UPDATED 8/03 9 a.m. PST: Coach Alen Stajcic signs with Perth Glory F.C. in Australia. According to the football club’s Instagram, Stajcic will be tasked with handling the club’s A-League Men’s Division squad, succeeding a ninth-place finish in the previous season.
UPDATED 8/02 5 p.m. PST:
With the Philippines’ 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup hopes diminished, the program looks to acquire a new mentor at the helm, seeing the resignation of Football Manager Alen Stajcic after a nearly two-year stint with the national roster. Departing with assistant coach Nahuel “Naz” Arrarte, the pair passed on a possible contract renewal with the progam and are looking to “exploring other options.”
A nomad among world football juggernauts, the Philippines’ remarkable 20-month journey to the 2023 FIFA World Cup mustered miracles as the small 46th-ranked nation embarked on a campaign mirrored from fantasy books.
Commenced in March of 2022, the 49-year-old Australian gaffer extended his tenure with the program, calling it a “decision from the heart,” unaware of the overflowing success down the line.
The nation braved the challenges, seeping into the semi-finals of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, before a gold medal finish at 2022 ASEAN Football Federation.
Under the Stajcic-Arrarte mantle, the Philippines would continue their historic run. The PH would become podium sitters at the recent Phnom Penh Southeast Asian Games. The nation’s maiden FIFA World Cup appearance would see a win and a goal in three games —secured through a Serena Bolden header.
With their untimely departure, coaches Alen and Naz expressed their gratitude to PH Women’s Football Manager Jeff Cheng and recognized the unwavering support of the fledging Filipino football community. Regardless of the early group stage exit in the hands of 12th-ranked Norway, the Philippines’ historical feat merited praise from the former Matildas head coach, wishing the program and his athletes the best for what is to come.
“It showed that Football does belong in the Philippines, and that legacy is something we are all proud of,” mentions Stajcic.