Sacked Matildas coach Alen Stajcic joins A-League’s Central Coast Mariners after Mike Mulvey’s axing

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Posted

March 12, 2019 11:57:26

Sacked Matildas coach Alen Stajcic is back in Australian football after he was appointed caretaker coach of A-League strugglers Central Coast Mariners.

Key points:

  • Alen Stajcic replaces Mike Mulvey, who was sacked by the Mariners at the weekend
  • It is Stajcic’s first role since being axed as Matildas coach in January
  • Stajcic has never previously coached in the A-League

Stajcic, controversially axed as coach of the Australian women’s team in January, will take over the Mariners for the remainder of the season.

He fills the void left by the sacking of Mike Mulvey just hours after the rock-bottom Mariners’ 8-2 home thrashing by Wellington on Saturday night.

“I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners for providing me this opportunity,” Stajcic said in a statement.

“This is a club with a very rich history, which is something that everyone is committed to restoring.

“We’re well aware of the hard work ahead of us, but that starts now. I relish a challenge and can’t wait to get started.”

Ironically, given Football Federation Australia cited poor team culture as a factor in his dismissal from the Matildas, the Mariners said Stajic was tasked with stabilising the A-League club.

“Speaking with Alen and the board, there are two key elements we need to ensure over the next six weeks — stability and harmony,” Mariners sporting director Mike Phelan said.

“Alen is an experienced coach, he has experience at the highest level coaching his country, and is held in high esteem for what he achieved on the international stage.

“What we need right now is a manager who can take the helm during a crucial period.

“His role is to stabilise, bring everyone together. That includes the players and the staff.”

Stajcic coached the Matildas from 2014 until his sacking two months ago.

He was nominated for FIFA coach of the year in 2018 and was twice named W-League coach of the year when in charge of Sydney FC prior to linking up with the Matildas.

Stajcic has never previously coached in the A-League.

AAP/ABC

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