Postecoglou to swing momentum back Australia’s way

Football Federation Australia confirmed the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as Australia national team coach, on Wednesday afternoon.

The five-year agreement runs until August 2018 with Postecoglou’s term to include the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the 2015 AFC Asian Cup on home soil and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian qualification matches.

“It was always our plan that one day an Australian would be appointed coach, and I said precisely that when we appointed the previous coach,” FFA chairman Frank Lowy said.

“But I have never taken the view that the coach should be an Australian for the sake of having an Australian. I have always believed we should get the best person we can for the job.

“The fact that Ange is the best qualified, and an Australian, achieves our objective.”

Postecoglou replaces German Holger Osieck, who was sacked on 12 October after consecutive 6-0 away losses to Brazil and France.

“We are looking forward to long service from him …. he is the right person for us at this time of our development,” Lowy told reporters in Sydney.

“This is a plan that we have had for quite a while and it has come to fruition.”

A delighted Postecoglou, who was the only local candidate to be interviewd by FFA, said he was honoured to be given the job of leading his country – some 13 years after first being considered for the position.

“Obviously it’s a tremendous honour for me,” he said.

“It has been a tough couple of weeks but I’m truly honoured to be given this position.

“The Socceroos belong to the people of this nation. It’s my job to make sure we represent all that’s good in Australian football.

“We need to strive for greatness, to play with spirit and have an unwavering belief in our mission.

“I was proud to represent my country as a player and I have the same immense feeling of pride today.

“I thank Frank Lowy, David Gallop and the FFA for having the faith in my ability to do this job successfully.”

An agreement to release Postecoglou from his contract with Melbourne Victory, after robust discussions with FFA, was sealed on Tuesday and he will officially begin his term as Socceroos boss on Monday – after signing off in the A-League with Friday night’s encounter against his former side Brisbane Roar at Etihad Stadium.

“Ange Postecoglou has had a profound impact on Melbourne Victory Football Club over the past 18 months and the club is extremely appreciative of everything he has implemented during his tenure,” Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro said.

“Ange’s appointment as Socceroos coach is a fantastic endorsement for our club, its culture and the standards we strive to set. We thank Ange and he will certainly always be part of the Melbourne Victory family.”

Postecoglou’s first game in charge of the Socceroos will be against fellow World Cup qualifier Costa Rica at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Tuesday 19 November.

FFA CEO David Gallop said today the appointment of Postecoglou was symbolic of how far the game has come in the past decade.

“I’m delighted that the game has reached the point where the best-qualified coach for the Socceroos happens to be someone who’s learned his football in this country and who lives and breathes the mission of Australian football,” Gallop said.

“In Ange, the Socceroos will have a Head Coach who has exceptional experience and achievements on the domestic and international stage. In any recruitment situation you consider the overall package that the person brings to the role.”

“We wanted the best person for the job of coaching the Socceroos to highest possible standards. It’s also very significant that Ange has a deep understanding of the culture and passion of Australian football. He’s a leader in every sense.”

During the past 24 hours, the other candidates for the job, Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold and Western Sydney Wanderers mentor Tony Popovic, wished Postecoglou all the best and offered him any support he requires.

Ange Postecoglou Fact File

Club playing career:

1984-1993: South Melbourne (NSL) 193 games (19 goals)
1984: NSL Premiers (South Melbourne)
1984: NSL Champions (South Melbourne)
1985: NSL Premiers (South Melbourne)
1990-1991: NSL Champions (South Melbourne)
1992-1993: NSL Premiers (South Melbourne)

Representative playing career:

1986 – 1988: Socceroos 4 games (0 goals)

Coaching career:

1996 – 2000: South Melbourne (NSL)
2000 – 2007: Australian U20 National Team
2008: Panachaiki
2009 – 2012: Brisbane Roar (Hyundai A-League)
2012 – 2013: Melbourne Victory (Hyundai A-League)

Coaching achievements:

1997-1998: National Soccer League Premiers (South Melbourne)
1997-1998: National Soccer League Champions (South Melbourne)
1998-1999: National Soccer League Champions (South Melbourne)
1999: Oceania Club Champions (South Melbourne)
2000 Coached South Melbourne at FIFA Club World Championships
2010-2011: Hyundai A-League Premiers (Brisbane Roar)
2010-2011: Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year
2011: Hyundai A-League Champions (Brisbane Roar)
2012: Hyundai A-League Champions (Brisbane Roar)
2013: Voted as Head Coach of the Foxtel A-League All Stars v Manchester United