BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03: Coach Ante Milicic of Australia speaks at a press conference after the 2019 Cup of Nations match between Australia and the Korea Republic at Suncorp Stadium on March 03, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

On Friday, Ante Milicic agreed to a one-year contract extension that will see him remain as Matildas Head coach until the end of Australia’s 2020 Olympic Games campaign.

Milicic first took charge of the Matildas for the Cup of Nations tournament held in February. He will lead Australia at the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers, scheduled for early next year.

If successful during the qualifiers, he will coach the Matildas at the 12-team tournament in Japan, which is set to commence in July 2020.

“There is no greater privilege than leading an Australian National Team so I am honoured to serve the Westfield Matildas for a further 12 months,” Milicic said.

“The continuity this will foster can only benefit the belief and preparation leading into the Women’s World Cup campaign in France, but more importantly I think it demonstrates the deep belief that I have in this special group of players.

“Personally, I want to join the players on this journey. I know that I can help them achieve something special for themselves not only individually, but for this team and for Australian football,” he said.

Assistant Coach Ivan Jolic has also been rewarded with a contract extension for the same length of time.

Next week, Milicic is set to name his 23-player squad for the World Cup, before heading to Turkey with his squad for a pre-tournament training camp, which commences on May 19.

Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop praised Milicic for his management of the squad, stating that feedback from the playing group was the reason for the contract extension.

“The feedback that we have received from those closest to the team over the past three months has been resoundingly positive and helped guide our decision to extend his appointment,” Gallop said.

Australia’s next match is against the Netherlands in Eindhoven on Saturday June 1, before their World Cup campaign begins when they play Italy on Sunday June 9.

 

Matildas upcoming fixtures

 

Netherlands v Australia

Venue: Phillips Stadium, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Date: Saturday June 1

Kickoff: 6:15pm (local), 2:15am Sunday June 2 (AEST)

Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS & SBS VICELAND

 

Australia v Italy (World Cup Group C)

Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes, France

Date: Saturday June 9

Kickoff: 1:00pm (local), 9:00pm (AEST)

Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS TV & Optus Sport

 

Australia v Brazil (World Cup Group C)

Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier, France

Date: Thursday June 13

Kickoff: 6:00pm (local), 2:00am Friday June 14 (AEST)

Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS TV & Optus Sport

 

Jamaica v Australia (World Cup Group C)

Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble, France

Date: Tuesday June 18

Kickoff: 9:00pm (local), 5:00am Wednesday June 19 (AEST)

Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS TV & Optus Sport

 

ERIC SUBIJANO
Eric is a writer for Beyond 90 covering the Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC, Matildas and Young Matildas. A former Community Department intern with the Wanderers, Eric has spent the last two W-League seasons writing for The Women’s Game, while still finding time to help produce digital content for the Wanderers youth team. He is also an avid follower of both the NPL NSW competition and the NSW Futsal Premier League.