Western United announce Torcaso exit as ‘one of the leading minds’ in Australia takes over: Full details

Mark Torcaso has resigned as Western United head coach, with the Liberty A-League side appointing former Western Sydney Wanderers boss Kat Smith as his replacement.

Torcaso guided Western to last season’s Grand Final in their inaugural campaign, however, he has made the “difficult” decision to step down in order to focus fully on his role as head coach of the Philippines women’s national team.

The reigning Liberty A-League Coach of the Year leaves after six rounds of the 2023-24 season with the club’s full support, though he will remain connected to Western in an advisory role, “continuing to facilitate the club’s development pathway for talented players in the west”.

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“The club has meant everything to me – the players, the staff and everyone involved in it. To be part of this is something so special and unique,” said Torcaso, whose assistant Helen Winterburn will also depart after accepting a full-time position as football coach at Central Coast Sports College.

“I cannot wait to continue watching this team evolve – this team has the capabilities to go all the way. My connection with the women’s team will remain, just in a different way. I am looking forward to this and helping in whatever way I can.”

Western United general manager of football Mal Impiombato added: “I, and the entire football club, wish to express our immense thanks to Mark for his incredible work in bringing our A-League Women program to life.

“Mark’s commitment to building an exemplary women’s program at Western United has been a
constant throughout the journey. Alongside his success and accolades, it will be the culture that he set that will form his legacy at our club.

“We wish him continued success with the Philippines and look forward to the continued contribution he will have at our club through his advisory role.”

With Torcaso turning his attention to the Philippines, Western have appointed former Western Sydney Wanderers boss Smith as his replacement.

Smith returns to the Liberty A-League as Western’s first female head coach after leaving the Wanderers on the eve of this campaign.

Dubbed “one of the leading minds in Australian women’s football” in the club’s media release, she guided Western Sydney to their second-best ever points tally in a Liberty A-League season last term.

“This is a great opportunity. Building on the foundations and aiming for the next level is an exciting challenge,” Smith said.

“Our key focus will involve meticulous planning and preparation, effective communication and
continuous improvement.

“Collectively, we will strive for excellence and take a collaborative approach to achieving success. I acknowledge the challenge that the season brings and will endeavour to create a winning culture and an enjoyable environment for all involved.”

Western United are eighth in the Liberty A-League standings during the international break, three points outside of the top four through six rounds.

Impiombato said: “We are thrilled to welcome Kat to our football club. Kat is an extremely talented coach with a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we are buoyant about the impact she will have at Western United.

“We welcome Kat to the club and look forward to seeing her continue to build on the foundations that have been set in our women’s department.”