Celtic manager's message to former club ahead of crucial cup clash
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has wished his former club South Melbourne luck ahead of a huge local derby in the FFA Cup.
Australia’s biggest cup competition has drawn South Melbourne against City Group-owned Melbourne City. Postecoglou was a junior player, a ball-boy, a player, captain, one-club man, then manager of South Melbourne [Guardian].
With “old soccer” meeting new, it’s not just a footballing clash. It’s an ideological battle. South Melbourne representing the NSL and something of a bygone era in Australian football. Melbourne City, backed by billionaire owners, are something quite different.
Postecoglou said [FFA]:
“I just wanna wish my old club South Melbourne the very best in the FFA Cup game against A-League champions Melbourne City. I’m sure everyone at South is looking forward to this big game.
“It’s a big game on a big stage. It’s where South Melbourne performs at its best.
“I grew up there. I was a ball boy, I was a junior, I was a senior player, captain, coach – it very much forms the part of the person I am today.
“Get down to the ground, it’s going to be a unique atmosphere where you really understand what the lifeblood of football is.
“Good luck to everyone, particularly my old club, and I look forward to an entertaining game.”
Celtic manager can reflect on a glorious past and an exciting present
Postecoglou doesn’t seem like the sentimental type, but he’s bound to reflect on his time with South Melbourne this weekend.
He’s the only man to be involved in each of South Melbourne’s NSL title wins. Two were as a player, and two were as their manager. Not only that, he guided South Melbourne to the infamous 2000 Club World Cup.
That was the year Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United spurned the FA Cup [FourFourTwo].
The word “Legend” doesn’t quite do Postecoglou justice when it comes to South Melbourne.
So it’s natural that the Celtic boss would lend his public support to a team that’s so entwined with his identity. But as he casts an eye homeward, he can do so in the midst of a great job at his new club.
Postecoglou has brought the fundamental footballing ideology he learned at South Melbourne and applied it to our gigantic football club. He’s the Manager of the Month, after an excellent run of results including three important away wins.
Not only that, the fans absolutely adore him. Long may it continue.