With Ante Milicic formally appointed as Matildas coach on Monday, the Hairdryer can reveal who it was he really beat to the job. A litany of names have been linked to the place – Dutch coach Vera Pauw, Melbourne Victory’s Jeff Hopkins, Arsenal’s Joe Montemurro and former Brisbane Roar assistant Ross Aloisi. However ultimately, it was a two-horse race between Milicic and Sigurður Ragnar Eyjólfsson of Iceland.
Who? Enable us. Nicknamed ‘Siggi’, Eyjólfsson has been on Soccer Federation Australia’s radar for fairly some time. A lot of Iceland’s current worldwide success could be traced again to the 45-year-old, who beforehand served because the nation’s head of coach schooling.
Eyjólfsson was accountable for the Chinese language girls’s staff once they toured Australia in late 2017, and remained on the helm throughout the Algarve Cup and Asian Cup the next yr. He impressed FFA head honchos throughout his tenure however he was really first provided a job by them lengthy earlier than that.
Eyjólfsson had been approached to turn into the nation’s assistant technical director, to work below now-departed Belgian Eric Abrams, however turned it right down to turn into assistant coach of Norwegian outfit Lillestrom. Quick ahead to now, and Abrams nonetheless hasn’t been changed, and Eyjólfsson was finally neglected by Milicic – though we’re instructed it was a fairly close-run factor.