Ange Postecoglou told the Socceroos they could inspire an entire generation at home with an emotional first visit to Wembley.
Invited alongside another former national team boss, Guus Hiddink, to address a new generation of Australian internationals at a lunch on Wednesday, the high-flying Postecoglou urged the players to make a impact in this prestigious match.
Graham Arnold has invited his two best predecessors as Socceroos coaches to the World Cup to help rally the team ahead of Friday’s sold-out friendly in London, calling them an “inspiration” to his team.
It was a real coup, in particular, to bring Postecoglou on board, as he is just about the most in-demand voice in English football at the moment, unassumingly doing wonders with unbeaten and top-of-the-table Tottenham. the Premier League.
None of the former managers wanted to be a distraction during the big week, but Postecoglou told the team to appreciate “the impact you can have on future generations when you play at a stadium like Wembley”.
“Make an impact,” he said. “It’s not just for you, it’s going to be a little boy or a little girl who’s going to look at this and say, ‘One day, that’ll be me.’
Delighted to reunite with friends from his days as Socceroos boss, Postecoglou said: “Now I’m in the Premier League and everyone loves me, but believe me, I haven’t changed at all and the boys will tell you “I’m still the same person.
“But because I was Australian, because you’re Australian, sometimes you have to work a little harder. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Arnold, who is hoping to create a similar sensation to the one Frank Farina’s Socceroos achieved in 2003 when they beat England at Upton Park, added: “It was typical of Ange and Guus, they don’t want to be distracted, they just wanted to come in for lunch.
“Guus wanted to congratulate the boys on what we achieved at the World Cup and Ange spoke about what we can do for Australian football and children’s lives. That’s great to hear.
“The Socceroos are a family and we brought the two ex-dads – and actually I can call Guus the grandfather – so the players who didn’t work under them could see them.
“What Ange is doing in the Premier League with Tottenham is an inspiration to everyone. Seeing him again was great.”
Arnold was particularly delighted to reunite with Hiddink, the Dutch maestro he assisted during their run to the round of 16 of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Hiddink, in fine form at 76, came out of retirement to assist Arnold ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and revealed how much he enjoyed meeting Postecoglou for the first time.
“It was an honor today,” said “Aussie Guus”.
“Three Socceroos coaches who work with great pleasure with the national team.”
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