Sports News

Swede Gustavsson named coach of Australian women's team

Football - Birmingham City v Tyreso FF - UEFA Womens Champions League Semi Final First Leg - Autotech Stadium, Solihull - 19/4/14 Tyreso manager Tony Gustavsson Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Ed Sykes /Files Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tony Gustavsson, who helped the United States win back-to-back Women’s World Cups, has been appointed coach of the Australian women’s soccer team, the Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old Swede was an assistant to U.S. head coach Jill Ellis who led the Americans to their 2015 World Cup win in Canada and their successful title defence in France last year.

Gustavsson will remain in his current role with Swedish club Hammarby until the end of the year and take charge of Australia in January next year.

“I am extremely proud and happy to have been appointed Head Coach of the Westfield Matildas,” Gustavsson, who will lead Australia in two Olympic campaigns, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2022 and the Women’s World Cup in 2023, said in a statement.

“I feel that my 21 years of coaching have put me in the position to be ready for this. I have always said 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.”

Gustavsson also enjoyed success during his spell with Stockholm-based Tyreso, guiding them to the league title in 2012 and the Women’s Champions League final two years later.

“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,” FFA chief James Johnson said.

The former coach of the Australian women’s team Ante Milicic stepped down in July because of the delay of the Tokyo Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Milicic, seventh-ranked Australia disappointed at the Women’s World Cup, bowing out at the round of 16 with defeat on penalties to Norway.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Christian Radnedge