Celtic arrive in Australia for Sydney Super Cup as emotional Ange Postecoglou opens up on Hall of Fame honour

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Hoops boss has taken his 24-man Hoops squad Down Under for this week’s glamour tournament with Sydney FC and Everton.

Ange Postecoglou and his Celtic squad have arrived in Australia ahead of this week’s inaugural Sydney Super Cup - and it appears they are an instant hit with an expectant audience.

The Hoops will play two friendly fixtures against local A-League side Sydney FC on Thursday 17 November (08.45am GMT) and Premier League outfit Everton on Sunday 20 November (03.45am GMT) in the glamour tournament to further enhance the club’s status Down Under.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Returning skipper Callum McGregor HAS travelled with the 24-man squad and was pictured taking part in an open training session this morning. He admitted: “I’m sure the gaffer will be keen for us to put on a good show coming back to his home country. He will be putting pressure on the lads to make sure they are performing well. Good football, good intensity and want to have two victories as well.”

Celtic are in Australia for the Sydney Super Cup. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images for Bursty)Celtic are in Australia for the Sydney Super Cup. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images for Bursty)
Celtic are in Australia for the Sydney Super Cup. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images for Bursty)

The Scottish champions met with Australia’s Minister for Tourism, Benjamin Franklin at Hickson Road Reserve overlooking the famous Sydney Opera House during a promotional event, but this trip is certainly no vacation for the players.

Smiles were never far away from the Celtic squad as they greeted a select few local supporters who had been granted early access to oversee training at the 42,500-capacity Allianz Stadium, the state-of-the-art venue for tomorrow’s match against Sydney FC. Players were more than happy to pose for selfies and sign autographs, while the Parkhead boss was also in appreciative mood as he made time for a handful of fans.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The opportunity to head to Australia for an event billed as ‘Ange Postecoglou’s homecoming tour’, was too good for the Glasgow giants to turn down due to various factors. Not only does the trip provide long-distance Hoops followers to meet and watch their heroes in person rather than through a television screen, it’s also advantageous from a financial standpoint.

Minister for Tourism, Ben Franklin is presented a Celtic jersey by Ange Postecoglou during a Sydney Super Cup media opportunity at Hickson Rd ReserveMinister for Tourism, Ben Franklin is presented a Celtic jersey by Ange Postecoglou during a Sydney Super Cup media opportunity at Hickson Rd Reserve
Minister for Tourism, Ben Franklin is presented a Celtic jersey by Ange Postecoglou during a Sydney Super Cup media opportunity at Hickson Rd Reserve | Getty Images for Bursty

Former Socceroos head coach Postecoglou, who earned Hall of Fame recognition in his homeland yesterday, will also be honoured by Football Australia and is set to take part in two question and answer nights. He will then make an emotional return to Melbourne next week for the first time since the Coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking of his excitement at the honour, the 57-year-old told Celtic TV: “I feel old. Usually when you get into these things, you have a body of work behind you. I’m humbled. The majority of my football journey was in Australia. For me, it was always about ‘how can I achieve things that I watched and dreamed about as a kid?’

“It revolved around Australian football. When I think about everything that’s happened to me in my life and professional journey, football has been the one constant. To be recognised in this way, for me and my family - my parents and my father in particular, who was the one who set me off on this path - it’s truly humbling.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’m pretty blessed that everything I have achieved so far has been recognised in this way. Hopefully there is more to come. Along the way what’s been important to me and resonated with me is the people footbll has brought into my life. My best mates are guys I met at my football club when I was eight years old. When you reflect on it, I’ve had a lot of success - but it’s about the people I shared it with.

Ben Franklin poses for a photo with the Celtic squad during a Sydney Super Cup media eventBen Franklin poses for a photo with the Celtic squad during a Sydney Super Cup media event
Ben Franklin poses for a photo with the Celtic squad during a Sydney Super Cup media event | Getty Images for Bursty

“Dreams cannot put into boxes - where you’re born or where your grew up should not limit it. There are players who have gone overseas and shown being born in Australia is not an impediment to having success at the best possible level. Hopefully I can do that as a manager and have shown that to anyone in Australia who dreams big. Being on the other side of the world shouldn’t stop you from realising those dreams.”

Travelling Celtic squad:

GOALKEEPERS - Joe Hart, Benjamin Siegrist, Scott Bain

DEFENDERS - Carl Starfelt, Alexandro Bernabei, Anthony Ralston, Mortiz Jenz, Stephen Welsh, Greg Taylor, Bosun Lawal

MIDFIELDERS - Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi, Oliver Abildgaard, Callum McGregor, Matt O’Riley, David Turnbull, Scott Robertson

FORWARDS - Kyogo Furuhashi, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Liel Abada, Sead Haksabanovic, Jota, James Forrest Rocco Vata

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.