Ange Postecoglou
Postecoglou as Australia manager
Personal information
Full name Angelos Postekos[1]
Birth name Angelos Postecoglou
Date of birth (1965-08-27) 27 August 1965 (age 58)
Place of birth Nea Filadelfeia, Athens, Greece
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)[2][3]
Position(s) Defender
Team information
Current team
Tottenham Hotspur (head coach)
Youth career
1978–1983 South Melbourne
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1993 South Melbourne 193 (27)
1994 Western Suburbs (–)
International career
1985 Australia U20 13 (1)
1986–1988 Australia 4 (0)
Managerial career
1996–2000 South Melbourne
2000–2005 Australia U17
2005–2007 Australia U20
2008 Panachaiki
2009 Whittlesea Zebras
2009–2012 Brisbane Roar
2012–2013 Melbourne Victory
2013–2017 Australia
2018–2021 Yokohama F. Marinos
2021–2023 Celtic
2023– Tottenham Hotspur
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  Australia (as manager)
AFC Asian Cup
Winner 2015
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Angelos "Ange" Postecoglou (/ˈæn ˌpɒstəˈkɒɡl/ ANJ POS-tə-KOG-loo; Greek: Άγγελος Ποστέκογλου, Angelos Postekoglou; born 27 August 1965), sometimes known by his nickname Big Ange,[4] is a soccer manager and former player who is the head coach of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

Born in Greece, Postecoglou grew up in Melbourne from the age of five. As a player, he spent most of his club career as a defender for South Melbourne Hellas and played four games for the Australia national team in the late 1980s. He began managing at South Melbourne Hellas in 1996, winning the National Soccer League twice and the OFC Champions League in 1999. He then led the national under-17 and under-20 teams.

Postecoglou managed Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory in the A-League, winning the Premiership in 2011 and the Championship in 2011 and 2012 with Brisbane Roar. He was the men's senior national team manager from 2013 to 2017, winning the AFC Asian Cup in 2015 and also going to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He won the J1 League with Yokohama F. Marinos in 2019, and then won five trophies (including two league titles) in two seasons with Scottish side Celtic. He became head coach of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in 2023.

Early life

Angelos Postecoglou[5] was born on 27 August 1965[6] in Nea Filadelfeia, a suburb of Athens, Greece. After his father, Dimitris ("Jim"), lost his business following the 1967 Greek military coup, the Postecoglou family migrated to Australia in 1970, when he was five years old. He grew up in Melbourne, Victoria.[7][8][9] At the age of 10, his parents changed his surname to "Postekos", remarking: "It was a fad in those days to shorten your name if you were Greek, so that's what they did." Although Postekos is still his surname legally, he opts for Postecoglou.[1][10]

Playing career

After first joining South Melbourne Hellas as a nine-year-old,[11] Postecoglou rose through the youth ranks to play 193 games from 1984 to 1993 for them in the National Soccer League as a one-club player.[citation needed]

As a player, he was involved in their 1984 and 1990–91 titles, the latter as captain in a famous win over rivals Melbourne Knights.[12] He was coached by Hungarian Ferenc Puskás, a renowned player whom his father had told him about as a child. According to Postecoglou, Puskás played a 4–3–3 formation with rigid full-backs and attacking wingers. Postecoglou built on this strategy in his own coaching; however, his use of attacking full backs in a non-traditional inverted position differs from Puskás.[13]

A knee injury prematurely ended Postecoglou's career at the age of 27. In 2000, he went on to be named as the starting left back in South Melbourne's team of the century as voted by fans and an expert panel.[14]

International career

Postecoglou represented Australia at senior level four times between 1986 and 1988. Prior to this, he represented Australia at youth level in 1985.[15]

Coaching career

South Melbourne

Following his retirement, Postecoglou took up the role of an assistant coach at South Melbourne. He gained the head coaching position in 1996, following the firing of Frank Arok.[citation needed]

Postecoglou led South to consecutive National Soccer League titles in 1997–98 (ending a seven-year drought) and 1998–99, as well as winning the 1999 Oceania Club Championship, which in turn led to South's participation in the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship.[16]

