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Heather Garriock, senior Matildas express bewilderment at Alen Stajcic's sacking

Tournament of Nations: Sam Kerr (16') Japan 1-2 Australia
Matildas' head coach Alen Stajcic believes the Women's World Cup is one of the most open it has been with a number of teams having a good chance of winning the tournament.

Former Matilda Heather Garriock has lauded Alen Stajcic's work in putting Australian women's football on the world map after the national team boss was sacked on Saturday.

The FFA fired the former Sydney FC manager just five months out from this year's World Cup in France after an internal review.

Garriock, who has played for Stajcic and coached alongside him, said the 45-year-old deserved better treatment for his work with the Matildas since 2014.

"He asked players to give everything of themselves for the nation, because he believed that Australia should aspire to be world champions," the Canberra United W-League coach said.

"Going towards this year's World Cup, he had carefully crafted together a squad that was ready to carry out that mission.

"We understand there will be disgruntlement from time to time, especially among those players who miss out on selection but his record of developing players and performances at major tournaments has put Australia on the world map."

W-League coaches Mel Andreatta and Jeff Hopkins, as well as Australian Joe Montemurro from English club Arsenal, loom as the main candidates to take on the Matildas' role.

Australia host the inaugural Cup of Nations in late February against Argentina, South Korea and New Zealand with the World Cup beginning in June.

Whoever takes on the position will face a battle to restore team harmony, with a number of senior players taking to Twitter to express their shock at Stajcic's sacking.

FFA chief executive David Gallop will address the shellshocked Matildas squad in Sydney on Monday as fallout from Stajcic's sacking threatens to send the team into crisis.

It will be the fourth straight World Cup -- two for men (Holger Osieck and Ange Postecoglou) and two for women (Hesterine de Reus and Stajcic) -- where Australia's head coach has been replaced within months of the tournament.

Precisely what prompted that second review is a tightly-guarded secret.

It's understood neither Stajcic himself or Matildas coaches or players have been made aware of the precise allegations.

Gallop will address the players on Monday morning at a pre-planned leadership summit in an attempt to give clarity on the decision and provide support to the rattled group.

Matildas have been told by FFA not to speak about Stajcic's removal.

One player told AAP: "We're all very confused and can't believe it. We're heading into camp tomorrow and want answers. But I can't talk to you about it."

It remains to be seen how the Matildas will react when they gather in camp, but the team have shown their willingness to take collective action in the past.

In 2015, the team went on strike over pay and conditions.

The year before, they demanded De Reus be removed from her position, with Stajcic placed in her role.

Like Stajcic, related groups are asking for more information over FFA's move.

Football Coaches Australia boss Glenn Warry said the organisation was "seeking due process" for Stajcic.

PFA chief John Didulica said he felt for players, urging Gallop to be as clear as he can be with the Matildas on Monday.

"A number of players had very close and longstanding relationships with Alen so this will be a difficult period for them and our focus is on providing them with the necessary professional support.," Didulica said.

"The players will be meeting with David Gallop on Monday and we trust they will have an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of FFA's decision."

Matildas assistant Nahuel Arrarte has resigned from his role and defended Stajcic as a man of passion and principles.

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