Ante Milicic wins Matildas coaching job
The Matildas have received a huge boost after a turbulent month, by securing highly rated ex-Socceroos assistant coach Ante Milicic for their operation France 2019.
The Football Federation Australia board was due to ratify the appointment via phone conference Sunday night, with Milicic set to hit the ground running as soon as he arrives in Australia Monday from Europe.
The five-month deal takes Milicic to end of the World Cup, with the Matildas opening their account against Italy on June 9.
He beat a strong field of overseas and local candidates, including ex Brisbane Roar and Matildas assistant Ross Aloisi, Melbourne Victory's Jeff Hopkins and experienced Dutch coach Vera Pauw.
While the agreement is up until the end of the 2019 World Cup, both parties are open to extending the deal.
Milicic is a World Cup specialist, having assisted at two senior men's World Cups (2014 under Ange Postecoglou and 2018 with Bert van Marwijk) and the 2009 and 2011 FIFA men's Under 20 World Cups alongside Jan Versleijen.
He has been approached for a host of A-League jobs, including Perth Glory before they secured Tony Popovic.
His extensive apprenticeship includes two years under John van 't Schip (Melbourne Heart/City) and Popovic (Western Sydney), before four years as Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos lieutenant and several months with van Marwijk.
Milicic most recently led the Young Socceroos at the Asian Under 19 qualifiers and was an opposition scout
While Milicic has never worked in the women's space, insiders believe that his style and professionalism is tailored to carry on from the foundations laid by Alen Stajcic, and capable of taking the team to the next level.
It's understood that Milicic spent the last few weeks extensively scouting Matildas players since he became a contender.
Milicic, 44, will meet the squad in Brisbane this week, and they will go into camp on Saturday in Brisbane.
FFA's head of national teams Luke Casserly led the recruitment with the panel announced last month.
The FFA have neither confirmed nor denied Milicic's appointment, but revealed an announcement was imminent.
"We have interviewed some outstanding candidates for the Matildas role," FFA chief executive David Gallop said.
"This has been a thorough process which will unearth a coach with the highest pedigree to give our team the best chance of success at the World Cup.
"We will be able to make an announcement in the coming days."
Milicic has been linked with A-League expansion club Macarthur South West Sydney, who'll enter the competition in 2020-21.