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Tony Gustavsson joins Matildas as head coach

Tony Gustavsson joins Westfield Matildas as head coach

September 29, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
Football Federation Australia announced that two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner Tony Gustavsson will lead the Westfield Matildas through 2024.

Gustavsson, 47, has 21 years of experience coaching women and men in Sweden, Norway and most notably in the United States as assistant coach to Pia Sundhage in 2012 and to Jill Ellis from 2014 through 2019. 

With the USWNT, Gustavsson played a significant role as Ellis' primary assistant in two title-winning tenures in 2015 in Canada and 2019 in France. Moreover, the Swede won an Olympic Gold Medal, helping Sundhage, USWNT head coach at the time, lead the United States to victory in the 2012 London Olympics. 

Gustavsson also carries a hefty resume when it comes to coaching club, leading Swedish club Tyreso FF through a golden age from 2012 through 2014. He helped the Stockholm-based side to claim the Damallsvenskan in 2012, finish second the following year and reach the 2014 UEFA Women's Champions League Final against German giants WfL Wolfsburg.  

"I feel that my 21 years of coaching have put me in the position to be ready for this," Gustavsson said. "It feels as if I have come to a moment where this is what I have been waiting for – to lead the (Westfield) Matildas for four years and also at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

"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. 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," he said.

FFA Chairman Chris Nikou welcomed Gustavsson to his new role that will see him lead Australia in two Olympics – Tokio and Paris – the AFC Women's Asian Cup in India in 2020 and most importantly, the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023.  

"We are delighted to have secured the services of Tony Gustavsson, who has been appointed following a robust and well-governed process, which was administered by a selection panel with strong football acumen and expertise in the women's game and sport more broadly," Nikou said. 

FFA Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said Gustavsonns' knowledge of football, experience at major tournaments and success will be invaluable for the team. 

"Tony arrives at the Westfield 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 organization, but the standards that are expected by our players, football community and fans." 

WOSO community react to Tony Gustavsson appointment

This is not a bad way to look at it.

Danielle Warby, a content strategist and advocate for women in sport, is disappointed at the absence of the bun.

And Ann Odong, a reporter for the Westfield Matildas, agreed with Warby and calls for the bun to make a return.

FFA Football Development Committee Member Remo Nogarotto is as excited as fans are.

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