Matildas must move on, insists Polkinghorne

Australia captain Clare Polkinghorne says the Matildas need to move on from the shock sacking of admired coach Alen Stajcic, even though they're none the wiser as to why he's been axed.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the bombshell announcement, the star Brisbane Roar defender gave a defence of Stajcic's leadership and culture under his tenure.

Polkinghorne assembled with her national teammates in Sydney this week, where a series of crisis meetings were held.

Staggeringly, that did not include a frank explanation as to why their coach of four years was dramatically ousted.

"As players we've only been given the same information that was available at the press conferences," she said

"For legal reasons and confidentiality it's not going to be something that we're going to find out."

Polkinghorne, 29, said she had not experienced bullying, fat-shaming, or the toxic environment that have been cited as part of the "unacceptable culture" that allegedly manifested itself under Stajcic and required his removal.

"But I'm just one player and can't speak on behalf of other players," she said.

"Over the last four or five years we've created a successful environment and got good results.

"It's professional football. There are always areas that need to improve on. You're never happy to settle.

"Staj has done a lot for the women's game in Australia, he's provided a lot of guidance and been a part of our success.

"Now I think it's important that we don't forget where we come from, the winning mentality or the success we've had. It's important to drive that forward ... and make this an opportunity to grow."

During the Matildas' meetings, team responses to Stajcic's removal were debated.

A plea to FFA for Stajcic's return was canvassed but that's seemingly been ruled out with Polkinghorne conceding "that's not an option so it's not even worth talking about".

On Thursday, FFA announced a panel of national teams' boss Luke Casserly, ex-Matilda Julie Murray, Australian women's cricket coach Matthew Mott and AIS executive Darlene Harrison would be charged with finding the team's new coach.

That panel will make a recommendation to the board, with FFA hopeful an appointment can be made in time for the Cup of Nations tournament beginning in Sydney on February 28.

"We've got a massive tournament coming up, that's where our focus is and we need someone to fit into the team and do the best job for us," Polkinghorne said.

Until then, the Matildas will remain in the W-League which reaches a crescendo over the next month.

Polkinghorne's Roar can all but seal a finals campaign by defeating Canberra United on Friday.

Source AAP