Ange Postecoglou and his immigration story will resonate with Celtic fans

By Euan Davidson

June 26, 2021

Amongst all the football talk at the Ange Postecoglou press conference with fan media yesterday, the new Celtic manager really tapped into something emotional.

If anything, it might give us an insight on why the Celtic vision was sold to the Greek-Australian boss.

Asked whether he was misunderstood in any way, Postecoglou said he didn’t care. Furthermore, he added that the only critic he cared about was his father, who he’d watch European football with early in the morning in Australia. According to Postecoglou, his Dad was even more entrenched in attacking football than he is, which is quite something.

Responding to a question from the Celtic Exchange Podcast, Postecoglou said:

“I spoke about my father, he was my critic. He’s the only person I’ve listened to my whole life, and he was never happy! I could win things and he’d say “no, you could play more attacking”.

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“Hopefully you guys will get to know me over the next period of time, in terms of the kind of person I am. But I have really strong values, not just about football but about life in general. All those values are deeply rooted in the values my father passed on to me.

“We were immigrants to another land, didn’t know the language, didn’t know a soul. And yet, somehow my father managed to forge a life and an opportunity for me, that 55 years later I’m halfway around the world living my dream.”

Ange Postecoglou and his immigration story make it easy to see why he was interested in Celtic

Obviously, Celtic Football Club has its roots in immigration, in tolerance and in multiculturalism. Founded in 1887 (we played our first game in 1888, of course) to feed the poor children of Glasgow’s East End, the club was called Celtic with a soft C to represent both Irish and Scottish cultures.

Just like Melbourne Hellas, Postecoglou’s club growing up. Now called South Melbourne FC, the club were formed to help Greek immigrants to Australia integrate into a new culture and way of living.

South Melbourne supporters / (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The parallels there are uncanny. So it stands to reason that Postecoglou, whose family moved from Greece to Australia when he was 5 years old, would feel a pull towards Celtic.

Either way, we have a manager who’s worked hard for everything he’s achieved. Someone who totally understands the ethos and the charitable beginnings of the club.

That doesn’t guarantee results or success, of course. But as a person, this is a great hire by Dominic McKay. It shows an understanding of what matters to the fans; good people getting good opportunities. We crave underdog stories, which are littered through our own club’s history, from its very foundation.

Ange gets it. He understands who the club represents, and he understands the style of football we collectively demand.

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