Post by Cody Shorter / 29 March 2017 / 0 Comments
Changing the Game – Football in Australia through my eyes by Ange Postecoglou with Andy Harper
We’d recommend this book to every football supporter, but particularly to aspiring elite players and coaches.
Cody’s rating – 8.0 out of 10
Jake’s rating – 8.0 out of 10
Ange Postecoglou has been at the center of Australian football for more than thirty years. In this book, he shows us the game through his eyes, from the changing room to the boardroom, to reveal how Australia must boldly reimagine its place in the world.
From his playing days with South Melbourne in the 1980s to coaching the Socceroos to victory in the 2015 Asian Cup, Ange Postecoglou’s uncompromising commitment to success has coincided with the incredible rise of football in this country
He won the old National Soccer League as a player and a coach. Now that Australian football is reaching new heights, Ange is again at the forefront: he’s won back-to-back A-League titles, led the Brisbane Roar to the longest unbeaten run in any code and the national team to the winner’s podium. He’s a man with strong opinions on how to play and lead.
Ange’s story is one of fostering a culture of success, and turning history – or precedent – on its head. He candidly relays key moments and meetings in his life, reflecting on how these have shaped his beliefs and practices, and gives frank views on where the game is currently going right and wrong. What’s revealed is a bold and impassioned account of the game he loves.
Changing the Game is a privileged glimpse inside the mind of a living legend.
Changing the Game gives a fascinating insight into the mind of someone who has been in and around the Australian game his entire life. Ange Postecoglou has very strong opinions and beliefs about football, and his views in this book aren’t limited to the coaching arena, also touching on youth development, expansion and the football pyramid, and the phycology of football fans. He goes beyond just being passionate and into the realm of obsessive, and doesn’t apologise for it. In fact, he believes it’s absolutely required in his line of work to have a vision and dream, and to pursue it relentlessly at all costs.
I came away from reading the book with confidence that the right person is in charge of the National team. Given my interest in seeing the game grow in Australia, and my desire for the people in charge to have a bold vision and be held to high expectations, there were several quotes that hit home (see below for a few of my favourites).
As football fans we don’t often see or hear about what happens behind closed doors, and I enjoyed hearing about how Ange dealt with some of the backroom situations at both Brisbane Roar and then the Socceroos, and how it all fed into his overall vision. I’ll admit that there was one story he recounts that brought a tear to my eye (I’m not sure that’s ever happened to me reading a book before!). Without giving anything away, it’s a story about Bresciano and what’s behind his motivation.
The only downside for me (and it certainly wasn’t a deal breaker) was that the writing is a little disjointed and seems to follow the thoughts of someone who’s mind is constantly racing. The chapters roughly follow Ange’s life chronologically, but are otherwise disjointed and don’t really flow together.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and it both inspired me and made me think. If every book I read did that I’d be very happy.
I devoured this book in one weekend, which says a lot to its ability in keeping me interested. I was once again ashamed at the level of ignorance I had displayed to the game I love; this time to the coach of Australia’s national team. I had no idea of his background prior to him coaching at Brisbane and really no idea who he is.
As you’d expect, the book details Ange’s background from migrating to Australia at the age of 5, to today, where he is head coach of the Socceroos. It’s not an autobiography though. The book is about Ange’s philosophy and approaches to life, leadership, coaching and above all else his passion for the game.
This is a polarising book, which aligns nicely with Ange’s personality. Love it or hate it. His way or the highway. With plenty of real world examples featuring household footballing names to keep you interested, Ange takes you through the main issues facing football in Australia and what he believes should be done about it.
To celebrate Australian football. To grow Australian football. And to find those who would stand with us. That is our mission.
The Pecking Order will launch in full in May 2017. For now, you can keep up to date with everything we're doing by following the TPO Blog.