Western United announce renewal of head coach after mid-season revival as more history beckons

Western United have extended the contract of Liberty A-League head coach Kat Smith.

Smith has re-signed for the 2024-25 season as Western prepare to make history in their first ever A-Leagues Finals fixture at the Regional Football Facility in Tarneit on Saturday night.

When Smith succeeded Mark Torcaso in December, last season’s Grand Finalists were eighth but soared up the standings under her leadership, climbing to the summit before injuries to leading goalscorer Hannah Keane, Matildas star Chloe Logarzo and Adriana Taranto derailed their Premiership hopes – ultimately finishing third.

LIBERTY A-LEAGUE FINALS PREVIEW: ‘H’ word inspiring Jets & Central Coast’s plan to ‘spoil the party’

“I am extremely pleased to commit to this club for next season and continue the work that we have done as a collective to drive success in the West,” Smith said ahead of the Elimination Final at home to Newcastle Jets.

“This is a testament to the support of our coaching staff and the application of the players through their attitude and attributes that have led us into our home Elimination Final.

“It’s worth noting the amazing support that I’ve been fortunate enough to receive from my loved ones throughout this journey, and their unwavering commitment to standing by my side as we move forward.

“As we build towards the future, we are firm in our commitment to represent our community in Tarneit and we look forward to seeing them come out to support the girls on Saturday.”

FINALS GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of the Liberty A-League Finals series

Western United general manager of football Mal Impiombato added: “Kat has showed outstanding dedication, passion and understanding of our values and ambition since joining the club.

“That has translated on the pitch with an exciting brand of football for our fans to enjoy, bringing the club to our first consecutive finals appearances.

“Football fans in Tarneit have a team that will represent them wholeheartedly under Kat’s guidance and we are delighted to see her continue to develop this group of players for another season.”

ELIMINATION FINALS INS AND OUTS: Door left open for Matildas star to push for shock return