Former Australian manager Ange Postecoglou had a pretty impressive impact when he arrived at Celtic Park back in June 2021. With the club having just lost the previous title to Rangers there was plenty of work to be done, and Postecoglou very quickly made his mark and having lifted the Scottish League Cup in December of that year, we went top of the table in February with a comfortable victory over Rangers and we did not really look back.
Having gone top of the league for the first time and having ended their run of 13 straight wins, it pushed the club on further and we officially lifted the title in May with a game to spare. Confidence is high that we will repeat that in 2022/23, as with seven games played, we have 18 points from six wins and are already two points clear of the chasers.
With plenty of plaudits going the 57-year-olds way, you would get good odds of that continuing from the likes of free Ladbrokes football bets and Celtic B team coach Darren O’Dea has recently explained one of the reasons behind why the gaffer had such a quick impact on the club, and comes down to his approach, he does not view himself as simply manager, but instead as a director of football. With the former international sharing the head coach duties with former skipper Stephen McManus following the huge restructuring that took place, at Postecoglou’s insistence, with the backroom staff, O’Dea explained.
“It’s a joint role; the two of us lead the B team. Essentially it’s the reserve team, that’s the easiest way to explain it. But the difference is now that this year there’s been a restructuring it’s directly under the manager.”
The 35-year-old 20 capped Republic of Ireland international went on to explain.
“He takes a massive say in it. It’s essentially trying to align our team into the first team in terms of style of play, culture, profile of player, recruitment – everything aligns into the first-team. Hopefully this alignment gives us a better chance to get more players through. He believes in what he does. Clearly everyone in the club takes strength from that, and I am learning a lot from it.”
Having a joined up, ingrained style of play and ethos through all age group levels makes perfect sense, not only from a recruitment point of view, but also from a training and development angle. If youngsters coming through the ranks have already been inducted in what they will be asked to do when brought into the first team fold, they will settle and gain confidence quicker which is not just best for their future career, but it will better help the first team to continue to pick up positive results in the meantime.
With O’Dea taking his steps into coaching now, working so closely with Postecoglou can only be good for him personally as well, and he appreciates that and he ended the interview by explaining.
“Yes, it’s part of the role. I think the way he would describe it is myself and Stephen (McManus) would be kind of head coaches and he is the director of football. Ultimately everything will go through him, but he gives us a lot of autonomy to make decisions. That’s a fantastic learning experience for me. He is someone you look at and think in 30 years time I will probably be repeating things he has said. That is gold dust. You know you are in the right place. I am very fortunate.”
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