‘Mas­sive dis­trac­tion’ hurt­ing Matil­das

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Sport - EMMA KEMP

THE Matil­das are anx­iously wait­ing for Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia to ap­point a new coach so they can put the Alen Sta­j­cic sack­ing drama be­hind them and get down to World Cup busi­ness.

In limbo and deal­ing with the “mas­sive dis­trac­tion” ac­com­pa­ny­ing the ex­ten­sive fall­out since the 45year-old’s shock ax­ing more than three weeks ago, star player Caitlin Fo­ord de­scribed how dif­fi­cult it had been for Aus­tralia’s na­tional women’s team, and how the play­ers des­per­ately craved a re­turn of fo­cus to the field.

“I couldn’t believe it and was kind of a bit in shock, didn’t re­ally know how to feel about that,” Fo­ord said.

“Now I guess the drag on it all and all the me­dia and stuff, it just feels like a mas­sive dis­trac­tion now.

“I didn’t want to see him go be­cause I re­ally en­joyed be­ing coached by Staj a lot. I just want it to be over and fo­cus on what we need to fo­cus on. Es­pe­cially with the Cup of Na­tions games com­ing up.”

It comes a day af­ter Sam Kerr con­firmed what a “rough time” it had been for the team, and in the same week de­fender Alanna Kennedy said it had been “ex­tremely dif­fi­cult”.

FFA, which has been crit­i­cised over the process pre­ced­ing the de­ci­sion to fire Sta­j­cic a few short months be­fore the World Cup in France, said it had in­ter­viewed a num­ber of can­di­dates and a fi­nal few were to be con­ducted this week.

Matil­das star Caitlin Fo­ord.

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