Mark Torcaso named Philippines women’s national team head coach

Mark Torcaso Western United Philippines

Western United is immensely proud to confirm Mark Torcaso has agreed a deal to become the next head coach of the Philippines Women’s National Team.

Torcaso will bring Andrew Durante along with him as an assistant coach, with both men remaining in their respective roles at Western United.

On the back of the Philippines’ stunning debut in the FIFA Women’s World Cup – where Western United stars Angie Beard and Jaclyn Sawicki featured prominently – Torcaso will hope to continue building the nation’s growing reputation in women’s football.

Torcaso has been one of the leading managers in Victorian women’s football since taking over Calder United’s inaugural side in 2016.

After winning a remarkable 11 trophies at Calder, Torcaso stepped into the role at Western United and carried the team all the way to the Liberty A-League Women Grand Final, winning the Coach of the Year award.

Durante is an A-Leagues legend having played over 350 matches in the competition, winning one Championship with Newcastle Jets. In that 2008 Grand Final, Durante won the Joe Marston Medal for the man of the match.

A 27-times capped New Zealand international, Durante has transitioned into coaching and mentoring after his playing career and is currently Western United’s Under 23’s assistant coach as well as Player Welfare & Development Manager, working across the entire football department.

Torcaso said the chance to manage on the international stage was impossible to give up, admitting his anticipation to get started.

“It is truly an honour to take up this position with the Philippines. It is a dream come true to be taking on an international coaching opportunity,” he said.

“This opportunity is one that we couldn’t pass up and we are incredibly grateful for the support of everyone at Western United in making this work.

“The Philippines team has been a great football story over the last year and it is really exciting to be able to work with this group. I can’t wait to get started and bring more success to this nation.”

Durante added:

“I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started. I followed the Philippines’ journey at the World Cup because of Jackie and Angie and was really impressed with the team.

“Everyone at the Club has shown incredible support for us and we are both extremely excited to bring all of our commitment into both of our roles.

“This is a huge step in my coaching journey to be able to help coach a national team and I simply can’t wait to begin, to learn and develop and take on every new experience that comes.”

Western United General Manager of Football Mal Impiombato hailed this as a monumental moment for the Club to have Torcaso and Durante on the world stage.

“We are immensely proud as a football club that Mark and Andrew have been given this opportunity on the back of their hard work and excellence in their positions,” he said.

“Mark showed his talent as a coach with us last season in getting the girls to the Grand Final in the inaugural season and he is richly deserving of this opportunity.

“Andrew’s amazing A-League career as a player and his own personal values primes him to be a highly valuable asset to any coaching team and he has had a phenomenal impact at our Club since returning.

“We are delighted to allow them both to take this opportunity while remaining committed to Western United and we look forward to watching their progress with the Philippines in the future.”

This appointment is another indication of the growing reputation of the A-Leagues. With a number of young players moving overseas over the last 12 months, Torcaso and Durante’s export as coaches is reflective of the heights that the A-Leagues continue to reach and aspire to.

Torcaso and Durante will enter camp next week to familiarise themselves with the squad ahead of a first round of matches in September and 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers in October.

That will see Torcaso go toe-to-toe with Tony Gustavsson and the Matildas in Perth, providing him and Durante with a special moment in their careers.