New China coach Milicic looking forward to great challenge of Australia friendlies-Xinhua

New China coach Milicic looking forward to great challenge of Australia friendlies

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-30 14:51:45

ADELAIDE, Australia, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The new coach of the Chinese national women's football team has described two friendlies against Australia as a great challenge.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Steel Roses' friendly match against the Matildas in Adelaide, Ante Milicic said he is aiming to again make China strong contenders in major tournaments.

"It's going to take time, it's a process and there's going to be times along the journey where it will be up and down and there will be some rough moments, but we know where we're going and how we have to get there. I look forward to the challenge," he said.

The games against the Matildas in Adelaide on Friday night and in Sydney on Monday will mark the first matches in charge of the Steel Roses for the Australian Milicic, who was appointed by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) earlier in May.

For the Matildas the matches will act as a send-off for the Paris Olympics where they will be aiming to win Australia's first medal in football after losing the third-place playoff in Tokyo.

Milicic, who coached the Matildas at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup where they were beaten in the round of 16, said his knowledge of the Australian team would be helpful for the matches but that his main focus was on getting to know his own players.

"It's a great challenge for us. It's a privilege to be here, to be involved in this game against a team that's preparing for the Olympics," he told reporters in Adelaide.

He said that since taking over as coach of the Chinese team he has been impressed with the players' discipline, mentality and eagerness to learn.

A sell-out crowd of more than 53,000 people is expected for the game at Adelaide Oval.