Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus says she will still be at the helm for the upcoming Asian Cup despite an alleged revolt in her playing ranks against her.
Under-siege Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus has vowed she will be at the helm for Australia’s Asian Cup campaign in May despite Football Federation Australia ordering a report into player complaints against her methods.
FFA chief executive David Gallop was in Brisbane on Sunday to watch the Australian women’s side go down 1-0 to Brazil.
That result played second fiddle to revelations that Australian players have allegedly approached union body Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) to take action against 52-year-old Dutchwoman de Reus over her tough disciplinarian line.
Gallop said the governing body was working quickly to investigate the “concerning reports”.
He confirmed that national technical director Han Berger, head of national performance Luke Casserly – who has been with the team this week – and former Matilda and current women’s football co-ordinator Sarah Walsh would put together a report.
Reus said she had been oblivious to the claims which included alleged player claims of being in virtual lockdown at team hotels and being barred from seeing parents.
“I didn’t read anything, I’m totally focused on the job I had to do here,” she said.
“I think it was a good atmosphere (in the lead-up), players were laughing a lot … worked hard on the training field.”
When asked if she would still be in charge at the Asian Cup she replied “absolutely”.
But de Reus conceded the report from FFA was an unwanted distraction ahead of a campaign where Australia needs to finish in the top five to automatically qualify for the World Cup.
“It is a distraction, yeah, of course,” she said.
“But I think we’re all professional enough just to say this is it, close the book, we have still a month to go and we want to defend our title.
“So no, I don’t think it will follow us.”
Gallop spoke at halftime during the loss to Brazil – one of two friendlies before Australia’s Asian Cup title defence next month – labelling the reports against de Reus “concerning”.
“We will put a report together as quickly as possible,” he said.
“We’ll work out how to take it forward from there. At the moment we are getting on top of these concerning reports.
“We’ll make sure we do a thorough job on that first.”
Co-captains Kate Gill and Clare Polkinghorne refused to be drawn into the drama surrounding their coach, with Gill electing to only discuss the match and not speculate on de Reus’ future.
“We’re fine, we’re loving playing our football, that’s all we’re focusing on,” Polkinghorne said.