Westfield Matildas boss Alen Stajcic is in the running to be named the best coach in women’s football following his nomination for the FIFA Best Awards on Tuesday night.
It’s a well-deserved nomination for the 44-year-old, who has turned the Westfield Matildas into arguably the best team in women’s football in recent years.
Stajcic is one of 10 coaches in the running for the prestigious award, alongside Emma Hayes, Stephan Lerch, Mark Parsons, Reynald Pedros, Asaka Takakura, Vadao, Jorge Vilda, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg and Sarina Wiegman.
The period takes in what he has achieved from August 7 last year, until May 24 of 2018.
And it was a busy period for the Westfield Matildas that included a string of high-profile home friendlies, the Algarve Cup in Portugal and April’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup – which doubled as qualifiers for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™.
It’s been a hectic period for the national team, which saw them play 14 matches in just seven months.
In those games the Westfield Matildas amassed an impressive nine wins, drawing three matches and losing just two.
Much of the Westfield Matildas’ success is down to their high-intensity, attacking game which has blown many opposition teams away.
Encompassing patient midfield build up, off the ball movement and the use of speedy wide-players, Australia has played some truly exciting football which has allowed the players in the squad to flourish.
And the stats tell the story, as well as the team reaching a world-ranking high of number 4 earlier this year.
In those 14 games, the Westfield Matildas scored 36 goals – at more than 2.5 per game – and conceded just 13.
Their run started with back-to-back friendly wins over Brazil in September (2-1 and 3-2) before putting China to the sword in November with 3-0 and 5-1 wins in Victoria.
The Algarve Cup was the first tournament of 2018, with Australia finishing in fourth spot after a narrow 2-1 loss to Portugal, missing a spot in the final despite going through the group stage unbeaten.
A 5-0 friendly win over Thailand in March was the perfect lead-in to the Asian Cup, where the Westfield Matildas made it all the way to the final, booking their spot at France 2019 in the process.
Unfortunately, they fell short of bringing the trophy home, conceding an 84th-minute goal to lose the decider to Japan 1-0.
But it’s been an incredible period for the Westfield Matildas, thanks in large-parts to the influence of their master coach.