Socceroos coach spectacularly quits
SOCCEROOS coach Ange Postecoglou won't be going to the World Cup in Russia next year after revealing he's quitting his post.
He announced his decision at a press conference on Wednesday morning alongside FFA boss David Gallop.
"This is a tough morning for me," Postecoglou said. "After much soul searching I've decided the journey for me ends here.
"It's something I've mulled over for a while ... and I really tried to coach for the moment.
"It was the right time for me and the right time for the team and the organisation.
"It's been a tough decision. It's not the ending I envisaged but it won't take away from how rich this experience has been.
"I love coaching Australian players. I've often said to them when you make a choice in this country to play football and that's going to be your dream you're choosing the hardest possible road and it takes enormous courage. That's why I love coaching Australian players."
Postecoglou did not tell his players of his decision before he announced his resignation publicly, saying it was "just too tough".
"I haven't spoken to the players. I couldn't face them to speak about it," he said. "It would have been impossible for me to do.
"I'll contact them all and reach out to all of them - their journey continues. I'll be their biggest supporter. Come Russia, they're going to do some damage."
He admitted he leaves with a sense of "unfinished business" but said that would have been the case regardless of when his reign ended.
He struggled to hold back tears as he thanked his family for supporting him on his journey.
"To my three boys - you make me smile everyday. And to my beautiful wife ... I left 24 hours after (son) Max was born because we were playing Ecuador in London," Postecoglou said.
"I'll never be able to repay the sacrifices she's made to allow me to pursue my dream of coaching the national team over the past four years.
"Hopefully one day I'll be able to repay it before she realises she can do a lot better than me."
Postecoglou has come under fire for being terse with the media as the Socceroos' campaign went down to the wire, but he said that was only because of his fierce desire to get to the World Cup.
"It's looked like I've been under siege in recent times and people have commented on my demeanour. My demeanour was like that because I was trying to get us to a World Cup, not because I felt under pressure," he said.
He denied he was fighting "internal battles" with the FFA.
Gallop said he was "disappointed" and "puzzled" by Postecoglou's decision but respected his right to make it and was proud of what the national team mentor was able to do with Australian football during his tenure.
"Sometimes you reach a point you know you need to do something new," Gallop said.
"I'm especially proud we showed that an Australian football coach could coach the Socceroos.
"In whatever you do I know you'll be successful and you'll also be a friend to football in Australia."
There was much speculation over what the coach would do ahead of the 2018 tournament after he refused to confirm he would lead the Socceroos to Russia.
Postecoglou spent Tuesday in discussion with the FFA before attending last night's Cup final between Sydney FC and Adelaide United, where he was spotted talking to FFA chairman Steven Lowy.
Lowy and Gallop were eager to retain Postecoglou in the job after he led Australia to the World Cup with a 3-1 win last week over Honduras, concluding a marathon 22-match qualification process.