Earlier this morning Ange Postecoglou announced his decision to step down from his role as Socceroos coach ahead of the 2018 World Cup tournament.
“After a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I’ve decided that the journey for me ends as Socceroos coach,” Postecoglou told the media.
“As I’ve said many times, it’s been the biggest privilege of my life and probably not the ending I had envisaged when we started, but at the same time, knowing it’s the right time for me and the right decision.”
Postecoglou admitted having been considering other career options prior the team’s qualification for Russia, adding that part of him misses club football. His decision, straight after Australia successfully qualified by beating Honduras 3-1 in Sydney, sees him ending his career with Socceroos on a high note. The former Socceroos coach also revealed that he was planning on making the announcement immediately after the Hunduras match but was convinced not to.
“I mean, I have loved this job. But it’s been all-encompassing. I’ve thrown myself … it hasn’t just been coaching the national team. And the bit I still dearly love is the coaching aspect. So, look, I don’t want to be unemployed for too long, obviously. But I’ll probably need to have a break with the family and just sort of regather my thoughts,” he said.
The World Cup draw, however, will take place in Moscow in less than two weeks which means Australia needs to find a coach.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief David Gallop said he was quite downhearted Postecoglou was stepping down ahead of World Cup.
“The vision was to have an Australian coach who would play in a way which would set us up for the future, and in a way that would resonate with the Australian football community,” he said.
“And, four years later, there can’t be any argument that Ange has delivered on that vision. I’m really disappointed that he won’t be coming to Russia. I’m disappointed and I guess still a bit puzzled, but I’m supportive of the notion that sometimes you reach a point where you just know that you need to do something new. It’s my privilege, on behalf of everyone in Australian football, to thank Ange for the past four years. Of course, Ange’s record speaks for itself,” he concluded clarifying that no decision has yet been made as to whether there will be a short-term coach leading to Russia, or a proper long-term appointment.