Angelos Postecoglou (Greek: Άγγελος Ποστέκογλου, born 27 August 1965) is a Greek Australian football manager and former player, who is the current manager of Scottish Premiership club Celtic. Postecoglou is Australia’s most successful and decorated manager.
Postecoglou represented Australia four times between 1986 and 1988 as well as representing Australia at youth level in 1985.
Following his retirement, Postecoglou took up the role of an assistant coach at South Melbourne. Postecoglou gained the head coaching position in 1996, following the firing of Frank Arok. He led South to consecutive National Soccer League titles in 1997–98 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. South would go up against clubs such as Vasco De Gama and Manchester United with his squad earning praise among the football community. Postecoglou’s NSL sides were feared amongst the competition for their fast-paced possession style.
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.
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. Postecoglou was involved in an on-air argument with football pundit Craig Foster on The World Game. 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, Postecoglou worked as a football pundit for Fox Sports and as an elite consultant to Football Federation Victoria.
Postecoglou coached Panachaiki in the Greek third division from March to December 2008. Despite keeping the traditional club well within contention for promotion, and more precisely in the top three for most of the season, a falling out with club management ended his tenure in Patras.
While he found temporary employment running coaching clinics for juniors across the city, he was given a foray to return to senior management by the Zebras, who had lost their opening six games of the 2009 season. They announced Postecoglou as their new head coach in April, tasked with the difficult objective of keeping the 2007 VPL grand finalists in the top tier.
Postecoglou was entering an environment that had experienced significant turbulence in recent years – the odds were stacked against him to steer the young side away from relegation. Despite his best efforts, Whittlesea finished the season second bottom and were subsequently relegated from the top flight, making a return two years later as the rebranded Moreland Zebras.
On 16 October 2009, Postecoglou was signed as the new Brisbane Roar coach, replacing Frank Farina. 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 FC Utrecht and striker Sergio van Dijk went to Adelaide United. 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. The Roar’s possession based style of play under Postecoglou earned them the nickname “Roarcelona”.
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. 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. On 18 March 2011, he signed a two-year extension with the club keeping him until the 2013–14 season.
Postecoglou’s side continued their winning streak in the 2011–12 season and now hold the all-time Australian football code record for longest undefeated sporting streak of 36 games, surpassing rugby league side Eastern Suburbs’ record set 74 years previously. 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 (soccer) coach, with four national titles.
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.
On 26 April 2012, it was announced that he had signed a three-year contract with A-League club Melbourne Victory as head coach. 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.
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.
Australia national team
Postecoglou was appointed head coach of the Australia national team on 23 October 2013 on a five-year contract, replacing German Holger Osieck. 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. 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.
2014 FIFA World Cup
For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Australia were drawn in Group B alongside holders Spain, 2010 runners-up Netherlands and Chile. Their first match was off to a lacklustre start, having scored only a goal with Tim Cahill before losing to South America’s Chile 3–1. Their second match against the Netherlands was a close one, but their efforts ended in a 3–2 loss, thus earning their early exit along with the Spanish team. Australian fans praised the team for their outstanding efforts in a tough group. In the end, Australia finished Group B with a third defeat to former world champions Spain 3–0. Australia’s competitive World Cup performances in a difficult group led to belief that a new Golden Generation was about to begin.
2015 AFC Asian Cup
Postecoglou coached Australia in 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Australia beat Kuwait (4–1) and Oman (4–0), but lost to South Korea (0–1) in the group stage, before beating China (2–0) in quarter-final and United Arab Emirates (2–0) in the semi-final. Australia then beat South Korea (2–1) in extra time to win in the final to win its first AFC Asian Cup.