By Chineze Ogugua
Australia’s coach Ange Postecoglou has stepped down after deciding not to continue in the post until the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia for personal reasons.
The 52-year-old made the announcement at a media conference in Sydney on Wednesday, flanked by Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop.
In the announcement, he said:
“It’s been the toughest decision, it’s not the ending I envisaged but it won’t take away from how rich this experience has been.
“I love coaching Australian players, I’ve often said to them when you make a choice in this country to play football and that’s going to be your dream, you’re choosing the hardest possible road and it takes enormous courage. That’s why I love coaching Australian players.
“It has been a privilege for me to coach my country’s national team, to lead them at the 2014 World Cup, to win the Asian Cup in 2015, and now to have qualified for the World Cup next year. I said we would do it and we have done it.
“All this, however, has taken a toll on me both personally and professionally. I have invested all I can knowing how important a period it was for Australian football. It is with a heavy heart that I must now end the journey.
“To coach your own country is the greatest privilege, but it also has enormous responsibility. I feel now is the right time to pass on that responsibility to someone who will have the energy it requires. I owe this to the FFA, the players and the fans.
“I look forward to watching the team take on the world next year. I have no doubt that road ahead will have many special moments and no one will be happier than me watching and cheering from afar.”
Postecoglou was appointed Socceroos coach in October 2013, on a five-year contract, replacing Holger Osieck after the German was sacked following successive 6-0 defeats by Brazil and France. Since then, he has taken Australia to the 2014 World Cup, won the 2015 AFC Asian Cup which they hosted and qualified them for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
FFA chief executive David Gallop was disappointed with his decision but thanked him for his services to the sport in Australia.
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