Ante Milicic

Technical and Emotional Preparation

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Our Great Coach this week is Ante Milicic, an Australian soccer coach and former professional player. 

As a player, Ante represented Australia and won the National Championships. He was also the first player to ever score a hat-trick in the A-League. 

After retiring he moved straight into coaching, joining Sydney United as a player/coach in 2009. At the same time, he worked as an assistant coach for the Australian U20 team. From there Ante began working as an assistant coach for Ange P, joining him and the Socceroos for both the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2015 Victorious Asian Cup. In 2018, he took on a position as an assistant to Bert Van Marjwick at the World Cup in Russia.

In 2019 Ante was appointed as the interim head coach of the Australian women’s national team - the Matildas - and led them to a round of 16 finish at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Then, in 2020, he moved over to Macarthur FC (a new National league men’s team) to take on the role of their inaugural head coach.

Having coached both men and women, Ante has had a wide range of experiences across the length of his career. Throughout our interview he drew upon those experiences, sharing his own fascinating insights and the advice that he has received and given during his years as a coach. 

Some personal highlights from the interview include:

  • How he talks about his first days with the Matildas and the request he made for all staff to present their own role and responsibilities to him, bringing a certain level of calmness to the group at a time which was naturally full of upheaval and unease.

  • What Ante has learned from coaching both men and women at the elite level, including the importance of taking time to speak with players as individuals and help them prepare using both technical and emotional information.

  • How his personal feelings that he didn’t make the most of his talent as a player have shaped the way he helps others to develop their own mental strength.

Take a listen to the full episode, and make sure to let me know what you thought by mentioning us on social media - I’d love to hear from you.

Thriving Teams

Our Thriving Teams podcast series may have come to an end, but our enthusiasm for sharing the Thrive model with our listeners prevails.

The Thrive model encompasses six integral elements for achieving the success and well-being of teams, and we feel that it aligns well with all of the leadership insights and advice that we’ve gathered from over 200 interviews with Great Coaches from across the world of sports.

To help you make the most of the Thrive model and uncover new ways to lead your own team we created our free, simple diagnostic which uses 18 questions to identify how close your team is to thriving, and (importantly) what can be done to improve. So many of you have already given it a shot - if you haven’t tried it yet, then click the link below to find out more:

Additionally, we’re also offering virtual and live workshops focusing on the integral elements of team success (with Great Coach participation!) and - for leaders who really want to take the Thrive model to the next level - we now offer individual coaching sessions.

You can watch the video below to find out more about our new Thriving Teams offerings. If you’d like to organise a workshop or session for yourself (or want to talk in more depth about the Thrive model as a whole) then please get in touch at [email protected]

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Leadership Insights

How have your influences shaped you as a leader?

In this clip, Dr David Turner discusses the career of Great Coach Phil Jackson and the individual influences and experiences that have shaped his personal coaching style.

The Great Coaches, Addressing Your Team

Looking for a way to inspire your team at your next Team Away day?

The Great Coaches Podcast has interviewed more than 200 Great Coaches from across the world of sport, including both men and women who have won multiple Olympic medals and championships on national and international stages.

Using the wealth of advice and insights that we have gained from these interviews, we create bespoke presentations filled with video and audio clips that directly address the challenges that your team faces. 

Our material is authentic, inspiring, and can be delivered both in-person and virtually. 

If you’d like to know more, drop us a line - we’d be happy to discuss your needs. 


This newsletter is brought to you by Macquarie University Business School’s MBA program. Designed to empower, challenge and transform, the Macquarie MBA gives you the business skills and knowledge you need to succeed in an evolving global economy.

Contact Us

If you have any feedback or if you would like to speak to us directly feel free to contact us at [email protected].