Ange Postecoglou relishing Tottenham ‘opportunity’ as he bids heartfelt goodbye to Celtic

nge Postecoglou says he is keen to “explore a new opportunity” after being appointed as Tottenham manager.

The Australian boss was officially announced as Antonio Conte’s long-term successor on Tuesday, signing a four-year contract to end Spurs’ protracted 72-day search for a new permanent head coach.

Postecoglou moves to north London from Celtic, where he claimed five of six domestic trophies available during a dominant two-year spell and completed a Treble with Saturday’s Scottish Cup final win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden Park.

In a heartfelt farewell message to Celtic, the 57-year-old revealed he had rejected the chance to pen fresh terms in Glasgow in order to make the move to Tottenham.

“They wanted me to extend my time at Celtic and while I am so respectful and understanding of their position, a new opportunity has been presented to me and it is one which I wanted to explore,” Postecoglou said.

There were no shortage of doubters when Postecoglou was first appointed at Celtic after being lured from Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos to succeed Neil Lennon in the summer of 2021, but he quickly banished any concerns by swiftly restoring the Hoops to an impressive period of dominance.

Under his guidance, Celtic lifted back-to-back Scottish Premiership titles, plus two League Cups and this season’s Scottish Cup. The 2022-23 domestic Treble was the club’s fifth in seven seasons, while they now boast the world record on that front with eight in total.

Postecoglou thanked the Celtic hierachy and supporters for their unwavering backing as he embarks upon a new chapter as the first Australian ever to take charge of a Premier League club in England.

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone at the Club for everything they have given me. In particular, Dermot, Peter and Michael and the Celtic Board have shown me tremendous support in every aspect of my time at Celtic and I will forever be grateful for this,” he said.

“They brought me to the Club and I have worked so closely and so well with them for the past two years, I will always have a special relationship with them.

“It was an honour to be asked to be Celtic manager and during my two years I have given everything I have to deliver success to our supporters. Culminating in the Treble at the weekend, my players and backroom team have been brilliant for me on this journey.

“They have given us all some fantastic moments through their energy and effort, creating real quality, winning football.

“Our supporters have been magnificent to me and I thank them for the way they have embraced me during the past two years. My ambition was always to give our fans a team they could be proud of, a team people talked about and I think we have achieved that.

“Celtic is a phenomenal football club, and so much more – and I will forever be a supporter of this great institution. I wish everyone connected with Celtic nothing but continued success.”

Postecoglou is yet to confirm the make-up of his backroom staff at Tottenham, but it is believed that he wants to bring trusted assistant John Kennedy with him from Celtic.

Celtic will now begin their search for his successor, with former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers installed as the early bookmakers’ favourite to return to Parkhead after leaving Leicester in April.

The club said in their statement to confirm Postecoglou’s departure that they “will aim to announce this appointment to supporters as soon as possible”, but stressed their “priority will be to appoint the best candidate to take the Club forward”.