Milicic set to replace Stajcic as Matildas boss pending board approval

Ante Milicic is firming as the favourite to replace Alen Stajcic and take charge of the Matildas.

The former Socceroos assistant is understood to have been convinced by Football Federation Australia to take up the position on an interim basis until the end of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.

Milicic is one of three candidates left in the running for the top job and understood to the preferred choice put forward to the board for approval in the coming days.

Waiting in the wings: Ante Milicic could be the new Matildas coach if he wants the job.Credit:AAP

Sources close to Milicic suggest he was approached directly by the FFA earlier in the week despite never  applying for the position. The former Wanderers and Melbourne Heart assistant coach remained unsure about coaching the Matildas on a short-term basis until late this week but is understood to have been swayed into taking the job.

On Friday afternoon, senior FFA sources confirmed Milicic is the leading candidate to replace Stajcic but suggested a final decision on the next coach of the Matildas has not been made. Neither of the two other coaches on the FFA's shortlist for the job are Australian.

Despite being one of the most highly-rated young coaches in Australia, Milicic is yet to hold a head coaching role. He was an assistant to Ange Postecoglou at the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Asian Cup and has been linked with becoming the inaugural head coach of the Macarthur-South West Sydney side which will enter the A-League in 2020.

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