After the 1999–2000 NSL season, he stood down from the South Melbourne coaching role when he was appointed coach of the Australian youth team. He is the only person to have been involved in all four of South Melbourne's NSL title-winning teams, the first two as a player and the latter two as coach.[citation needed]

Young Socceroos

Following his domestic coaching success, Postecoglou became coach of Australia's youth sides in 2000. During his tenure, he played a role in identifying and developing Australian players.[17][18] Postecoglou was involved in an on-air argument with football pundit Craig Foster on The World Game.[19][20] He was replaced as coach in February 2007 after Australia failed to qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. After his departure as coach of the Australian youth teams,[21] Postecoglou worked as a football pundit for Fox Sports and as an elite consultant to Football Federation Victoria.[citation needed]

Feeling that his much-publicised argument with Foster had made him unemployable, Postecoglou coached Panachaiki in the Greek third division, and Whittlesea Zebras back in Melbourne, while running coaching clinics in the city.[22]

Brisbane Roar

On 16 October 2009, Postecoglou was signed as the new Brisbane Roar coach, replacing Frank Farina.[23] Postecoglou started rebuilding the team by releasing Liam Reddy, Craig Moore, Bob Malcolm and Charlie Miller. Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo and Adam Sarota were bought by Dutch club Utrecht, and striker Sergio van Dijk went to Adelaide United.[24] Postecoglou, who asked to be judged a year from the time he took over, proved the critics wrong by winning and playing an entertaining brand of football.[25][26][27][28]

The 4–0 win against Adelaide United in round 13 was highly praised in the media as some of the best football the A-League has ever seen.[29][30] Postecoglou led the Roar to the Premiership and Championship in the 2010–11 season, winning the Grand Final 4–2 on penalties against the Central Coast Mariners in front of 52,168 people at Lang Park. The Roar only lost one game all season and went on a 36-game unbeaten run, which broke the previous Australian football record.[31] On 18 March 2011, he signed a two-year extension with the club until the 2013–14 season.[32][33]

In the 2011–12 season, Brisbane Roar became the first team to win back-to-back A-League championships and Postecoglou became the most successful Australian domestic football coach, with four national titles.[34]

On 24 April 2012, Postecoglou announced his resignation as head coach of Brisbane Roar. Postecoglou left the Roar after two-and-a-half years, during which he led the club to back-to-back A-League championships, a premiership and consecutive qualification for the AFC Champions League.[35]

Melbourne Victory

On 26 April 2012, it was announced that he had signed a three-year contract with A-League club Melbourne Victory as head coach.[36] Postecoglou started rebuilding the team by releasing Matthew Kemp, Grant Brebner, Rodrigo Vargas, Tom Pondeljak, Ante Čović, Carlos Hernández, Harry Kewell and Fabio Alves, with Jean Carlos Solórzano and Ubay Luzardo returned to their respective clubs after their loan deals had expired. Postecoglou rounded up his squad by signing Jonathan Bru, Guilherme Finkler, Adama Traoré, Marcos Flores, Mark Milligan, Theo Markelis, Sam Gallagher and Spase Dilevski.[citation needed]

Postecoglou's first game in charge of Melbourne Victory was the Round 1 clash against crosstown rivals Melbourne Heart, an encounter which the Victory lost 2–1. His first win came against Adelaide United in Round 4, with the Victory prevailing 2–1. The following year, Melbourne Victory made the A-League Preliminary Final after beating Perth Glory in an Elimination Final 2–1 at Docklands Stadium. Melbourne Victory then played in the Preliminary Final against Central Coast Mariners and lost 2–0.[citation needed]

Australia national team

Postecoglou in 2014

Postecoglou was appointed head coach of the Australia national team on 23 October 2013 on a five-year contract, replacing German Holger Osieck.[37][38] Postecoglou was tasked with regenerating the Australian national team, which was deemed to have been too reliant on members of their Golden Generation of 2006, subsequently leading to a stagnation of results that culminated in successive 6–0 defeats to Brazil and France.[39][40][41][42][43][44][45] In his first game as Australia's manager, a home friendly match against Costa Rica, Australia won 1–0, courtesy of a goal from Tim Cahill.[46]

