Coach Anthony Josip Milicic has left the Australian women’s national team [Matildas] to take over newly promoted A-League club – Macarthur Football Club.

Milicic [46yrs] had agreed to lead the Matildas the 2020 Japan Olympics, but with the Summer Games delayed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the former player has been allowed by Football Federation Australia [FFA] to take over his new role.

According to James Johnson [Chief Executive of FFA], the Federations respect the decision of the coach:

“While FFA extended his time with the Matildas following France after receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from the players and staff, the unfortunate rescheduling of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to July-August next year has meant that a decision had to be reached,” Johnson said.

“We would have loved Ante to remain in the role for Tokyo 2020 and beyond, however FFA and Ante agree that overseeing two elite teams is not a workable solution, with both programs deserving of, and requiring, complete focus.

“We acknowledge the increased professionalism that Ante brought to the Matildas over the past 18 months and wish him well in his time at Macarthur FC.”

Milicic, a former player of the Socceroos says he enjoyed working with the Matildas during his 18-month tenure:

“Truth be told, I have simply chosen to honour the commitment I made to Macarthur over a year ago, and hope that the Matildas’ players, staff, and fans, many of whom I have grown close with, will accept that,” he said.

“Coaching the Matildas has been a highlight of my career — they are a great team made up of fantastic players and people, and they all have so much to look forward to and work towards.”

In May last year, Ante Milicic and Macarthur FC agreed to a three-year deal that will see him coach the south-west Sydney-based team.

Ante Milicic was the first player in the history of the A-League to score a hat-trick in a game involving Newcastle Jets and New Zealand Knights on November 4, 2005.