Brisbane Based Celtic Supporter Gives us the Lowdown on Ange Postecoglou

Celtic supporter Eddie Murray is former blogger for various Celtic sites including Videocelts. He’s been living in Brisbane in Australia for the past 25 years and is currently writing a book about Brisbane Roar. With the news that Ange Postecoglou in the front-runner for the Celtic job and the Howe debacle, who better that a Celtic supporter who knows all about Ange Postecoglou to give us the lowdown on this grumpy old so-and-so (this being edited to remove illegitimate industrial language). So let’s hand over to Eddie Murray…


When Celtic’s ‘Howe’ became a ‘why?’ the board in their wisdom went straight to Plan B. Ange Postecoglou was approach and offered the Holy Grail, the Celtic support held our collective breath before the vast majority exhaled, ‘Who???’ Here’s who…

In 1967, whilst the Lisbon Lions were rocking the footballing world’s boat, another boat was being prepared as a Greek military coup was underway. Dimitris Postecoglou found himself unable to sustain a lifestyle for his family in Athens and, three years later whilst Celtic were waving goodbye to another European Cup in Milan against Wim Jansen’s Feyenoord, Postecoglou summoned up Dutch courage and herded his family onto a boat bound for Melbourne.

Ange Postecoglou was 5 years old then, and loved his footie. From age 9, he played exclusively for South Melbourne, developing into a teak-tough defender who loved to draw teams in before hitting them hard and fast on the break. Indeed, he was good enough to have represented the ‘Socceroos’ on four occasions.

Ange Postecoglou FMarinos, JULY 8, 2020 J1 League match between Yokohama FMarinos 3-2 Shonan Bellmare at NHK Spring Mitsuzawa Football Stadium, Kanagawa, Japan.

Ange took his footballing philosophy onto the management stage and as coach back at South Melbourne, won the league title two years in succession, the first being the same year Wim Jansen was stopping the ‘other’ 10! Postecoglou led Melbourne into the FIFA World Club Championship in 2000 by merit of an Oceania Club Championship victory. Here, they were credited as ‘worthy’ by the critics after a solid campaign, notably versing Manchester United and Vasco De Gama.

Postecoglou’s tactical style was to attack at speed, keep possession and defend like your life depended on it. He was an uncompromising coach, and his demands left his charges in no doubt as to what was expected of them.

His tenure as coach of Australia U20s was questionable. Failure to qualify for the World Cup left him vulnerable to attack and as a TV pundit, ex-Brighton and Socceroo man, Craig Foster went for the jugular on live TV, calling Ange out and asking him should he not ‘resign’. The big Greek stood his ground but was visibly shaken at this on-air, parliamentary-style attack.

Ange Postecoglou FMarinos, FEBRUARY 23, 2020 – J1 League match between Yokohama FMarinos Gamba Osaka at Nissan Stadium in Kanagawa, Japan.

Foster was not a friend of Celtic, and was overly critical of our participation in the ECL at times, something some of our Sydney City Celtic Supporters Club members took him to task over during a ‘friendly’ kick-about. They gave him both barrels and is now folklore in Cheers Bar, Sydney.

Postecoglou returned to his native Greece to successfully manage Panachaiki before being offered the role which would define him, as coach of my local boys, Brisbane Roar. His first task would be to exit three ex-Rangers players, Craig Moore, Charlie Miller and Bob Malcolm. He oversaw a clear out before building a squad which would make Craig Foster eat his words, especially when Brisbane was dubbed, ‘Roarcelona’.

Passing and moving, shifting gears from back to front and attacking play were the hallmarks of Postecoglou’s Roar sides, and in season 2010/11, they ramped it up to take the title in remarkable circumstances. After a season of decadent dominance, goals galore and an Aussie- record 36-game unbeaten run, came the Grand Final in Brisbane’s backyard against Central Coast Mariners.

Ange Postecoglou FMarinos, JUNE 22, 2020 Yokohama F.Marinos training session at Nissan Field Kozukue in Kanagawa, Japan

With only two minutes left on the clock. Postecoglou’s men were two down. At the ref’s whistle, it was 2-2. The Roar typically refused to be beaten and after extra time, won it on penalties in the most dramatic fashion. The title was retained the following year giving both entry to the AFC Champions League and credence to Postecoglou’s philosophy, a fluid but gritty management style. He called himself a ‘grumpy old so-and-so’ when asked about his manner. It worked.

After a spell at Melbourne Victory, Postecoglou was appointed coach of the national team where he led them to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, unfortunately drawing Spain, Holland and Chile. Despite going down, Ange’s men were praised for their efforts, particularly in running the Dutch close in a 3-2 loss featuring Tim Cahill’s spectacular ‘Goal of the tournament’. He brought home the Asian Cup at the expense of South Korea. Ask Nakamura, Ki, Son or Park Ji-Sung about the talent in that competition!

Ange Postecoglou & FYokohama FMarinos team group, Mannschaftsbild, Totale JULY 8, 2020 J1 League match between Yokohama FMarinos 3-2 Shonan Bellmare at NHK Spring Mitsuzawa Football Stadium, Kanagawa, Japan.

Yokohama F. Marinos currently hold Ange Postecoglou’s recently extended contract. Ange is believed to have approach the board for their blessing to be released to manage Celtic FC. Should he come, he will bring passion, World Cup experience, a good knowledge of the world game, tactical nous and a winning mentality. He can put his arm around a struggling player whilst simultaneously kicking another up the rear end should he be found wanting in the desire stakes.

If/when he arrives in Paradise, Ange will be under intense scrutiny. He’ll be attacked by the media and opposing fans. Even some of our own will be aghast that this relatively unknown Greek Titan should be tasked with winning back our title after a season of shame and defeat. Is he up to it? I believe so, and will welcome the big man with open arms as I hope all Celtic supporters will do in these trying times.

Should this ‘grumpy old so-and-so’ be presented with the Scottish Premiership Trophy come May of 2022, no one will be happier than me. I have full admiration for this battler and am a fan. I wish him well. HH

Eddie Murray

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email


  1. Good article and a decent appraisal. We’ll likely know soon enough but hopefully with Harkin there to support him, he might have a chance at succeeding. HH