Article

Postecoglou leaves Australia post

21 November 2017 23:10

Ange Postecoglou has stepped down as the coach of Australia after leading the country to qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Although Australia triumphed against Honduras in a play-off to reach the World Cup, there had been heavy speculation Postecoglou would leave the role prior to that success.

And in a news conference on Wednesday, 52-year-old Postecoglou confirmed his resignation as Australia coach for personal reasons.

"This has been a very tough decision for me," Postecoglou - who took charge of the Socceroos in 2013 - said. 

"It has been a privilege for me to coach my country's national team, to lead them at the 2014 World Cup, to win the Asian Cup in 2015 and now to have qualified for the World Cup next year. I said we would do it and we have done it.

"All this however, has taken a toll on me both personally and professionally. I have invested all I can knowing how important a period it was for Australian football. It is with a heavy heart that I must now end the journey.

"To coach your own country is the greatest privilege but it also has enormous responsibility. I feel now is the right time to pass on that responsibility to someone who will have the energy it requires. I owe this to the FFA, the players and the fans. 

"I look forward to watching the team take on the world next year. I have no doubt that road ahead will have many special moments and no one will be happier than me watching and cheering from afar."

Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Steven Lowy said the decision to accept Postecoglou's resignation was made with regret.

"Like all Socceroos fans, we hoped Ange would stay on to the World Cup and maybe beyond. He has done an outstanding job and has always had our total support," Lowy said. "We wish him well for the future."

FFA chief executive David Gallop confirmed Australia will not be in a rush to appoint a successor to Postecoglou, with Graham Arnold expected to be a leading contender after leading Sydney FC to the domestic double.

"It's going to take some getting used to, especially for the players and the national team staff," Gallop said. "But we always knew this day would come eventually and we have been doing succession planning over the past year.

"We will not rush this process. The Socceroos will not play again until March next year at the earliest so we have time to conduct a thorough process. With a guaranteed place in the World Cup, I am sure we will attract a strong field of candidates."

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