New National Youth Coaches Appointed
Football Federation Australia today announced that former Socceroo Steve O’Connor has been appointed as coach of the Qantas Young Socceroos while Alen Stajcic has been selected as coach of the Qantas Young Matildas.
Football Federation Australia today announced that former Socceroo Steve O-Connor has been appointed as coach of the Qantas Young Socceroos while Alen Stajcic has been selected as coach of the Qantas Young Matildas.
Currently Head Coach of the men-s football program at the Australian Institute of Sport, O-Connor-s appointment is until the end of 2007. Given its significance in context of the FFA-s recent talent development and identification review project, the position will be reviewed with the involvement of National Technical Director Rob Baan at the end of this year.
Stajcic-s appointment incorporates the current World Cup cycle up to and including the FIFA U-20 Women-s World Cup scheduled for Chile in 2008.
O-Connor, who has represented Australia in 15 full internationals in a national team career which included the 1986 World Cup qualifying campaign, has been Head Coach of the men-s football program at the AIS for over ten years. From 1990-94 he was the AIS Assistant Coach and then took up the role of NSW Technical Director from 1994-95 before returning to the AIS to take up the Head Coach position in 1996. In addition, the 52-year-old O-Connor was Assistant National Youth Coach from 1999-2001, and also Assistant Coach with the Qantas Young Socceroos during 2006.
The AIS squad is competing in the 2007 Victorian Premier League with the preliminary qualifying matches for the 2009 FIFA World Youth Cup scheduled for late this year.
The core of the Qantas Young Socceroos squad is likely to be based around the current AIS scholarship holders.
Sydney-based Stajcic has been Head Coach of the Women-s football program at the NSW Institute of Sport for the past six years having previously coached NSW in the Women-s National Soccer League for three seasons. The 33-year-old was also Assistant Coach alongside Alistair Edwards with the Qantas Young Matildas team that competed at the FIFA U-20 Women-s World Cup in Russia last year.
The Asian qualification matches for the 2008 tournament are due to commence in October this year.
“We are continuing in the development of Australian coaches through our national youth team programs, and working closely with the AIS and State Institutes who are important partners in the development of our national team players,” said FFA Head of High Performance John Boultbee.
“The task ahead of both coaches of qualifying for the World Youth Cups through Asia is a formidable one, but the preparation which the players will receive with their Institutes, via preparatory matches and through these well qualified coaches will stand us in good stead.”