Former Australian Women’s National Team Head Coach Alen Stajcic to lead the Philippine Women’s National Team in the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022.
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has appointed Australian coach Alen Stajcic as head coach of the Philippine Women’s National Team (PWNT).
One of the most accomplished women’s national team coaches in the world, the 47-year-old Stajcic has been tasked to steer the Philippines in its bid for a historic FIFA Women’s World Cup spot through the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 on 20 January 2022 in India.
Stajcic succeeds Marlon Maro, who guided the PWNT to a second straight AFC Asian Cup berth after victories over Nepal and Hong Kong in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last month.
Stajcic’s impressive resume is underscored by a five-year stint with the Australian Women’s National Team, which was highlighted by qualification to the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, where the team reached the quarterfinals.
He was shortlisted for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach award in 2018.
Joining Stajcic is assistant coach Nahuel Arrarte. Arrarte was the Assistant Coach of the Australian Women’s National Team from 2017 until 2019, and is attached with A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers.
PFF officials led by president Mariano Araneta, Jr., general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes, and PFF Women’s Committee Co-Chairperson and PWNT Manager Jefferson Cheng expressed confidence that Stajcic’s presence will improve the squad.
“We are thrilled that Alen Stajcic has accepted the position to be the head coach of the Philippine Women’s National Team head coach,” said Araneta. “His appointment shows the commitment and determination of the PFF to give our women’s national team the best possible chance to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
“Coach Alen Stajcic has the capabilities to elevate the Philippine Women’s team on the Asian stage and beyond,” added Gastanes. “We look forward to what he can bring to the team which has qualified to the final competition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022.”
“We know that the Philippine Women’s Team has the capability to be one of the top teams in Asia at least” said Cheng, who has been supporting the team since 2017. “We are all excited by the arrival of Coach Alen and we wish him all the best as we seek a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.”
Marlon Maro appointed as Head of PFF Coaching Education
Araneta thanked Coach Marlon Maro for his contributions to the team which he guided to a successful qualification campaign despite the challenging conditions in the preparation and competition due to restrictions brought by the pandemic.
“We greatly appreciate the contribution of Coach Marlon in leading the team to qualification to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup,” added Araneta. “We see how Coach Maro is a vital stakeholder on the growth of the beautiful game in the country and his appointment as PFF Coaching Education head is testament to his already significant contributions and what he still can contribute to the country’s football development.”
“Coach Marlon Maro was an instrumental and inspiring figure to the team’s recent success on the continental stage,” echoed Gastanes. “As one of the leading AFC Coaching Instructors, his services are most needed at PFF as Head of the Coaching Education department. Under his previous stint, Philippines was granted the A Level membership in the AFC Coaching Convention. He is now the lead man in PFF’s efforts to be granted the Pro diploma Level which will enable the PFF to conduct Pro diploma courses in the country.
PFF, through PFF Women’s Administrator Ms. Isabella Fernando, is now finalizing the team’s preparations for the January 2022 showpiece competition with player tryouts and training camp to be held in Irvine, California, USA from 10 November 2021 until 15 January 2022.
The Philippine Women’s National Team is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), team manager Jefferson Cheng, and the MVP Sports Foundation.