Football: Australia women's coach sacked before Asian Cup defence

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Australia's national women's football team coach Hesterine de Reus has been sacked, less than a month out from the team's AFC Women's' Asian Cup title defence.

Football Federation Australia announced the decision on Thursday following an internal review into her coaching methods.

The players' union, Professional Footballers Australia, had also raised issues about the environment within the Matildas' camp.

"After a review by FFA it was determined that a change in coaches was in best interests of the Matildas programme," FFA chief executive David Gallop said in a statement.

De Reus lasted just 15 months in the job with five wins in her 13 matches in charge, with a 2-1 friendly victory over Brazil on April 9 her final game in charge.

The move is women's football's second high-profile sacking in as many weeks after de Reus' predecessor with the Matildas, Tom Sermanni, was sacked as coach of the United States team.

Alen Stajcic, coach of national women's league side Sydney FC, has been appointed interim head coach for the May 14-25 Asian Cup in Vietnam, with the tournament also doubling as qualifiers for the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada.

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