Mark Torcaso selected as the new head coach of Filipinas

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Another Australian has been appointed as the next coach for the Philippine Women’s National Football Team.

Mark Torcaso, the current A-League Women’s Coach of the Year, will lead the Filipinas in their campaigns for the Asian Games and AFC Olympic Qualifiers.

The 42-year-old mentor gained recognition for guiding Western United to the grand finals of the 2022–23 A-League Women during its inaugural season in the top flight. He will undertake both roles concurrently.

“I feel incredibly privileged to accept this position with the Philippines, and I am very thankful to the Philippine Football Federation, particularly to Team Manager Jefferson Cheng, for making it happen,” he said.

“Observing the team’s development over the past couple of years has been amazing, from the AFF Championship to the World Cup. I feel honored to be entrusted with the task of continuing this growth.”

Over the past weekend, PFF President Mariano Araneta, PFF General Secretary Atty. Edwin Gastañes, and Cheng met with Torcaso in Sydney to finalize the agreement.

Torcaso will be assisted by fellow Australian Sinisha Cohadzic, who will also serve as the head coach for the Girls’ Under-17 and Women’s Under-20 national teams.

Cohadzic will take charge of the Girls’ Under-17 squad, which will participate in next month’s AFC Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Vietnam. Andrew Durante, a former international player for New Zealand, will also join the staff.

“We extend a warm welcome to Coach Mark Torcaso and his staff to the PFF family,” said Araneta. “We are confident that they will continue to elevate the standards of the Philippine Women’s National Team in all aspects and lead the team to greater heights, following the historic and memorable 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.”

“It is essential that we maintain the momentum from the Filipinas’ historic FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign in New Zealand,” said Gastanes. “We have a motivated and accomplished coach in Mark Torcaso, along with his staff, ready to lead our women’s teams in the upcoming competitions.”

The announcement of Torcaso’s appointment comes at a critical juncture for the Filipinas. The squad will commence its Asian Games campaign against Hong Kong on September 22, followed by matches against South Korea on September 25 and fellow ASEAN side Myanmar on September 28.

The Filipinas must top Group E to secure a direct berth in the knockout stage, while a second-place finish could suffice depending on the outcomes of other groups.

Following the Asian Games, the Filipinas will resume their quest to qualify for the Olympics in October. They will face Chinese Taipei on October 26, host nation Australia on October 29, and Iran on November 1.

“We are all eager to begin training and competing once more. We welcome Coach Mark and his team to Philippine football and are excited to witness their contributions to building upon the Filipinas’ recent accomplishments,” said Cheng.

Torcaso takes over from Alen Stajcic, who joined the professional club Perth Glory after leading the country in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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