The announcement of the Future Matildas program saw a new elite pathway for Australia's young female footballers and will not only bridge the gap between the NTC and Matildas but will also be used as an integration tool of Young Players into the Matildas Culture.
Currently, players who finish the NTC will either go to the W-League or head back into the NPL system which doesn't give the same level of training they received while in the NTC.
Young players will be pushed to reach their full potential and grow in a fully professional environment.
This integration starts with Matildas assistant coaches Gary van Egmond and Leah Blayney who will be heading up the program in Sydney with Mini Matildas coach, Rae Dower playing a major role with her talent identification of players in underpinning Programs and the 17’s National team.
While Dower will not be part of the daily training, the decision of having van Egmond and Blayney as coaches came down to having integration and connection between the Future Matildas and Matildas teams.
"We've got vertical integration which is exactly what we wanted. So they will share a lot of the same thoughts, philosophies and playing styles and obviously they are aware of what is required at international level," Stajcic said.
"They are familiar with what is going on and what it takes to be a good player, and the skill sets we need to help our young players to be able to be competitive," he said.
The coaches will continue to further this integration as van Egmond and Blayney coach sessions at schools which would be held during their regular physical education or football classes.
The program has close links with Westfield Sports High School and Pymble Ladies College, where the players attend school, and will ensure they avoid duplication of training but also ensuring the program does not take priority over school work.
On top of this, players will have access to support networks which can see them helped with anything else they need.
"In terms of catering for their welfare and their life balance, they are more than adequately catered for but it is hard, I think it is hard for every elite athlete in any sport," Stajcic said.
"So there is a balance between sport, school work and recreation time but certainly the way we've structured it, there is a good balance and a great support network of Sports Psychologists, Careers Advisors and Mentors on top of the daily support and care from coaches," he said.