‘Proud and happy’: Matildas secure heavyweight coach
Swede Tony Gustavsson has declared he's the right coach to lead the Matildas to 2023 World Cup glory.
Gustavsson, who has twice tasted Women's World Cup success as a United States assistant coach, was on Tuesday announced as 14th coach of the Matildas.
"I feel that my 21 years of coaching have put me in the position to be ready for this," he said.
"I have always said that the Matildas have the potential to be one of the best teams in the world and that is one of the reasons that I wanted to get on board with this job.
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"I have been in the pressure cooker a lot of times and in environments that demand success.
"These experiences will be beneficial as we do this together with the fans, the
stakeholders, the players, and the staff as a team."
Gustavsson replaces Ante Milicic, who left the Matildas' role in July to honour his contract with A-League newcomers Macarthur FC.
The 47-year-old mentor, who is employed as first-team coach of Swedish Allsvenskan club Hammarby IF until the end of the year, edged out Italian Carolina Morace and Sam Kerr's Chelsea coach Emma Hayes for the job.
"I am extremely proud and happy," he said.
BREAKING NEWS— Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) September 29, 2020
Welcome to the Westfield Matildas family, Tony Gustavsson! #WelcomeTony
"It feels as if I have come to a moment where this is what I have been waiting for - to lead the Matildas for four years and also at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023."
During his 21-year coaching career, Gustavsson was an assistant coach of the US team that won the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, and the 2012 Olympics gold medal, led Tyresö FF to the Swedish women's title in 2012, and the same club to the 2014 UEFA Women's Champions League final.
Football Federation Australia CEO James Johnson said Gustavsson's "intimate knowledge of the global football landscape" and his "direct experience at major tournaments, and strong history of national and international success" would prove invaluable to the Matildas.
"Tony arrives at the Matildas and FFA boasting a wealth of experiences in the international game and a strong track record of success," Johnson said.
"Having worked closely with some of the best female footballers and coaches in the world and, through his time with the USWNT, he has developed an excellent understanding of what it takes to prepare for and perform in the intense, high-expectation environments of major international tournaments.
"We believe that in Tony, we have appointed a coach who will not only surpass the benchmarks and criteria we set as an organisation, but the standards that are expected by our players, football community and fans.
"Throughout the process it was evident that Tony is eager to buy in to what we are working to build with the Matildas - a uniquely Australian team with a strong identity that is recognised as world class both on and off the pitch."
Originally published as 'Proud and happy': Matildas secure heavyweight coach