The Football Coaching Life: Alen Stajcic
Alen is the current Head Coach of the Philippines Women’s National Team (the Malditas, yes that’s correct!), and is preparing them for the 2022 AFC Asian Cup, which is being held in India. The Philippines will play in a group with Indonesia, Thailand and of course Australia (the Matildas).
His Serbian background led him to Bonnyrigg White Eagles in Sydney’s west, but a knee injury shortened his playing career and as a teacher he began coaching.
Staj has had a remarkable coaching journey that began at the Hills Sports High School and at New South Wales Institute of Sport, coaching the Sapphires in the Women's National Soccer League. Both of these institutions saw teams achieve repeated successes with championship wins, but Alen learned that success comes in many ways.
He had an early taste of coaching a national team in an Assistant Coach role with the Young Matildas at the 2006 World Cup in Russia, before becoming the inaugural Head Coach at Sydney FC Women, which saw them win two championships and two premierships as well as third place at the FIFA International Women’s Club Championship.
Then followed five fantastic years as Head Coach of the Matildas, during which they beat Brazil and World Champions USA for the first time, changing the belief of the players and achieving successes at the Asian Cup, Olympic Games and World Cup.
Alen’s ‘One Piece of Wisdom’ is ‘It’s got to be fun; you’ve got to enjoy it because it’s a tough job. Coaching can be a lonely experience, so you’ve really got to find the enjoyment, fun and reward, and the connection to what it is you want to achieve. If it's not fun, it's just too tough a job!’
Enjoy this discussion about Alen Stajcic’s Football Coaching Life.
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