Ange Postecoglou quits as Socceroos boss

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

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    Ange Postecoglou has sensationally quit as Socceroos boss just a week after helping the side qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

    The news will come as a major blow for football fans in Australia so soon after the euphoria of qualifying for a fourth-straight World Cup.

    Conjecture about Postecoglou’s future has been rife since the Socceroos defeated Syria in their October World Cup qualifier, with reports circulating after Australia’s 2-1 second-leg victory that the former Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar coach was considering standing down.

    Postecoglou’s refusal to confirm his future over the past month only added to the speculation and, after a day of talks with the FFA yesterday, Postecoglou has revealed he will be quitting in his role, effective immediately.

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    A visibly emotional Postecoglou confirmed the news at a press conference this morning alongside FFA CEO David Gallop.

    “After a great deal of thought and soul searching, the journey ends as Socceroos coach,” Postecoglou said.

    “This has been a very tough decision for me. It has been a privilege for me to coach my country’s national team, to lead them at the 2014 World Cup, to win the Asian Cup in 2015 and now to have qualified for the World Cup next year. I said we would do it and we have done it.

    “All this however, has taken a toll on me both personally and professionally. I have invested all I can knowing how important a period it was for Australian football. It is with a heavy heart that I must now end the journey.

    Gallop lauded Postecoglou’s record as Socceroos coach, but admitted he wasn’t entirely happy with the coach’s decision to step down.

    “I’m really disappointed that he won’t be coming to Russia,” Gallop said.

    “I’m disappointed. I’m a bit puzzled. But sometimes you reach a point you know you need to do something new.”

    Attention now turns to who the FFA will bring in to replace Postecoglou. Gallop didn’t put a timeline on when the next Socceroos coach will be announced, saying they won’t be rushed in finding the right replacement to fill Postecoglou’s big shoes.

    “We will not rush this process. The Socceroos will not play again until March next year at the earliest so we have time to conduct a thorough process. With a guaranteed place in the World Cup, I am sure we will attract a strong field of candidates.”

    Postecoglou leaves with an excellent record as Socceroos boss. After being brought in as a replacement for former manager Holger Osieck in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup, he revitalised the side, taking an inexperienced squad to Brazil and, while despite losing all three games, their performances, particularly against Chile and the Netherlands, gave Australian fans something to cheer about.

    The side then won their first Asian Cup on home soil in 2015, defeating South Korea 2-1 in the final thanks to an extra-time winner from James Troisi.

    Postecoglou came in for plenty of criticism during the recent World Cup qualifying campaign, particularly for introducing a back three midway through qualification. However, that criticism has since been forgotten now qualification has been sealed. He finishes with a record of 22 wins and 15 draws from 49 matches in charge of the national side.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.