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Alen Stajcic, Nahuel Arrarte 'to explore other options' as contracts with Filipinas expire

Alen Stajcic's stint with the Filipinas may have come to an end. Mia Montayre/PFF (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Alen Stajcic and Nahuel Arrarte are set to depart from the Philippine women's football team.

Team manager Jeff Cheng confirmed on Tuesday that the contracts of both coaches, who steered the Filipinas' maiden campaign in the FIFA Women's World Cup, have already expired and they will not be renewed.

"The contracts of coach Alen Stajcic and assistant coach Nahuel Arrarte expired at the conclusion of the PWNFT’s World Cup campaign. They will not be renewed as both coaches have asked to explore other options. Coach Alen and Coach Naz have expressed their deepest gratitude for the opportunity and support they have received from the Philippine football community," Cheng said in a statement.

He then relayed Stajcic's farewell message, which reads, "I would first and foremost like to express my gratitude to Sir Jeff for giving us the opportunity and entrusting us with the keys to the National Team."

Stajcic continued, "On behalf of coach Nahuel and myself, we would like to thank all the coaching staff for your hard work, dedication, and commitment."

Since taking over from Marlon Maro, Stajcic played a major role in the national team's successful transition from the Malditas era to the current Filipinas time.

With Stajcic at the helm, the Filipinas qualified for the semifinals of the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup, which also came with a spot in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, the first time a Philippine squad made it to any World Cup.

Also in 2022, the Filipinas won a bronze medal in the Southeast Asian Games and gold in the AFF Women's Championship.

Then in 2023, the Filipinas got their breakthrough World Cup win by stunning co-host New Zealand on a Sarina Bolden header.

Although the Filipinas' campaign is over after bowing to Norway, Stajcic is satisfied that football has grown significantly in the Philippines.

"It showed that Football does belong in the Philippines, and that legacy is something we are all proud of," he further said.

Stajcic is linked to a return to men's football coaching with some A-League clubs inquiring about his availability, the most prominent of which is Perth Glory.

"We wish Coach Alen and Coach Naz the best of luck in their next football adventure, and we will forever be grateful to them for changing the landscape of Philippine football forever," Cheng said.

"I wish everyone a great future and look forward to following the next chapters in the story," added Stajcic.

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