One of Alen Stajcic's staunchest critics, Matildas great Joey Peters, has given her tentative backing to Ante Milicic as the Socceroos assistant switches lanes to the national women's team.
On Monday, Milicic was appointed as Matildas coach from next week's Cup of Nations through till the end of June's World Cup.
He replaces Stajcic in a move that's raised eyebrows for two reasons.
Firstly, he's never coached women before.
And secondly, he's never led a senior team before.
But he's been trumpeted by Football Federation Australia and the Football Coaches Australia as an inspired, if left-field, choice to lead the Matildas.
Another insider described him as "easily the best Australian coach outside of the A-League", with a skill-set innately suited to the team.
Peters hopes they're right.
The three-time World Cup attendee was one of the few to publicly back FFA's decision to oust Stajcic just months from the 2019 tournament and said she didn't have a problem with Milicic's lack of women-specific experience.
"It's seeming like quite a smart appointment," she told AAP.
Peters said Milicic's reputation as a details-focused tactician and communicator would hold him in good stead.
"All coaching is in context and you coach whoever is in front of you. He just needs to know what they need to succeed," Peters said.
"What this group needs is support. They're very broken from what's happened. There's so much emotional baggage.
"So someone (like Milicic) that's very neutral, I think it will help the players."
After returning from Croatia to Sydney for his unveiling, Milicic wasted no time getting to work in Sydney on Monday, taking meetings and beginning his preparations for the friendly series with New Zealand, Argentina and South Korea.
FFA national teams boss Luke Casserly, who oversaw the selection process, confirmed Milicic was asked to apply and quickly rose to become their candidate of choice.
"People question his suitability or whether he wanted this job. Let me tell you, he's dead keen on this opportunity," an FFA spokesperson said.
"He came back with a really detailed application.
"He's got views on what they should be doing in the lead-up to the World Cup. He's cracking the whip already."
From dozens of applicants, 11 were quizzed and six were offered a final interview.
Casserly said FFA would rely on Matildas staff with "decades worth of experience" to make up for his inexperience with the women's game, and that Milicic would be able to select someone to fill a vacant assistant role.
Football Coaches Australia wished Milicic luck, saying "Ante will leave no stone unturned in seeking success".
By late on Monday, no current Matildas had commented on Milicic's appointment.
Stajcic also declined to comment on his replacement.
Australian Associated Press