Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has said that the club’s title success has “taken every ounce” from him but that he has achieved a lifelong dream by winning the league with a major club.
Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw at Dundee United confirmed Celtic as Premiership champions in Postecoglou’s first season in charge, sealing the title with a game still left to play.
The title triumph capped a remarkable turnaround after the manager was appointed last summer to a club in transition, and after he had overseen huge changes to the playing squad and style.
Former Australia manager Postecoglou, who had arrived from Yokohama F Marinos, said that he felt relieved to have completed his initial challenge and was now ready for a break before returning to tackle the title defence and a Champions League campaign next season.
“It’s fair to say it’s taken every ounce of me,” the manager admitted. “I’ve put everything into it because I knew how big a challenge it was. Now we’ve done it, the overriding emotion is one of relief and satisfaction.
“You feel drained because we’ve had to be really focused this year and not get distracted. To play in this city it’s very easy to get distracted by other teams and issues. There’s a potential to take you away from what’s important and we’ve been concentrating so hard.
“I know the work never stops, but I have given every bit of myself here and I’ll take a moment to reflect for myself on the job done.
“It’s been two and a half years since I was last in Australia. I came here straight from Japan. I’ve been gone for a season and a half really without a break. It’s fine, you don’t think about it as you go along.
“I can’t wait for Saturday (when Celtic receive the trophy after their match at home to Motherwell). It’ll be a great day for us and then I’m looking forward to getting away for a bit.”
Postecoglou had enjoyed success in his native Australia with South Melbourne and Brisbane Roar, as well as managing his country at the World Cup, revealed that he had always wanted to take charge of a club known around the globe and felt he was now fulfilling that ambition.
“It’s hard for me to comprehend,” he said. “I’ve had this lifelong dream to manage a world famous club, trying to make an impact.
“I’m in this spot now of achieving something I’ve always wanted to achieve. I guess it’s a weird kind of feeling for me.”