New Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has left a touching goodbye message for Yokohama F.Marinos.
Postecoglou departs the J-League club having won the title with them back in the 2019 campaign. It was the first time they had achieved league title success since 2004. It added to what was already a relentless trail of success back in his homeland of Australia.
The Greek-Australian arrives at Celtic Park after three-and-a-half years in charge of Yokohama. As you would expect, a strong emotional bond has been growing throughout that period.
And as he prepared to take up his new role with Celtic, he provided the following message to the Yokohama fans:
“I will always be part of the Marinos Family”
“To the Marinos Family
Unfortunately my time at the club has come to an end. After 3 and half years I have made a decision to move on to a new challenge. Words cannot express the feeling of gratitude I have towards everyone involved at the football club. From the board of directors to the staff, this special group of players, and finally the most passionate supporters in the country, everyone has given me the best support any manager could want.
When I arrived my vision was to make Yokohama F.Marinos the most talked about team in Japan. I wanted to have success but also play football that would make everyone proud of our Football club. It was not an easy path we chose and there were many challenges, but we never stopped believing that we could create something special. There have been many great moments, none better that our J.League Championship win in 2019. I will always remember that final game at Nissan Stadium.
I was also proud of the excitement we gave our supporters. We played some brilliant football at times and never stopped trying to improve in every area. We have had players represent the National Team and others follow their dreams in Europe. We have achieved so much.
On behalf of my family and I, I would like to thank the staff, the players and all our fantastic supporters. We have missed you this last 18 months. I will always be part of the Marinos Family and you will always be in my family’s heart.
As Ange Postecoglou says goodbye to Yokohama, engagement with the Celtic supporters is vital
So it’s so long and farewell for Postecoglou to Yokohama. They certainly enjoyed an incredible ride, and given he ended their 15-year wait for title success, it’s no wonder he’s so adored there.
What’s also just as promising is that affiliation with the supporters. A desire to connect and engage with the people who make the football club what it is.
Under Neil Lennon last season, it felt as though we were anything but close with the boss. He would consistently dismiss fan concerns and isolate himself from the majority of fan opinion. Hopefully, Postecoglou will be closer to supporters than that and accept accountability, something that’s been missing for too long at Celtic Park.
If he can quickly build a bond with the Celtic support, he’s off to a strong start. How he communicates in the media will be essential to this. Getting to know him in the coming weeks looks like it’s going to be an extremely interesting exercise for the fans.
Of course, the biggest tool he can use to strengthen his bond with the fanbase is to win games of football. That’s what will ultimately make him a success or a failure. His ability to do the former with Yokohama has undoubtedly been what’s led to his incredible popularity levels.