Sport Football Football: Ange Postecoglou assessing next move after J-League triumph
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Football: Ange Postecoglou assessing next move after J-League triumph

Ange Postecoglou celebrates with his Yokohama F.Marinos players after winning the J.League championship. Photo: Getty
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Ange Postecoglou is adamant wherever he goes he’ll be a success.

The ex-Socceroos coach has repeatedly downplayed talk of a move to Europe after leading Yokohama F. Marinos to the J-League title on Saturday.

Postecoglou has a year left on his contract in Japan and says he still has things he wants to achieve with Yokohama.

As for future plans, he is keeping an open mind.

“I figured out pretty early no point putting goals or ambitions in front of you,” Postecoglou told Optus Sport.

“The football world’s amazing where it can take you and I’ll just see. I’ll just see what happens after here.

I’ve still got some things to do here … and then where the next step takes me mate, I don’t think too much about.

“Wherever it is I’ll do what I’ve always done and tackle it head on.

“I know I’ll be successful.

“I don’t say that in an arrogant way. I just know that what I do and the way I get my teams to play and the belief that I can instil in people … the fact that I’m Australian or geography isn’t going to stop me from believing I can succeed wherever I am.”

Postecoglou’s Japanese success adds to a glittering honour roll as a coach including Australia’s 2015 Asian Cup win, two A-League championships with Brisbane Roar and two NSL titles with South Melbourne.

He coached the Socceroos at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and successfully qualified them for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Two weeks after securing that qualification, Postecoglou stepped down from the Socceroos job amid frustration with criticism of his selection and tactics.

A month later the 54-year-old headed to Japan to take the reins of Yokohama but refused to claim his title win was a vindication of his decision to walk away from Australian football.

“We’re passionate about sport. Not everyone’s going to like the way I do things. Not everyone’s going to agree with my decisions,” Postecoglou told ABC’s Offsiders program.

“I get that. It’s not what drives me. For me, I love the joy of sport, any sport.

“I love seeing young people – men and women – realising their dreams and tackling things without fear.

“That’s what gets me up every morning. I’ve dodged having a real job my whole life mate and as long as that continues I feel very blessed.”

The ex-Socceroos coach added the Japanese championship to his achievements with a 3-0 win over nearest rivals FC Tokyo.

The victory secured Yokohama’s first J-League crown since 2005 and came despite Yokohama being reduced to 10 men for most of the second half of Saturday’s fixture.

A delighted Postecoglou hailed his players for their calmness as they wrapped up the league, winning the title by a six-point margin.

“We played our best football at the most important time and that’s why we ended up champions,” the 54-year-old said.

Again our players showed tremendous belief and confidence and played fantastic football.’’

As well as his titles, Postecoglou was also at the helm of Brisbane Roar during its 36-match undefeated run in 2011 – a feat that eclipsed the national club record held for 74 years by rugby league’s Eastern Suburbs.

He also successfully led the Socceroos to qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia before surprisingly resigning from the position two weeks later in November 2017.

After guiding Yokohama to a 12th-place finish in his first season in charge, Postecoglou has transformed the club into a title-winning side with an attractive, attacking flair.

Yokohama F.Marinos goalkeeping coach coach Shigetatsu Matsunaga shares the spoils with the players. Photo: Getty

The success with Yokohama has reportedly put Postecoglou on the radar of European clubs, as well as the Japan national team.

For now though, Postecoglou was adamant he still had work to do at Yokohama.

“I’m definitely going to be around next year, for sure,” he said.

-with AAP

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