Stajcic joins Western Sydney Wanderers after Glory exit

Alen Stajcic has left Perth Glory to coach Western Sydney Wanderers. Paul Kane/Getty Images

Alen Stajcic will take the reins of Western Sydney's A-League Men team, leaving Perth Glory after fewer than 10 months at the embattled club.

Tuesday's announcement comes after Stajcic insisted in April he was determined to lead the Glory through their rebuild. He still had two years remaining on his contract.

"Upon season's end, after personal reflection, I have decided that it's best for me to look for a new challenge in my coaching career," he said of leaving Glory.

"The difficulties we faced this year were unique and consistent and took a great toll on most within the organisation."

Stajcic fills the role vacated by Marko Rudan, who left the Wanderers in May despite signing a new contract until the end of the 2026/27 season.

Rudan said the return of his mother's brain cancer had prompted him to make the call.

The Wanderers had entered the 2023/24 season with high expectations but missed the finals (11 wins, four draws, 12 losses) after their form nosedived in the back end of a turbulent season.

Signed on a one-season deal with Western Sydney, Stajcic aims to reinvigorate the club.

"My hopes are high and my ambitions are even higher as we look to collectively bring success back to the Wanderers," he said.

"The west of Sydney has always been the heartbeat and lifeblood of footballing talent in this country and with hard work, desire and commitment, I will aim again to make this club the pinnacle of Australian football."

The move comes a day after Stajcic's Glory A-League Women counterpart Alex Epakis stepped away from his role following four seasons at the helm, citing personal reasons.

Stajcic took the reins in August last year, a month after the club was thrown into turmoil when owner Tony Sage handed back his licence amidst ongoing financial woes.

Perth were also without a head coach at the time after now-Brisbane boss Ruben Zadkovich left the role in June.

Collecting the wooden spoon courtesy of a 5-7-15 win-draw-loss record, the club played most of the 2023/24 season in receivership before Melbourne property developer Ross Pelligra stepped in as new owner in February.

Glory chief Anthony Radich thanked Stajcic for his professionalism shown "under extremely challenging circumstances throughout his tenure".

"Alen's leadership and resilience during what was one of the most difficult seasons in the club's history was admirable," said Radich.

"The courageous decision to take on this role in a period of unprecedented uncertainty and adversity is testament to Alen's great character and we are very grateful for that commitment.

"On behalf of everyone associated with the club, I would like to thank Alen sincerely for his service to Perth Glory and wish him all the very best for the next stage of his coaching journey."