Former Matilda Angela Iannotta and the first woman to coach the Matildas, Trixie Tagg, have encouraged the current crop of Matildas to accept a whichever coach is picked to lead Australia to the 2023 World Cup.
Word from Matildas insiders is that some players have expressed reservations about Carolina Morace, apparently the favourite for the role, becoming the next coach. Swede Tony Gustavsson, who is well credentialed, is apparently the preferred candidate by the playing group.
However, Matildas legend Anglea Iannotta encouraged the players to embrace Morace if she is picked for the role.
“Jill Ellis won two World Cups, Sarina Wiegman won the Euros with Holland, so why shouldn’t we have a female coach?” asks Iannotta, who famously scored the Matildas first ever World Cup goal in 1995. “Emma Hayes also won three English titles with Chelsea.
“In Europe at club level many women coaches are on the bench and also have won club championships like Rita Guarino with Juventus women.
"Carolina Morace was second in the league with AC Milan women, how many ex-national players do we see coaching top clubs today?”
The last woman to coach Australia was Dutchwoman Hesterine de Reus in 2014, who’s tenure was short lived after a player mutiny due to her strict methods. It was widely accepted that de Reus had unrealistic expectations for a team that was amateur at the time.
Morace has a similar reputation but a number of her former players at AC Milan have spoken glowingly of her coaching methods.
Furthermore, in the current professional era where players are paid a full time salary, many in the football industry believe a coach with Morace’s discipline and tactical nouse is exactly what the current crop of Matildas need.
Iannotta is confident Morace could be just what is needed to take women’s football forward in Australia. “Carolina Morace respects her players and always talks individually with players to improve their game," she said.
“She is tactically excellent, I played with her and know that. A number of her former players speak highly about her training methods.
“When you are in a professional environment you must always as a player respect team rules. Morace may be just what we need to take the next step and win a title.”
Meanwhile the Matildas first ever woman coach, Trixie Tagg, urged the FFA to select the best coach possible regardless of gender and encouraged the players to throw their support behind whoever is chosen.
“A lengthy and thorough process by experienced people will lead to the best coach being appointed to work with our Matildas,” said Tagg. “I don't care if it is a female or male. We just need the best available.
“When you are privileged to have been selected to wear the green and gold Aussie jersey, you need to be fully focused on being a team player- on and off the field.
“The coach deserves 100% commitment and support on and off the field from every player in the whole squad, as well as from every member of the support staff.”
The much anticipated decision by FFA is expected to be announced by the end of the month. The Tokyo Olympics is the next major tournament for the Matildas in July next year but there is expected to be training camps and friendlies before hand.