Postecoglou: I've made my mark
Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou feels he is on his way to leaving an indelible mark on Australian football after guiding the Roar to back-to-back A-League titles. The dramatic 2-1 win over Perth at Suncorp Stadium yesterday made Postecoglou the most successful coach in Australian domestic football history, with four national titles to his credit.
In two-and-a-half years, Postecoglou has transformed the Roar from shambolic underachievers to the toast of the A-League, effectively redefining expectations of how Australian teams are capable of playing.
Reflecting on his second consecutive grand final win, Postecoglou said he took great pride in his success as a coach and that he felt he was beginning to fulfil his life ambition. "I keep bringing up how many grand finals I've made and won and I'm really proud of that, (because) it's what drives me as a coach," he said.
"I'm constantly seeking some sort of credibility and leaving my mark... I've worked really hard with the players and the teams and the staff that I've had to get those championships," Postecoglou admitted. "Four is great and I'm really proud of it; it's almost overwhelming because I think when I started my coaching career I had some real ambition to do things that I hoped were great and I think I've made a bit of a mark now."
Postecoglou's work at the helm in Brisbane has made him the most sought-after mentor in the country. With reports of a contract offer worth millions from Melbourne Victory provoking mass speculation over the past months, Postecoglou has been in a constant battle to keep his plans for the future to himself and focus on Brisbane's campaign.
The Greece-born 46-year-old had no fresh information following yesterday's thriller, asking for a moment to savour his success before looking forward. "I'm going to enjoy the moment and us winning another championship and I think I deserve to bask in the celebrations we'll have over the next couple of days," he said.
"When the time's right and after I sit down and talk to the Melbourne people, the next move will be decided. I understand the curiosity about it, but from my point of view I've been consistent saying that I haven't entertained any other thoughts besides coaching this team to another championship."
While the overriding emotion in Brisbane was pride, Perth were left with a feeling of bitterness. The Roar's second goal came from a controversial late penalty when Besart Berisha went down under minimal contact from Glory midfielder Liam Miller.
Perth owner Tony Sage was quick to flag up the fact referee Jarred Gillett's girlfriend was a Roar employee. "It (Gillett's appointment) is a conflict of interest and obviously the FFA didn't think about it," Sage said. "It's a funny one ... conflict of interest issues haven't been dealt with well by the FFA. We'll be speaking to the head of the referees over the next few days just to see what his thoughts are."
Perth led the most controversial decider in A-League history from Ivan Franjic's 51st-minute own goal until Berisha's equaliser in the 84th minute, with the striker sealing the win from the spot seven minutes into injury time.