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Ex-Filipinas coach finds new home

Alen Stajcic, former coach of the Filipinas football team, has found a new home.(Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

After leading the Filipinas to greater heights in the 2023 FIFA World Cup, Australian Alen Stajcic has been appointed as head coach of the Perth Glory FC for the 2023-2024 Isuzu UTE A-League.

The Glory announced the development in a social media post yesterday as Stajcic will be joined by former Filipinas assistant coach Nahuel Arrate in the club.

The former Filipinas coach will replace former Ruben Zadkovich after Perth Glory wound up in ninth place with a 7-8-11 win-draw-loss record last season.

In an online article published by the club, Stajcic liked the football culture in Perth and is determined to help the club challenge for the title.

“I believe an incredible opportunity now exists to re-establish Glory as one of the giants of Australian football and that vision is one shared by everyone at the club,” Stajcic said.

“Perth has such a rich history in football and a rich history in developing players. It is our vision to once again give the Perth football community a team and a club which they can be truly proud of,” he said.

“I take great confidence from the groundwork which has been put in over the last year to set the club back on the path to success and am excited to help continue that process.”

Glory chief executive officer Anthony Radich believes Stajcic was the right man for the job.

“He is someone who possesses all the attributes required to take this club forward both on and off the field and is the high-caliber appointment that Perth Glory needs and deserves,” Radich said.

“Alen is highly respected, not only as a coach, but very importantly, as a person of the highest character and integrity.”

Stajcic made a big impact on the Filipinas after replacing head coach Marlon Maro in October 2021.

Not only the 49-year-old Aussie mentor secured a World Cup squad for the Philippines but he also the mastermind the Filipinas’ title run in the AFF Women’s Championship last year at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

In the buildup for the World Cup, Stajcic had the Filipinas play against tough opponents in friendly matches, including against world No. 3 Sweden and defending champion United States

Stajcic previously said he will not renew his contract with the Filipinas after leading the team to a 1-0-2 record in Group A in New Zealand.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta previously tipped his hat on the Aussie mentor for rekindling the interest of the Filipinos in the sport and raising the Filipinas ranking in the International Football Federation to No. 46, its highest-ever ranking in history.

“Over the course of the last 18 months, the Filipinas united the country in support of their maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance,” Araneta said.

“While they may have missed out on qualification to the knockout stages, they have achieved something greater and that was to see the entire Filipino community in the Philippines and wherever they are around the world show their overwhelming support to the team.”

“We recognize the hard work and sacrifices this team has made to make our World Cup dream a reality.”

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