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Anju Postecoglou: How Greek immigrants are conquering football

Key Point
  • Ange Postecoglou has agreed to become Tottenham’s new manager.
  • He won the Triple Crown with Scottish club Celtic.
  • He came to Australia from Greece in 1970 at the age of five.
Even if they hate the club, there are only a few people in football who are so well-liked and successful that Australian fans celebrate them, and Ange Postecoglou is certainly one of them. .
As a five-year-old, sailing from Athens to Melbourne in search of a better life, his future was uncertain and little did he know he would one day become a winning streak football manager.
Postecoglou has now agreed to sign perhaps the most lucrative deal of his career as manager of English Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham Hotspur are a London club hungry for success and well-funded. His impending appointment is arguably the biggest move by an Australian football coach.

After winning the Scottish Premiership, League Cup and Scottish Cup with powerhouse Celtic, he became in demand and quickly changed culture and success rates in two years.

Anju Postecoglou’s rise to world football’s greatest league

The story of Angers, or Angelos Postecoglu, begins in Athens where he was born in 1965.
When he was two years old, his father lost his business during the rise of the military government in 1967.
In 1970, her parents Dimitris and Voula set sail for Melbourne with two suitcases carrying Ange and her sister Liz.
“I can’t believe what my parents went through,” he told Scotland in 2021.
“If a ship that takes 30 days takes a young family halfway around the globe to a country where they don’t speak the language, they don’t know the soul, they don’t speak the language. Even if there is, there is no job.

“People say they go to other countries for a better life. My parents didn’t have a better life. went.”

As was common with Greek immigrants of the time, they shortened their names to Postecos, and Dimitris was called Anglicized “Jim”.
However, their son did not adopt the new name.
“It was fashionable back then if you were Greek to shorten your name,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2011.
“I never liked it, never used it. I was proud of my background, but I couldn’t do anything about my first passport and my first driver’s license.”
Family life was hard, but Jim worked harder.
Football became a passion for Postecoglou and a way to bond with his father.
“The only time I saw my father happy was when we went to see football on Sundays. If I loved football as much as he does, I would be close to him,” he told the Scottish player.

Postecoglou said he tries to be affectionate with his three sons, James, Max and Alexi, because his father never gave him a hug.

Ange Postecoglou celebrates Australia’s victory over South Korea in the 2015 Asian Cup final in Sydney. sauce: AAP / Dean Lewins

Postecoglu retired at the age of 27 after an impressive playing career at South Melbourne Hellas, which included being managed by Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas.

He then took over as coach of the club, winning three trophies.
Realizing that his potential was wasted on a suburban Greek team, the Australian national football team appointed him as manager of the U-17 national team and later the U-20 national team.
“I lost my job,” Postecoglou said in a 2006 interview with former footballer Craig Foster on the station after a string of poor performances.
In a heated exchange, Foster called for him to step down as youth team coach after failing to qualify for the U-20 World Cup.
In 2008, Postecoglou put on his coaching hat in Greece and spent a year coaching a third division team. and relocated to Melbourne for his second uncertain future in his life.

He took up a coaching position with the Whittlesey Zebras of the Victoria Premier League. The team was relegated to the lower leagues, a process that often destroyed a manager’s career.

But A-League side Brisbane Roar knew Postecoglou was more than paperwork and signed him on as coach in 2009.
It turned out to be an inspired decision and his attacking style of football soon won the title before signing for A-League powerhouses Melbourne Victory.

The footballers decided to join the Postecoglou party and Postecoglou led the team to the 2014 Brazil World Cup and won the 2015 Asian Cup in his home country.

A man in a yellow shirt is kissing a football trophy in his hands.

Soccer legend Tim Cahill of Australia kisses the Asian Cup trophy in 2015. sauce: AAP / Dean Lewins

However, he shocked the Australian football world when he resigned from the national team on the eve of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

His next move was to Japan, where he led the Yokohama F. Marinos to victory in 2019 despite not speaking the language.
This success helped open the door for his eventual emigration to Scotland.
Postecoglou said in 2021, “I understand what sacrifice is and what it’s like to be in a privileged position like this.”

“I don’t take this for granted because I know how hard my father and mother worked. They sacrificed everything in their lives to be here for me. Although his father passed away in 2018, Postecoglou said he uses his spirit as motivation.

Anju Postecoglou hugs a player on the field

Ange Postecoglou celebrates winning the J.League title in Japan in 2019. sauce: APs / Ryohei Moriya

Current Socceroos manager Graham Arnold said he was ‘very happy’ to see his sidekick appointed to Tottenham’s job, citing his ‘obsession’.

“I always knew he had that mentality where he wanted to go and it was going to the top,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“He had some setbacks, but that’s coaching. You learn from those setbacks, and Ange has always been someone determined to prove the doubters wrong.”
Arnold said Postecoglou is paving the way for Australia’s leaders.
Postecoglou is reportedly on a family vacation, but he is certainly gearing up for life in England, where he competes in the richest, fastest and most watched league in the world.

He has a big job of rebuilding a winning culture at the Spurs (where the team finished eighth last season), but he knows the effort better than most.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/who-is-ange-postecoglou/b688dkg0p Anju Postecoglou: How Greek immigrants are conquering football

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