"What a reaction"; Inside Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou's "remarkable" team talks

By John McGinley

July 3, 2022

Most Celtic supporters would love to be a fly on the wall of the Bhoys dressing room moments before the team takes the field – not least to hear what Ange Postecoglou would have to say.

Clips have surfaced over the years of how the Australian handles his motivational team talks, including from before last season’s Scottish League Cup final vs Hibernian at Hampden.

One man knows how he handles it better than most and that’s his former Australian national team assistant Ante Milicic.

Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Milicic worked with Ange for a number of years, including during their famous 2015 Asian Cup success.

He was a recent guest on our 67 Hail Hail YouTube channel and when asked about Postecoglou’s pre-match words, had nothing but good things to say.

Our host Hamish Carton asked Milicic whether the Celtic boss practises what he’s going to say, to which the experienced former player and coach replied: “He has to. Because you can’t deliver that. There’s always a message, there’s always a theme and he always gets you. He always gets you. He nails them, it’s remarkable.

“I used to always write notes in the back of the room so I could refer back to what he said. I also used to after every game always go into his press conferences as well, because they were always fascinating.

“The way he would always find a theme for a game and deliver that message – it was always different. Sometimes he would just speak, sometimes there was a video or sometimes he would bring an object into the room.

“The way he delivered it, that eye contact, the variation in the tone of his voice – he captured the whole room. It’s such a powerful tool of Ange’s, it was such an advantage for us as a team.

“He produced one in June 2017 – we were in Russia for the Confederations Cup playing Chile – it was Tim Cahill’s 100th game. It was incredible – talking about Tim, how he started his career, where he came from, the people who helped him along the way, what he’s become, how he defied the odds. What a reaction we got.

“If you ever want to watch a first half of football where we take the game to a top ten side – wow.”

Photo by Steve Christo – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

One can only imagine what it’ll be like inside the Celtic camp before our huge Champions League games later this year. No doubt Postecoglou will be eager to use that occasion as a hook to draw players in.

In many ways, it’s a comparable situation to Australia going up against difficult international teams.

We already know many in this Celtic squad deeply respect the Bhoys boss – but can he take them to new heights on the European scene this season?

In other news, New Celtic Sydney Super Cup opponents announced ‘soon’.