It would seem Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has always had management in his blood.
Talking to Mark Howard on his popular podcast The Howie Games, Postecoglou revealed that his first taste of running a team was at the age of 12.
Postecoglou was playing for his school team in Melbourne’s inner south-east in the mid-70s when he found the teacher charged with coaching the team to be not quite up to standard.
“I went to Prahran High School and really we were an afterthought, the soccer team,” Ange told Howie.
“The music teacher was assigned our coach, and I remember the first training session, we had a couple of balls from last year, a couple of cones.
“We started playing and the teacher sat down under the trees and started marking the work for tomorrow and I go ‘nah that’s not gonna do us, I’ll take charge here’.”
And so it became Ange’s side
“As a 12-year-old I literally became the coach of the team, I set up training, I set up the team and how we were gonna play,” he said.
At that time soccer was such a marginal sport that the team didn’t have their own uniforms, borrowing them from the school’s footy side.
“You get the hand-me-downs from last year’s Aussie rules team, the sleeveless woollen jumpers,” Ange said of his team.
“It was a shocking look, but we almost wore it as a badge of honour.
“They’d see us coming and go ‘these guys can’t play,’ and we were just a bunch of Italian and Greek kids who could play.”
In fact they could play so well that they won and won.
“We won the state high school championship,” Ange said.
“This ragtag bunch of guys with cast-off shirts came and won the championship.”
Check out Howie’s full interview with Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou here, where he talks about his love and passion for the beautiful game:
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