FFA has tonight announced Tony Gustavsson has been appointed as the 14th Head Coach of the Westfield Matildas.
The Swede has enjoyed a storied 21-year coaching career, including winning two FIFA Women’s World Cups as Assistant Coach of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT).
Gustavsson was formally welcomed to the role on Australian soil on Tuesday, visiting Australia House in London.
“I am extremely proud and happy to have been appointed Head Coach of the Westfield Matildas. I feel that my 21 years of coaching experience has put me in the position to be ready for this,” Gustavsson 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. I have been in the pressure cooker a lot of times and in an 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.”
The 47 year old has also enjoyed success at club level, leading Swedish club Tyresö FF to the domestic title in 2012, runner’s up in 2013, and to the UEFA 2014 Women’s Champions League Final in 2014.
FFA Chairman Chris Nikou was thrilled to welcome Gustavsson to the role, which in addition to the World Cup in 2023 will involve leading the Matildas to two Olympic Campaigns and the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India.
“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 was also pleased to announce the appointment, saying that Gustavsson’s intimate knowledge of global football, experience at major tournaments, and strong history of success would be invaluable factors to lead the team forward.
“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 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 Westfield Matildas – an uniquely Australian team with a strong identity that is recognised as world class both on and off the pitch. We want to elevate our Westfield Matildas even further as a unifying symbol of the game to inspire all Australians, young and old. We believe that the combination of Tony’s persona and his experience make him the right person to help us do this. Importantly, Tony has also demonstrated a strong desire to positively influence the broader Australian football landscape by working closely with elite Australian coaches including Mel Andreatta, Rae Dower, and Leah Blayney to enhance their skillsets and help bring the next generation of female players through the development pathway over the crucial four year period ahead.”