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Australia were drawn in Group B alongside holders Spain, 2010 runners-up the Netherlands and Chile.[47] The team lost to Chile 3–1 and the Netherlands 3–2 to be eliminated from Group B, and concluded with a 3–0 loss to also eliminated Spain. Australia's competitive performances in a difficult group led to belief that a new Golden Generation was about to begin.[48][49]

Postecoglou coached Australia in 2015 AFC Asian Cup, where they beat Kuwait (4–1) and Oman (4–0), but lost to South Korea (0–1) in the group stage. They then beat China 2–0 in the quarter-final and the United Arab Emirates 2–0 in the semi-final. Australia beat South Korea 2–1 after extra time to win in the final for its first AFC Asian Cup.[50]

Postecoglou in 2017

Two weeks after Australia qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, on 22 November 2017, Postecoglou announced his resignation as Socceroos coach.[51]

Yokohama F. Marinos

On 19 December 2017, Yokohama F. Marinos announced they had appointed Postecoglou as head coach with his tenure set to begin after the 2017 Japanese Emperor's Cup.[52][53][54][55] Postecoglou's first domestic game as coach of Yokohama ended with a 1–1 draw against Cerezo Osaka at Yanmar Stadium, Osaka.[56][57] After an initial difficult start to the season, which saw Yokohama F. Marinos facing potential relegation,[58] Postecoglou guided the club to the final of the J-League Cup, and a 12th place finish in the league.[59] Although the team finished with the second highest number of goals scored in the season, they also conceded the third most goals of any club during the season.

After receiving interest from the Greece national team to become their new manager,[60][61] Postecoglou extended his contract with Yokohama F. Marinos.[62] Yokohama's belief in Postecoglou was rewarded during the 2019 season when he guided the club to their first J. League title in 15 years.[63] In doing so, he became the first Australian manager to win a league title in Japan.[citation needed]

Celtic

Postecoglou became the manager of Scottish Premiership club Celtic on 10 June 2021, signing a 12-month rolling contract, making him the first Australian manager to coach a major club in Europe.[64][65][66][67] Celtic, who had just lost their league title to Rangers for the first time in a decade, had abruptly missed out on hiring English manager Eddie Howe. The new appointment was mocked by Celtic fan and Talksport presenter Alan Brazil, who apologised on his show a year later, after Postecoglou had won the league.[68] Australian Celtic player Tom Rogic reflected on the atmosphere at the appointment: "I laugh sometimes when I look back. Although I knew him quite well, there was a perception of: 'Who's this guy?'".[22]

Postecoglou made his debut in a UEFA Champions League qualifier on 20 July, drawing 1–1 against Danish Superliga club FC Midtjylland;[69] a 2–1 loss in the second leg in Denmark led to elimination eight days later.[70] He lost his first league game 2–1 away to Heart of Midlothian on 31 July.[71] On 19 December 2021, Celtic won the Scottish League Cup after defeating Hibernian 2–1 at Hampden Park in the final.[72] The following 2 February, a 3–0 win over rivals Rangers put Celtic to the top of the league table for the first time in the season, ending a 13-game unbeaten start for opposing manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.[73] Having not let their lead slip, the league title was sealed on 11 May with a game remaining, after a 1–1 draw at Dundee United.[74] Postecoglou became the first Australian to win a league title in Europe.[75] He was the league Manager of the Month five times in his first season, for October 2021 and January to April 2022,[76] while winning the PFA Scotland Manager of the Year and SFWA Manager of the Year.[77]

For the 2022–23 season, Celtic began the campaign with a 2–0 win against Aberdeen on 31 July at Celtic Park.[78] Celtic would dominate the Premiership in Postecoglou's second season at the club, remaining on top and winning the league for a second season straight.[79] On 26 February 2023, Postecoglou won his second Scottish League Cup in a row after beating rivals Rangers 2–1 in the final.[80] Celtic ended the season with a record eighth domestic treble after they won the Scottish Cup at Hampden Park against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on 2 June in Postecoglou's last match in charge of the Hoops.[81]

Postecoglou was also announced as a candidate for FIFA World Coach of the Year after winning the domestic treble.[82]

