Matildas veteran wants clarity over coach

Ante Milicic has yet to indicate whether he wants to continue coaching the Matildas.
Ante Milicic has yet to indicate whether he wants to continue coaching the Matildas.

Having secured a World Cup on home soil, Matildas stalwart Clare Polkinghorne wants the team to lock down their coach in the build up to the 2023 tournament.

The future of current Matildas coach Ante Milicic remains unknown despite Friday's announcement that the 2023 Women's World Cup will be played in Australia and New Zealand.

Appointed following Alen Stajcic's controversial dismissal in the months before the 2019 World Cup in France, Milicic is set to take over as the head coach of A-League expansion club Macarthur FC ahead of their debut campaign starting in December.

But the decision to postpone this year's Olympics until 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic has confused matters.

Milicic is contracted with the FFA until the Matildas' Olympics campaign ends and he's yet to comment as to whether he would continue with the national team.

Staying on as Matildas coach could be a costly decision for Milicic however, with his deal with Macarthur reportedly worth $1.4 million over three years.

AAP understands FFA chief executive James Johnson does not want Milicic to split his time between club and country so if he stays on with the Matildas, he'll need to walk away from Macarthur.

Polkinghorne would ideally like Milicic to commit to the national team but says whoever is in charge should be a long-term appointment to avoid a similar build-up to last year's World Cup.

"We had a change of coach six months out of the last World Cup and that was a really stressful time and really difficult for a team to adapt to a new playing style, new coaching staff, all of that," the defender told AAP.

"Ideally, you know, we want to have some consistency amongst the group.

"I feel in the last few months before COVID we had some real progress with the team and we're starting to really buy into the way we want to play as a group

"We've come a long way and I guess it would be good to keep that progress going."

Macarthur are not commenting on Milicic's future and in a video posted by the club on Sunday, the incoming coach didn't mention the Matildas or the successful World Cup bid and focused instead on his preparations for the team's entry into the A-League.

Australian Associated Press