Published: Thu, November 23, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Ange Postecoglou steps down as Australia boss ahead of World Cup

Ange Postecoglou steps down as Australia boss ahead of World Cup

An emotional Ange Postecoglou said on Wednesday that he will not take Australia to the World Cup next year after a lengthy qualification campaign, leaving the team just months to find a new coach for Russian Federation.

Postecoglou spent Tuesday in talks with Football Federation Australia (FFA), before he was seen in attendance at Sydney FC's FFA Cup final win over Adelaide United.

"This has been a very tough decision for me", Postecoglou - who took charge of the Socceroos in 2013 - said.

"After a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I've decided that the journey for me ends as Socceroo coach", Postecoglou told a press conference in Sydney.

"It's something I've mulled over for a while. and I really tried to coach for the moment". I feel now is the right time to pass on that responsibility to someone who will have the energy it requires.

"All this however, has taken a toll on me both personally and professionally".

"I love coaching Australian players".

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"It's going to take some getting used to, especially for the players and the national team staff", Gallop said.

They needed an extra-time goal from Tim Cahill to advance past Syria in the first round, before using a three-goal second half in the second-leg against Honduras to book their ticket to Russian Federation.

He admitted he leaves with a sense of "unfinished business" but said that would have been the case regardless of when his reign ended.

Postecoglou was visibly emotional when thanking his family for their support.

'To my lovely wife, I left 24 hours after Max (his son) was born because we were playing Ecuador in London. And to my lovely wife. "I'll always think I could do something more", he said.

Gallop said it was too early to say if the FFA would appoint an interim coach to guide the team through the World Cup or opt for a longer-term appointment.

"Hopefully someday along the track I do get to repay her before she realises she can do a lot better than me".

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Although Australia triumphed against Honduras in a play-off to reach the World Cup, there had been heavy speculation Postecoglou would leave the role prior to that success.

"It's looked like I've been under siege in recent times and people have commented on my demeanour".

"With a guaranteed place in the World Cup, I am sure we will attract a strong field of candidates", he said.

He denied he was fighting "internal battles" with the FFA.

In doing so, Postecoglou became the first Australian-raised coach to take the Socceroos to the World Cup.

"I'm just so invested in football in this country, whatever role I've had in or out of the game, football will always be dear to me and my major driver".

And the mentor only added fuel to the fire after refusing to confirm his intentions on whether he would continue coaching Australia.

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FFA boss David Gallop said he was "confused" and "puzzled" as to Postecoglou's decision to step down on the heels of Australia's World Cup qualification.

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