- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

SYDNEY (AP) - Hesterine de Reus has left her position as head coach of the Australian women’s football team after 15 months, following reports of player complaints over her strict style.

FFA chief executive David Gallop confirmed the Dutch coach’s departure Thursday after a review that began two weeks’ ago, but did not say whether de Reus quit or was asked to resign.

Alen Stajcic, coach of the Sydney W-League team, was named interim head coach to lead the side for the Women’s Asian Cup in Vietnam next month, where the Australians are the defending champions, after which a permanent head coach will be sought.

De Reus replaced Tom Sermanni, who led the Australian women’s team for eight years before taking over the No. 1-ranked U.S. women’s side in late 2012. A day after reports surfaced of complaints over de Reus, Sermanni was fired as coach of the U.S. team.

An FFA spokesman, when asked if Sermanni will be recalled to lead the Matildas, said “we’re not up to that stage yet.”

Sermanni steered the U.S. to an unbeaten record of 13 wins and three draws last year, but the Americans lost two of their four games at last month’s Algarve Cup; the last major tournament for the U.S. before World Cup qualifying.

Australia media reported some of the complaints about de Reus include a virtual lockdowns at team hotels, being barred from seeing parents on overseas trips and general disenchantment with her coaching methods.

De Reus said after a 1-0 loss to Brazil in Brisbane on April 6 she was not aware of the players’ complaints.

“I didn’t read anything, I’m totally focused on the job I had to do here,” she said. “It was a good atmosphere … players were laughing a lot, worked hard on the training field.”

Dual international Ellyse Perry, the highest-profile player in the squad, was cut from the team as de Reus said the 23-year-old Perry cannot become a world-class footballer as long as she is also playing cricket for Australia.

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