Tottenham Hotspur

On 6 June 2023, Postecoglou was appointed head coach of Tottenham Hotspur on a four-year contract.[83] His appointment saw him become both the first Australian and first person born in Greece to manage in the Premier League.[84]

After an unbeaten start with two wins and a draw in his first three matches, Postecoglou received the Premier League Manager of the Month award for August, becoming the first manager since David Wagner to win the award in his first month in the division.[85] He is the first Australian to win the award, and the second manager from outside of Europe, the first being Mauricio Pochettino. On 24 September, Postecoglou became the first Tottenham manager to earn points from Arsenal away at the Emirates Stadium in four years since Pochettino, after the North London derby ended in a 2–2 draw.[86] On 1 October, Postecoglou guided Spurs to their first victory against Liverpool in five years, following a 2–1 win at home.[87] After continuing Tottenham Hotspur's unbeaten streak for a second month, Postecoglou was nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Month award for September, eventually winning it and becoming the first ever manager to win the award in each of his first two months in the competition.[88][89] On 23 October, Postecoglou achieved his seventh victory in his ninth league game, following a 2–0 win over Fulham at home.[90] He broke the record for most points earned by a Premier League manager in their first nine games, with his side accumulating 23 points and overtaking the 22 achieved by Guus Hiddink from Chelsea in the 2009–10 season.[91][92][93][94] Postecoglou guided Tottenham to three consecutive wins in October, leading him to be named Manager of the Month for a third consecutive month. In doing so, Postecoglou became the first manager to win the award for the first three months of a single season.[95] On 6 November, Postecoglou suffered his first defeat as the Tottenham manager in the 4-1 home defeat to London rivals Chelsea during which his side were down to 9 man, following a straight red card to Cristian Romero and a second yellow card to Destiny Udogie.[96]

On 29 February 2024, Postecoglou won Manager of the Year honours at the London Football Awards.[97]

Personal life

Postecoglou grew up in Melbourne, Victoria.[8] From an early age he started playing Australian rules football[98] and became a lifelong supporter of the Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).[99]

Postecoglou is married to Georgia, who worked at South Melbourne as a marketing manager when he served as manager of the club.[100] Together they have three sons, James, Max and Alexi.[101] Their oldest son, James, currently serves with the Hellenic Armed Forces and is based in Lemnos.[102]

He said in a 2018 interview that his father, who died the very same year, worked hard every day of his life: "People say they go to another country for a better life. My parents did not have a better life, they went to Australia to provide opportunities for me to have a better life." Father and son had time together only during their outings together to soccer games, from where young Ange got a life-long "fascination" with the sport. He said of his management "My motivation is always to produce teams [my] dad would enjoy watching."[103] Postecoglou also grew up supporting Liverpool F.C. and AEK Athens F.C..[104][102][105]

In November 2022, Postecoglou was inducted into the Football Australia Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to Australian football on and off the field as a player and as a coach.[106]

In addition to English, Postecoglou is fluent in Greek.[107] He is a Greek Orthodox Christian.[108]

Managerial statistics

Postecoglou as manager of Australia in 2014
As of match played 11 May 2024
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
South Melbourne Australia 1 January 1996 31 December 2000 160 85 33 42 053.13
Australia U20 Australia 1 January 2001 20 February 2007 34 23 4 7 067.65
Panachaiki Greece 12 March 2008 22 December 2008 33 16 9 8 048.48
Whittlesea Zebras Australia 18 April 2009 15 August 2009 16 2 4 10 012.50
Brisbane Roar Australia 16 October 2009 24 April 2012 84 42 24 18 050.00
Melbourne Victory Australia 26 April 2012 25 October 2013 32 15 7 10 046.88
Australia Australia 23 October 2013 22 November 2017 49 22 12 15 044.90
Yokohama F. Marinos Japan 1 January 2018 10 June 2021 161 79 31 51 049.07
Celtic Scotland 10 June 2021 6 June 2023 113 83 12 18 073.45
Tottenham Hotspur England 6 June 2023 Present 39 20 7 12 051.28
Total 721 387 143 191 053.68

Honours

Player

South Melbourne

Australia

Manager

South Melbourne[115]

Australia U17[115]

Australia U20[115]

Brisbane Roar

Australia

Yokohama F. Marinos

Celtic

Individual

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