Forward-thinking Celtic boss Postecoglou is making hires that reflect his ethos

By Euan Davidson

January 12, 2022

Given that Ange Postecoglou arrived at Celtic without his own staff, it’s always something of an event when the club makes a hire in the backroom.

Today, we saw two in one go. Antoine Ortega, a top data analyst, has reportedly been brought in. Formerly of Benfica, Ortega specialises in the mathematics and nitty-gritty of football analysis. He also has a website where he studies the NBA, showing an adeptness across sports.

Meanwhile, Celtic announced Stuart McLaren would be taking over the club’s U18s. And when he was revealed to supporters, he shared Ange’s ideas about a pathway to the first team, realising potential, and creating new stars [Celtic FC]. It’s the kind of thing you hope an Academy manager will say, granted. But McLaren knew Postecoglou from his club career in Australia. There’s crossover.

Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

Earlier in the season, Anton McElhone was brought in. A guy known for improving the physical performance of his players, he’s also something of an innovator. He’s a big believer in treatments like Turmeric, and that’s seen Celtic establish commercial partnerships.

The point?

Celtic have brought three new members of staff in under Ange Postecoglou. And each, in their own way, share in a more all-encompassing vision. Ange is helping Celtic to make hires that reflect his ethos.

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Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou will undoubtedly bring more staff in time, but early signs are positive

Take Ortega, again, as an example. Ange Postecoglou is, by all accounts and measures, someone who isn’t afraid to adapt to new ideas. Having an expanded data analysis team will be of major interest to him. Not just in terms of accruing targets, but getting an advantage over opposition.

Whether it’s Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Cup, or Bodø/Glimt in the Europa Conference League, Ange wants the advantage.

McElhone’s impact speaks for itself. He was a crucial hire, especially with Celtic enduring so many injuries over half a season. Something will have to change, and hopefully that comes from McElhone’s approaches bearing fruit.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

By appearances, too, the McLaren hire for the U18s means that Ange is putting someone he trusts in one of the most important roles. Ange has spoken at length about restructuring, and the importance of the Academy. There is no doubt that Postecoglou will have been involved in that hiring process.

Good scouting, good fitness and talent for the future; those are three key pillars of what Ange wants at Celtic during his time at the club, and beyond.

Now, he’s had a major say in who enacts each of these pillars. If they succeed, so has Ange.

This is important stuff. It bodes well for a future with a forward-thinking, progressively-minded manager.

Read more: Reo Hatate says J League accolades don’t matter as he embarks on Celtic adventure

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