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The Man Behind Our Asia Cup Winning Socceroos

He's fiercely patriotic and has repeatedly met doubt and cynicism head on to deliver winning teams that have produced an exciting new form of football and earned Australia our first Asia Cup.

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Above: Ange Postecoglou offering a few supportive words to Tim Cahill

By Platinum Speakers

On Saturday 31st January, more than 76,000 people filled Sydney’s Stadium Australia to watch two-time winners Korea Republic and Australia’s Socceroos battle it out for the prestigious Asia Cup. Thousands more gathered in front of television screens across the country. It was the closest our Socceroos had come to claiming this Holy Grail and tensions were high.

The final was the culmination of 32 matches between Asia’s best 16 teams that were staged in five host cities over 23 days - Melbourne, Canberra, Newcastle, Brisbane and Sydney, and it was the first Asia Cup to be held on Australian soil. The tournament smashed viewing records, squaring it up as the most watched AFC Asian Cup in sporting history.

To say the game was a nail biter is an understatement. After Midfielder Massimo Luongo opened the scoring just before half time, Son Heung-min turned up the heat with a hair-raising equaliser at the 91st minute mark that had crowds on the edge of their seats and pushed the game into 30 minutes of extra time.

The dream finale for the Socceroos hit its peak halfway through extra time when James Troisi kicked the winning goal, securing the title for Australia with a 2-1 victory that sent an ecstatic roar through the stadium.

The man behind this winning team is Ange Postecoglou. Since the beginning of his tenure in 2013, Ange has faced a barrage of doubt and lack of confidence in his suitability for the job. Throughout this, he maintained focus on the task at hand; on delivering the fittest, strongest team possible, both mentally and physically, to this prestigious tournament. And bring it he did.

A former Australian footballer with South Melbourne FC, Ange played 193 games from 1984 to 1993 in the National Soccer League, where he was part of the winning team in their 1984, 1990 and 1991 titles (the latter as captain) before moving into coaching. In his role as coach, he led South Melbourne FC to consecutive NSL titles in 1997-98 and 1998-99, as well as winning the 1999 Oceania Club Championship, which took them to the 2000 FIFA Club World Championships.

To this day, Ange is the only person to have been involved in all four of South Melbourne’s National Soccer League title-winning teams, the first two as a player and the latter as coach.

In October 2009, Ange was signed as the new Brisbane Roar coach. He immediately began rebuilding the team, replacing several key players and asking for 12 months before being judged for his decisions. He successfully placated critics apprehensions by winning and playing a new entertaining brand of football. The 4-0 win against Adelaide United in round 13 was highly praised by media as some of the best football the A-League had ever seen.

Ange went on to lead Brisbane Roar to the Premiership and Championship in the 2010-11 season, winning the Grand Final in front of 52,168 people at Suncorp Stadium. The Roar only lost 1 game all season, going on a 28-game unbeaten run, which broke the previous Australian football record.

When Socceroos coach Holger Osieck’s time with the club came to an end in 2013, IF Football Federation Australia Chairman Frank Lowy was determined that another European coach be appointed, believing them to be more able to lead the team to victory than an Australian coach.

After some persuasion by Chief Executive David Gallop however, Frank relented and Ange was appointed to the position in October 2013.

Any previous wavering belief or lack of faith in the club over the past 12 months has now been well and truly obliterated thanks to Ange and his players, who have shown extraordinary strength and unity, as demonstrated by their exhilarating Asia Cup win which was achieved in large part through sheer determination and mental power, long after physical exhaustion took hold.

Ange now has his eyes on the next target, hoping the Socceroos can go on and challenge the best teams in the world, starting at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, where they will be Asia's representative in 2017.

Time and time again, Ange Postecoglou has faced criticism, judgement and doubt over his abilities to deliver, and time and time again, he has delivered. He is a fierce patriot with a firm belief that we have the expertise and aptitude both on and off the field to be leaders in this game; his feelings and gratitude expressed to the players, officials and fans at the Cup final being testament to this.

Ange is a leader in the truest form. He is adept at tuning out the noise, focusing on what needs to be done and on the team he leads. It is for them he feels immense pride and admiration. His achievements are enormous, but Ange is content to leave the spotlight with those players on the field, those who, under his unwavering support and dedication, for the first time in sporting history, have brought home the Asia Cup.

Ange can personally help empower your team, manage change and strengthen leadership within your own business. Find out how.