Matilda great Joey Peters has backed Swede Tony Gustavsson to be the next Matildas coach.
A major push from the current playing group has seen Gustavsson emerge as the likely candidate to be named today, ahead of previous favourite Carolina Morace.
“His credentials are excellent,” praised Peters, who played in three World Cups for Australia. “He has been part of a winning environment.
“For the Matildas to have someone coming from a world champion environment, who would say no to that?”
Gustavsson was part of the successful USA set up from 2014-2019, where he was an assistant to Jill Ellis. He is credited as being one of the main reasons the team won the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. His tactical nouse is well regarded in women’s football circles.
Prior to his stint with the USA, Gustavsson led Tyreso FF to the women’s Swedish Damallsvesnkan title in 2012, before taking them to the 2014 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final where they went down 4-3 to Wolfsburg.
He is currently coaching at Hammarby in his native Sweden.
It is understood the FFA board were torn between giving the gig to Morace or Gustavsson who is regarded as an excellent communicator and is understood to have the backing of several players.
FFA Hall of Fame star Peters was adamant the best qualified coach should be picked for the job.
“I’ll go the ‘non-gender’ route. It’s not about giving it to a woman for the sake of it," Peters said.
“Yes we want to see more women lead our game, it’s wonderful that Rae Dower is the Women's Technical Advisor for example, it’s great to have Vicki Linton back in the W-League, but the role of leading the Matildas means taking them to the top, not many in Australia - man or woman - can say they’ve done that.
“The 2023 World Cup is like no other in our history. We are the home nation which will mean the fans will be 12th woman for this team.
“With so many world-class players, at the peak of their team and individual potential, this requires a special person to bring out the best in them and go all the way.”