Ange Postecoglou has resigned as Socceroos head coach, ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
In a press conference on Wednesday morning, Postecoglou said the job “has taken a toll on me both personally and professionally”, leading him to the decision to quit.
“After a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I’ve decided that the journey for me ends as Socceroos coach,” said the 52-year-old.
“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 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 the road ahead will have many special moments and no one will be happier than me watching and cheering from afar.”
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) November 22, 2017
The Australian team is set to compete in their fourth straight World Cup in Russia after beating Honduras 3-1 under Postecoglou’s lead earlier this month. The Socceroos has no schedule to play another international match until March, ahead of the World Cup in June.
David Gallop, chief of Football Federation Australia said he was “disappointed” with Postecoglou’s decision.
“I’m really disappointed that he won’t be coming to Russia,” said Gallop. “But I’m supportive of the notion that sometimes you reach a point where you just know that you need to do something new… It’s my privilege, on behalf of everyone in Australian football, to thank Ange for the past four year.”
Thanks to Ange for giving me my opportunity to do the thing I've always wanted to do and represent my country, also the way he has changed the way people look at Australians playing football. I wish him all the best in the next chapter in his life 🇦🇺🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/PrLtTgjYRv
— brad smith (@bradsmith_94) November 21, 2017
Gallop said the federation would take time to vet candidates to replace Postecoglou. “There’s a big gap in the calendar now and it’s important that we get the right person to fill his shoes,” said Gallop.
“The Socceroos will not play again until March next year at the earliest so we have time to conduct a thorough process. With a guaranteed place in the World Cup, I am sure we will attract a strong field of candidates.”