Gustavsson eyes Matildas World Cup triumph

The Matildas have a new coach with Tony Gustavsson handed the reins on a four-year deal.
The Matildas have a new coach with Tony Gustavsson handed the reins on a four-year deal.

Tony Gustavsson will lead the Matildas to a Women's World Cup on home soil believing his new charges are capable of winning the whole thing.

The newly-named Australia head coach will be at the helm for four major tournaments in as many years - the Tokyo Olympics, 2022 Asian Cup, 2023 Women's World Cup and 2024 Paris Olympics.

That includes dealing with the high expectations that come with leading Sam Kerr and her national teammates to a home World Cup.

"Obviously I wouldn't be here if I didn't think that (winning the World Cup) was possible," Gustavsson told reporters after the announcement of his appointment on Tuesday.

"But it's also important that we take one step at a time here and coming back to the one day better quote - meaning if we work together in club environment and with the Matildas environment to always get one day better, I think we can take this team to the next level.

"We're ranked No.7 in the word now, at best we've been ranked fourth.

"I've always said that Australia have the potential to beat the best on any day and the belief that we can do that is important to instil in everyone in and around the team."

Gustavsson has signed a four-year contract and said competing at four major tournaments during that period was "a once in a lifetime" opportunity, making it "the right time" to step into an international head coach role.

Best known for working as a key assistant to Jill Ellis in a partnership that delivered the United States the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, Gustavsson said he thrived on the pressure expected to come with his new role.

"I've experienced a lot of pressure throughout my career - both on the men's and women's side," he said.

"I've been in that pressure cooker and know what it takes to deliver when it means the most... It's one of those where you play your best with the crest on your chest - when it means the most."

The 47-year-old Gustavsson also served as an assistant to then-US coach and compatriot Pia Sundhage in 2012, winning an Olympic gold medal.

Gustavsson then coached Tyreso FF between 2012 and 2014, leading the Swedish club to the 2014 Women's Champions League final.

When Ellis was appointed US head coach ahead of Gustavsson in 2014, she enlisted him as her deputy.

He stepped down from his US role at the same time as Ellis in July 2019 and is employed as first-team coach at Swedish men's club Hammarby IF until the end of this year.

Gustavsson will take the reins for Australia for the first time in November, when the Matildas plan to meet for a camp in Europe but his contract will officially commence on January 1, 2021.

He plans to bring his own assistant on board but said his initial focus would be on working with and getting to know current Matildas staff.

Gustavsson will initially remain in Europe but said in the future he planned to be principally based in Sydney.

Australian Associated Press