and has travelled around the world to offer coaching education for women's football.
She is an Australian permanent resident and has worked in Australia before. In 2015 she was appointed Technical Director at Western Australian NPL men’s club Floreat Athena FC, a year before they made the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup for the first time.
She currently works as a tactical analyst for Sky Sports Italy for the men’s Serie A competition.
If she gets the role, her likely assistant would be Australian Nicola Williams, who knows Australian football.
3. Jill Ellis (American)-
One of the best women's coaches in the world and the most successful. She has been part of the excellent American national set up for the best part of twenty years from the Under 20s to the seniors.
Her five year stint as head coach of the US National Women's team saw her win the 2014 CONCACAF trophy, the 2015 Algarve Cup and a lazy two World Cups (2015 and 2019).
The US won 106 out of 132 games when she was in charge.
Incidentally, she was an assistant coach when the US won the Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Would be a dream come true for Australian women's football if someone like Ellis came down under, she would revamp the system from the ground up and Australia would be able to embark on the type of dynasty our talent pool demands.
4. Paul Riley (English) -
The 30 year coaching veteran was called "one of the best coaches in the world" by Irish superstar Denise O'Sullivan.
Has won three NWSL in America with Western New York Flash (2016) and then when they relocated, the North Carolina Courage (2018 and 2019).
The Englishman has never coached at international level but perhaps that is the next thing he would like on his CV.
5. Ange Postecoglou (Australian) -
A bit left field but why not?
He has coached Australian teams to success on home soil before with the men's 2015 Asian Cup on his CV.
In Australia he won back to back NSL Championships with South Melbourne in 1997/98 and 1998/99, two A-League titles with Brisbane Roar in 2010/11 and 2011/12 and in the process won 125 out of 243 games.
Last year he became the first Australian to win the prestigious Japense J-League title with Yokohama.
He left Australia in acrimonious circumstances in 2017 after helping the Socceroos qualify for the 2018 World Cup. A glorious homecoming culminating in the 2023 World Cup with the Matildas would be sweet.
Has not coached a women's team before but nor did Ante Milicic.
Postecoglou knows how to deal with Australian football. With James Johnson at the helm he may have a much better relationship with the establishment now.