November 28, 2001
Australia has a new Head Coach
Women's Soccer Australia, in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport, has appointed Adrian Santrac to coach The Matildas for the next four years. He will be based full-time in Canberra as Head Coach of the AIS Women's Soccer Program. The appointment covers the 2003 Women's World Cup in China and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Santrac previously worked with The Matildas during two periods since November 2000. He was Interim Coach for the 3rd Australia Cup winning the Australia Cup in three undefeated matches against France last January.
In July he took them on a short tour of Japan. He was Assistant Coach to the men's Olyroos at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and his coaching record also includes four years as Manager/Coach to National Soccer League outfit Adelaide Sharks. As a player, midfielder Santrac spent seven years in the NSL with Adelaide City, and a further three with West Adelaide. He was a 1986 NSL champion and 1989 NSL Cup winner with Adelaide City.
"I'm very honoured with this appointment, and most excited about the prospects ahead," Santrac said. "With a decentralised program, obviously we'll be working very closely with all the National Training Centres - they will effectively have a first-hand role in assisting not only the National Team, but also the National Youth Team. Our program will take on a collaborative approach of all women's soccer in Australia, and the utilisation of the resources of the AIS will be an integral part of its overall structure."
His immediate challenge will be the three-match Australia Cup series against South Korea in January, which kick-starts a full calendar of international events, highlighted by the six-nation Pacific Cup and the Oceania World Cup Qualifying Tournament in the coming year.
President of Women's Soccer Australia, Shirley Brown said, "I am certain we are all very much looking forward to meeting the challenges ahead. Adrian will enjoy coming into an extensive, ambitious and well-planned national team program backed by the best sports training facility in the world."