Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has completed one of the most significant achievements by an Australian coach, winning the J-League with Yokohama F.Marinos.
Postecoglou’s team wrapped up the Japanese championship in style on Saturday, defeating nearest rivals Tokyo FC 3-0 to secure the title by six points.
Success in Japan adds to Postecoglou’s impressive honour roll in his coaching career including Australia’s 2015 Asian Cup win, two A-League championships with Brisbane Roar and two NSL titles with South Melbourne.
The victory secured Yokohama’s first J-League crown since 2005 and came despite Yokohama being reduced to 10 men for most of the second-half of Saturday’s fixture.
“We played our best football at the most important time and that’s why we ended up champions,” Postecoglou said. “Again our players showed tremendous belief and confidence and played fantastic football.”
As well as his titles, Postecoglou was also at the helm of Brisbane Roar during their 36-match undefeated run in 2011 – a feat which eclipsed the national club record held for 74 years by rugby league’s Eastern Suburbs.
He also successfully led the Socceroos to qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia before surprisingly resigning from the position two weeks later in November 2017. Within a month of that decision, Postecoglou had joined Yokohama.
After guiding them to a 12th-placed finish in his first season in charge, Postecoglou has transformed the club into a title-winning side with an attractive, attacking flair.
The success with Yokohama has reportedly put Postecoglou on the radar of European clubs, as well as the Japan national team. For now though, Postecoglou was adamant he still had work to do at Yokohama.
“I’m definitely going to be around next year, for sure,” he said. “There’s still stuff that I want to do here. I still think we can be better.”
Postecoglou’s title win will means Yokohama will enter next season’s Asian Champions League with the potential to face A-League opposition.