The Filipinas are ready to move forward following the sudden departure of head coach Alen Stajcic with goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel paying homage to the contributions made by the Australian taskmaster.
“Alen has been such a big part of what we did in the last 18 to 20 months so we are really fortunate to have him,” McDaniel said during a media event in Makati City yesterday.
Stajcic, 49, did not renew his contract with the team after the Filipinas’ historic 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup debut and will now call the shots for Australia’s Perth Glory in the A-League.
“We wish him the best of luck in everything he does in the future,” said McDaniel, who was hailed as the Player of the Match in the Filipinas’ 1-0 win over co-host New Zealand last 25 July in Wellington.
“We just need to regroup with ourselves and move forward as a team,” she added.
The squad did a meet-and-greet for fans, signing memorabilia and thanking them for supporting the team in the World Cup despite an early exit.
Up next for the Filipinas is a stint in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from 23 September to 8 October and in the second round of the 2024 Paris Olympics qualification period from 26 October to 1 November in Australia.
Filipinas forward Katrina Guillou feels Stajcic’s teachings will be crucial in their future tournaments.
“Nothing lasts forever in this world, especially in football. I think we have taken major lessons from him and how well we present on and off the field,” Guillou said.