Geelong Advertiser

A master at raising the bar

- Adrian LEIJER

ANGE Postecoglo­u changed the game domestical­ly during his time in the A-League.

The Roar won back-to-back championsh­ips and created an Australian record in any football code with a 36-game unbeaten streak.

Even in what was just a short time at Melbourne Victory, he raised the bar.

There are certain changes that he implemente­d here that are still helping us as the team we are today.

Everywhere he goes, Ange leaves his mark. He’s now left a massive mark on Australian football by delivering our first major trophy.

It is quite a legacy he’s leaving. Already with what he’s achieved in the A-League and now with the Socceroos, he will never be forgotten.

The exciting part is, he still has so much further to go.

Ange’s record speaks for itself. I’ve always been a supporter of his. That’s partly because I’ve worked under him and know he always has a plan, and will always get the best out of his players.

The past few weeks have proven that.

Even during the Asian Cup, there were questions being asked about rotations and team selection.

In the end his plan worked — the fitness and freshness of the squad was crucial in overcoming a tiring South Korea in the final.

So what makes him such a good coach? His biggest attribute is his ability to give his players the confidence they need to do the job.

Especially before a big game, when you’re nervous and anticipati­ng what’s about to happen, he gets up in front of the group and gives you the confidence and self-belief that you’re ready to go out and win the game.

His record in finals attests to that. It’s why he doesn’t just win games, but wins trophies.

He’s also very thorough in his work and expects the highest of standards at training. That means when you get to game day, you are already at another level.

Plus, he’s a football tragic. He lives and breathes football.

When you put all these ingredient­s together, it makes for an incredibly successful coach.

He is the sort of coach that keeps his distance from players. Every coach has a different style, and this obviously works for him. I had him first in under-17s and I thought he was intimidati­ng then, and again 10 years later when he came to Victory I still found him just as intimidati­ng.

So with the Asian Cup trophy in the cabinet, all eyes turn back to the A-League. It’s fair to say we have a score to settle after the last Melbourne derby. We were bitterly disappoint­ed to suffer our first loss of the season, but even more so when it comes in the last minute against your cross-town rivals.

City has gradually improved as the season has gone on, whereas we’ve been more consistent across the board.

But form and ladder position generally goes out the window in a derby.

Though a win in the derby means more than any other game, the most important thing for both sides will be the three points. We’re trying to keep the pressure on top spot, while City is trying to ensure they play finals.

We had a very disappoint­ing final 10 minutes last start against Perth, letting slip an excellent chance to close the gap at the top of the table.

We’ve had the week’s break, and everyone’s champing at the bit to get out there and get on with the second half of the season.

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