Italian legend Carolina Morace is the new favourite to be the next Matildas coach, a role that is expected to go beyond the 2023 World Cup.
Multiple sources have told The Women's Game that Morace is set to take the role.
If the 56-year-old gets the gig it would be her fourth international coaching stint, to go with three club roles. FFA have made it no secret they preferred a candidate with international experience and Morace well and truly ticks this box.
Morace declined to comment when contacted but it is understood she has had not been advised yet of how her application is progressing.
She has privately admitted to a number of confidantes she is very keen for the role.
As well as being a coach, she has extensive experience training coaches from around the world. For the past 10 years she has been a FIFA and UEFA instructor and ambassador. This is a key factor in her potential appointment, with FFA seeking a coach that will take a wholistic approach and look after the country’s entire coaching program from the senior Matildas to the national junior training programs. Morace was also a CEO of Juventus Academy.
Morace, who in 2014 became the first woman to be named in the Italian Football Hall of Fame, had a glittering playing career that went for twenty years. She starred for Italy in the inaugural 1991 World Cup, part of a decorated 153 game international career 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.
Her most well-known coaching reign was for the Italian national team from 2000-2005, where she qualified for two European Championships.
In 2009 she took on the head coaching role with Canada, winning the 2010 CONCACAF, 2010 and 2011 Cyprus Cups and 2010 Four Nations Tournament, taking the team to sixth in the world.
At the 2011 World Cup, Canada received widespread praise for their tactical prowess which was based on a high tempo game 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 securing a surprise head coaching position in the men’s Serie C competition with Viterbese. The role only lasted a short while due to differences with the Club President, but Morace was the first woman in Italy to get a senior coaching role with a men’s team. Her latest club role was with AC Milan Women in 2018, where they finished an impressive third.
Morace 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.
Morace’s football pedigree is well regarded in Italy, where she currently works as an analyst for Sky Sports Italy for the men’s Serie A competition.
A number of former Matildas including Shelley Youman, Joey Peters and Angela Iannotta have endorsed her as the right woman to take Australia to the 2023 World Cup.
It is understood that Emma Hayes, another candidate, is unlikely to leave Chelsea while Joe Montemurro appears to be content at Arsenal. Tony Gustavvson is another coach that is potentially being considered for the role.
It is believed early favourite Ross Aloisi has not been contacted after the initial interest shown in him. American legend Jill Ellis, who many fans have pushed for as a successor to Ante Milicic, would not be in FFA’s budget.
FFA have been contacted for comment but declined to discuss the coaching vacancy. It is believed an announcement is due within the next month.