Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou spoke about the differences and pressures of transitioning from player to manager and balancing work and family life. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the manager also shares his advice for young coaches and why social media negatively impacts mental health.
Postecoglou joined Celtic from Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan last summer and led Parkhead’s side to the brink of Scottish Premiership title and League Cup success in his first season.
After an exciting playing career that took him to management, he talks about the pressures that come with the role.
He said Sky Sports News: “It’s not a job change. It’s a lifestyle choice. You are literally working 24/7. It’s just that kind of profession, and I’ve heard managers say they’re trying to disconnect, but the reality is it’s very hard for it.
“I have often said to young managers who come into contact with it that you have to understand that if you don’t embrace this aspect and learn to manage it, you will find life very difficult because there is no time, there is never a time when you can turn off your phone because there may be critical information on that line and you should be responsible for it. So you have to be constantly alert.
Postecoglou, who led the Australian national team from 2013 to 2017, left Yokohama F Marinos after leading them to the J1 League title in 2019, the club’s first league title in 15 years.
Postecoglou’s management career has taken him to many countries, including Australia, Japan and now Scotland. Often it is not only the managers who have to move, but also their families.
He said: “You also have to make sure you give them time because at the end of the day they make sacrifices. When I say lifestyle choice, it’s not a lifestyle choice for me. It’s a family lifestyle choice.
“Having a strong family unity and understanding again that this is a way of life that we are going to let go. It really helps.”
Asked how he handled the pressure, the first-team manager said: “You always have that competitive streak in you. And again, something I say to young managers is that the pain of a loss in your first year doesn’t diminish as the years go by, you know, you still feel it.†
“We lost the semi-finals [Scottish Cup] at Rangers, and I had some Australian friends I hadn’t seen for two years, then we had dinner. I didn’t come, my wife had to receive them, they understand because they are my friends and they have a good dinner despite that.
“But you know, it’s something you hope you can deal with better as you get older.”
The former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory head coach also reveals how he fared as an underdog in charge of several teams:
“The way I’ve handled all these things is to have a really strong family unit. I have a great group of friends that I’ve had since I was eight. I haven’t changed that,” he said. added.
“The challenging parts and the challenging parts of what I do, I always balance, when you walk into a room with eight-year-old school kids and ask them all what they want to be when they grow up.
“A very small percentage realize these dreams. I’m one of those kids. I always balance the hard things to say, well, you know what? I really do what I like.”
Asked about the abuse managers face from the sidelines, Postecoglou said: “I think it’s harder for managers that, especially now with social media and some sort of obsession with the game, to have an opinion of all quarterbacks is that it doesn’t stop at the end of a game.
“You used to dislike and still don’t like anything that came from the other side of the fence, but you can deal with it. And they know it will probably take 24 hours for the next day’s papers to come out, which you might have to deal with again.”
“But now the final whistle blows and you still have to deal with it. I think that’s why you probably don’t see managers reacting very well to what’s coming from the other side of the fence. Now, because it’s constant .” , you know there is no delay.”
Postecoglou thinks it’s much harder for young managers now than when he started his management journey.
“So when you’re a young manager and you want to create something special with those visions, it’s hard, you know, and it’s hard for the players. It’s hard for executives.
“My advice to young managers is to have good people around and find someone on their team who will be a bit of a sounding board for them because I think that’s what you need.”
When asked how he carried the nation’s hopes on his shoulders, he replied, “You should try to use it in a positive way rather than let it weigh you down. Once you start thinking about your job security or your longevity in the role, then I think it gets too overwhelming, especially in today’s world.
“I think you just need to be clear about why you’re doing what you’re doing. You like that every weekend is a game of winning and losing.
The official theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is solitude and takes place from 9 to 15 May. You can get more information and help at: website†
If you are concerned about mental health issues or would like to voice your opinion, please contact the Samaritans on the toll-free helpline 116 123, or visit the website†