FFA play managerial musical chairs as van Egmond swaps Matildas for Young Socceroos


The coaching fallout from the Matildas’ premature Women’s World Cup exit has begun, with assistant Gary van Egmond to be parachuted into the vacant Young Socceroos post.

Van Egmond - whose daughter Emily was the fulcrum of Australia’s midfield in France - survived the controversial dismissal of ex-Matildas mentor Alen Stajcic five months back.

He helped mastermind Australia’s campaign alongside Stajcic’s successor, Ante Milicic, and fellow assistants Ivan Jolic and Mel Andreatta.

But with Norway putting paid to the Matildas’ prospects in Sunday’s penalty shootout in the round of 16, former Newcastle Jets championship-winning coach van Egmond will be re-deployed by FFA to - ironically - fill the gap with the Under-20s created when predecessor Milicic was handed the Matildas position in February.

Van Egmond, 53, is a former Joeys assistant and a senior coach with the now defunct Australian Institute of Sport.

His resume also includes two stints in charge of the Jets - including their title winning surge of 2008.

He also headed up the Young Matildas program, a role he combined with the senior team position he took on in 2015.

His impending move back to the men’s game comes at a challenging time amid ongoing debate over the lack of player pathways to the A-League and ongoing funding and structural issues for Australia’s under-age teams - from the under-17s through to the Under-23s.

The Young Socceroos were last in action in October at the 2018 AFC Championships in Indonesia, where with Milicic at the helm they lost 3-1 to Saudi Arabia in the quarter-finals, thus missing out on this month’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland where Ukraine beat Korea Republic in the final.

Australia have been drawn against Chinese Taipei, Laos and Macau in Group H of this year’s AFC Under-19 Championship qualifiers, with the games to take place between November 2-10.