NICK MONTGOMERY believes Ange Postecoglou’s overwhelming Celtic success has helped open doors for A-League coaches.
The new Hibernian manager jumped at the chance to follow in Postecoglou’s footsteps as the latest import into the SPFL from Australia. Born in Leeds, Montgomery has Australian citizenship and last season led unfancied Central Coast Mariners to the A-League championship.
That achievement attracted interest from Edinburgh as Hibs sought to replace Lee Johnson, with a deal to hire Montgomery struck following discussions with chief-executive Ben Kensell and head of recruitment Ian Gordon in Dubai.
The 41-year-old was impressed by how Postecoglou, now Tottenham Hotspur manager, ‘quashed’ scepticism around his Celtic appointment and agreed that he has helped shift perceptions. Postecoglou had won league championships in Australia and Japan, but was aged 55 before securing his first position in a European top-flight.
“Definitely [it has opened doors],” said Montgomery. “The media around Ange and the negativity when he came over to Scotland, he quashed that pretty quickly. Ange is a good guy and I saw the work he did in the A League in terms of the success he had there and in Japan.
“He is Australian but I’m from Leeds originally. I’m English and I have been in Australia so I saw how good it was for Australian football and he gets a lot of support over there. You see the support he is getting at Tottenham now is well desevered because he has done very well everywhere he’s been.
“He has had success everywhere he’s been and I have seen him closely. I have played against his teams when I first went out there but I have never coached against him because he had already moved over to Jason but I have followed him closely and been impressed with what he’s achieved and I’m sure he is going to be able to achieve more.”