Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Ange Right Man but Wrong Time; What Legacy Will Coach Leave Now?

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Ange Right Man but Wrong Time; What Legacy Will Coach Leave Now?

Article excerpt


FOOTBALL: Ange Postecoglou was a breath of fresh air for Australian soccer, but yet again his chance came at the wrong time.

His Socceroos legacy will in many ways be shaped by next month's playoffs against Honduras.

Coaches are judged on results and Russia 2018 qualification would cap off an impressive international CV.

But can 180 minutes define a legacy? World Cup qualification won't change the fact that Australia's soccer ecosystem is polluted. Postecoglou, as the Socceroos boss, is the face of it.

It's a rough coincidence that a local was deemed good enough to take charge of the Socceroos when Australia's playing stocks were at an all-time low.

Australia did not see its youth development demise coming either, when Postecoglou was blamed for failing to qualify the Young Socceroos for the 2006 Under 20 World Cup for the first time since 1989.

Since, Australia has bombed eight of 14 youth World Cup qualifiers - this is the Socceroos' production line. Postecoglou's shock decision to quit is another bombshell for Australian soccer amid the current political crisis engulfing the game. The Socceroos' success was papering over the game's cracks and now, with the game in crisis mode, Postecoglou has become the fall guy. The Postecoglou era can only be accurately assessed by rewinding four years.

When he took over in October 2013, the Socceroos were on the nose and Holger Osieck had bred an environment of entitlement, reluctant to even experiment in friendlies.

Postecoglou, with broom in hand, was instantly unpopular with the old guard. Only Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano survived.

Some golden generation players were pushed, others walked. None of those, perhaps Brett Holman aside, would be left today.

One wonders where the team would be if not for his overhaul. …

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