Alen Stajcic not returning to Filipinas, wants to ‘explore other options’
BRISBANE, Australia—Alen Stajcic, who steered the Philippines to a historic berth in the Fifa Women’s World Cup, will not return as coach of the national squad.
Team manager Jeff Cheng made the announcement Tuesday, two days after the Filipinas were eliminated by Norway in the final Group A match in Auckland, New Zealand.
Stajcic’s assistant Nahuel Arrarte is also not going to return, Cheng added, after the contracts of both coaches expired at the end of the dream World Cup campaign.
“They will not be renewed as both coaches have asked to explore other options,” Cheng said in a statement posted on the website of the Philippine Football Federation.
“Coach Alen and Coach Naz have expressed their deepest gratitude for the opportunity and support they have received from the Philippine football community.”
The Australian was hired in late-2021 and steered the Filipinas to new heights by claiming a World Cup berth during last year’s Women’s Asian Cup in India.
He also steered the Filipinas to the title of the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship held at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
During the World Cup, the Filipinas produced a landmark 1-0 win over co-host New Zealand to give the debutants an unlikely opportunity to possibly reach the knockout stage.
Those dreams, however, were shattered when the Filipinas lost 6-0 to the fancied Norwegian side at Eden Park.
With Stajcic gone, the Filipinas will have to figure out the next important step before the Hangzhou Asian Games and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the coming months.