Alen Stajcic says 'a bit early' to talk about his future with Filipinas | Inquirer Sports

Alen Stajcic says ‘a bit early’ to talk about his future with Filipinas

Philippines' coach Alen Stajcic Women's World Cup

Philippines’ coach Alen Stajcic applauds the fans after the dn of the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup Group A football match between Norway and the Philippines at Eden Park in Auckland on July 30, 2023. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand—The future of coach Alen Stajcic will be a major thing that the management of the Philippine women’s football team will have to address in the immediate future following a Fifa Women’s World Cup campaign to remember here.

Stajcic’s deal is due to expire after this ultimate competition for women’s football, and there seems to be no big reason why the Filipinas can’t go on another direction after the Australian steered the team to new heights since his hiring in late-2021.

But that same success could also lead to big offers elsewhere, like what one Australian news outlet reported prior to the World Cup about Stajcic being linked to become the next coach of A-League men’s side Perth Glory.

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“It’s a bit early for those questions,” Stajcic said when asked about his future after Sunday’s 6-0 loss to Norway which ended the Philippines’ stint in the World Cup. “We just lost a game and got out of the World Cup, with that hope, that little bit of hope of an upset like we did the other night [against New Zealand.]

“We’ll reflect about that for now and in the coming days, we have to start making plans for the future,” he added.

That future, if Stajcic and his staff decide to sign a new pact, is the Hangzhou Asian Games in September where the Philippines will start its medal bid in Group E with fellow World Cup campaigners South Korea, Myanmar and Hong Kong.

Alen Stajcic Filipinas

The Philippines’ coach Alen Stajcic reacts on the touchline during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup Group A football match between Norway and the Philippines at Eden Park in Auckland on July 30, 2023. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

There’s also the second round of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament the following month in Australia, against the host, Chinese-Taipei and Iran where one or two spots are at stake for the final phase on the road to the Paris Games.

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Expectations will now be beyond the norm after the Filipinas provided some glimpse of excitement back home after facing Switzerland, co-host New Zealand and Norway in Group A.

The Filipinas suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Switzerland in their maiden World Cup game held in Dunedin, but not before creating opportunities for themselves to produce an unlikely result in the first half until things went the other way.

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And then, there’s the landmark 1-0 victory over New Zealand in Wellington which saw Sarina Bolden scoring the country’s first goal at the competition and Olivia McDaniel being hailed Player of the Match for her wonderful saves in the end.

But that magic carpet ride ended Sunday as Norway took advantage of the aerial gaps against the Philippines in the first half and claimed a 6-0 victory at Eden Park here.

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“I’m proud of the heart and spirit of the team,” said Stajcic. “They fought to end, they fought to the death, and from that perspective, it’s been an amazing World Cup.”

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