Ange Postecoglou is the toast of Glasgow’s green half after successfully sealing a 52nd Scottish title with Celtic.
The Australian Bhoys manager was all smiles at Parkhead after watching his side come from behind to beat Hearts 4-1 on Saturday and – almost mathematically – claim the Premiership crown.
The win puts Celtic nine points clear of arch-rivals Rangers, who have three games to play but have a vastly inferior goal difference of 22.
The ecstatic scenes at Celtic Park are testament to the remarkable influence former Socceroos boss Postecoglou has had since taking over a demoralized club in June last year.
Celtic had lost their way as Rangers, under former boss Steven Gerrard, ruled the Scottish roost, but Postecoglou, initially seen at Parkhead as ‘Angel Who?’, became a cult figure after rejuvenating their fortune.
The 56-year-old restored the club’s attacking identity while bringing in new ideas and personnel as his new Celtic look won two trophies in his first season following League Cup success in December.
It seemed fitting that Celtic’s victory on Saturday was down to goals from four of Postecoglou’s inspired signings – Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi, Matt O’Riley and Giorgos Giakoumakis.
Hearts had spoiled the party atmosphere early on with a third-minute goal from Ellis Sims before Maeda and Furuhashi, both identified by Postecoglou during his successful spell in Japan, replied before the break.
England-born Denmark Under-21 international O’Riley then fired in the decisive third after the break, before Greece international Giakoumakis sealed the deal at the last minute.
His latest success only solidifies Postecoglou’s position as the most successful Australian rules football manager ever produced.
He has coached champion teams in his native South Melbourne and Brisbane Roar, in Japan with Yokohama F. Marinos and now in Scotland, and has taken the Socceroos to the World Cup after guiding them to the European Cup title. ‘Asia.