Football: Physical differences reason for thumping, says Australian women's football coach

The Matildas have had a shock 7-0 loss to a Newcastle Jets under-15s boys team in Newcastle.
The Matildas have had a shock 7-0 loss to a Newcastle Jets under-15s boys team in Newcastle.

In the wake of an embarrassing 7-0 loss to an under-15 boys side, Australian women's football coach Alen Stajcic has shifted the blame to 'physical differences' being the reason for the heavy defeat.

The Matilda's played a Newcastle Jets youth side composed of under-15 players in preparation for both a two-match series against the Football Ferns and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The fifth-ranked team in the world's loss caused shock in both Australia and New Zealand, however Stajcic is not fazed by the result.

Speaking to SBS in Australia, Stajcic said, "We've played probably 40 matches against boys over the last 18 months and the objectives are always the same, to test out our players to find out their strengths and weaknesses to see where our team structure is good and where it's not good.

"At the end of the day, four of the seven goals were scored off of crosses. If someone is half a foot or a foot taller than you, that's an anatomical and a biomechanical thing and you can't do anything about that.

"I go away from the game not worrying about that aspect. As long as the positioning was good. If the positioning was poor, that's something you can control but being out jumped by someone who's one foot taller than you and more powerful, that's not really going to happen in a women's game."

Stajcic said that he had spoken to the under-15 boys side prior to the match, asking them to replicate how the Football Ferns would play against the Matildas, and that he was satisfied that the boys had given his team an appropriate challenge leading into their two matches against New Zealand.

"We do that all the time. We just ask them to replicate the opposition that we're going to play against and that's what we usually do. They played in the same formation that New Zealand will play against us, that we anticipate, so that really helps us prepare and develop for that match."

Stajcic claimed he only gathered positives from the result, as he looked to blood some younger players, and test his teams physicality and skill levels against a boys side.

"In all these experiences you get to learn about the team and you get to learn about things that you can work on and improve and that was certainly the case," he told SBS.

"For me the most phenomenal part was Ellie Carpenter who's a 16-year-old girl and played in midfield in the second half against boys her own age, 16-year-old boys who are at the peak of their game playing for the Jets and she could compete which was phenomenal.

"To see someone like Caitlin Foord cause all sorts of trouble against boys who are much taller than her, much quicker than her, more powerful but still she caused them problems. It just highlights good things and also exposes areas where you can improve as well."

- NZ Herald

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