Every word Ange Postecoglou said on Romero, Hojbjerg, meeting with Levy and 'secret plans'

You've been around the world but what is about Melbourne that makes you just want to keep coming back?

It does still feel like home. I've spent 50 odd years of my life here, but we have hit the road over recent years, me and the family. We're quite settled on the other side of the world and just talking about coming back, it's a hell of a long trip. I'd forgotten how long it was. It's still the place I consider home. I don't have family here any more, but friends who are like family are here. All my memories growing up have been here so it definitely feels that way.

Can you remember the first time you went to the MCG and how does it feel to be leading a team out there tomorrow night?

I don't know about the first time, but I was telling some of the lads that I went to the centenary test in 1977 and that was pretty special. A cracking game. I love my cricket. I remember that.

I don't think I went to a grand final before that. I might have been to a Boxing Day test but yeah it's an iconic stadium. I was coaching Melbourne Victory when we played Liverpool there and that was special.

With the Socceroos we played against Brazil and I've said to the lads, it is a long way but they'll enjoy playing the MCG. It's a great stadium and it looks like it will be a big crowd there tomorrow.

How's the jet lag?

Yeah, as expected mate.

READ MORE: Meet Lucas Bergvall, Tottenham's exciting new signing with 'star quality' Ange Postecoglou loves

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou reveals when his biggest fight at Tottenham will come and whether he's happy

How's it been for the boys?

It's not easy because we played Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon and the we virtually got on the plane to come straight out here so we've all lost Monday May 20th from our lives. We're here now and we'll have a bit of a run this afternoon and hopefully get them livening up a bit.

When you walk out tomorrow and there's 80,000 people cheering you on, everything else is irrelevant and I'm sure the boys are looking forward to it.

How far along the process do you think we are in the awakening of Australian football that you've spoken about before with what you've achieved?

It's hard for me to say because I'm not here. I've been made aware that people take great pride in my journey and I've always said I wasn't born here, but I was bred here from a football perspective, from a sporting perspective.

I think I've always admired Australian sports people and coaches who excel overseas and I've always followed their career. So yeah I'm proud to be flying the flag at the moment not just for Australian football but for Australian sport. Hopefully some more exciting times to come.

Last week the FIFA congress was talking about taking domestic games internationally, what do you make of Premier League games being played abroad?

After a 26-hour flight mate that's a tough question! You're throwing FIFA at me. I guess it's a challenge for everyone in terms of the football calendar. It's getting more congested. Sonny had to go to the Asian Cup in January. We had guys at the AFCON and this off-season we'll have guys at the Euros and Copa America and it is becoming a challenge for footballers in particular because they don't get the rest required.

For all the governing bodies, it's about trying to get a calendar that allows the game to get as exposed as possible but also allows the players, who are the most important participants, to perform at the highest level. So I guess it's a challenge for everyone.

Hi Ange...

(Does a double take) Bloody hell Ali, how you going? (laughs).

Yeah, sorry, I'm here as well. No Romero or Hojbjerg in the squad, how come they've missed out?

Cuti for personal reasons, he's got to fly back to Argentina. So we kind of knew that, some personal reasons. Pierre had an injury going into the last game and was kind of touch and go and after the game pulled up sore. Again because we were getting straight on a flight, it just didn't make any sense to bring guys like that along. Everyone else got through it unscathed from the weekend so we'll have a full compliment from the squad we took away and some young players as well and we'll, if we can, get them some game time.

Will you be staying out here for a few days after the game or will you be heading back for meetings ahead of the summer with the chairman and others?

They're secret plans Ali that I can't reveal right now...Yeah, the plan is to stay for a few days and catch up with some mates here. Then I'll head back, spend some time with the family but yeah I'll keep working away.

Do you think these games could detract from the A-League grand final?

Nah, I don't think so. I think it's a good thing. It gets people talking about the game. I guess it's one of the bewilderments I have about Australian football. We think we're competing with each other. I think the fact that there is a big game tomorrow and then the Australian All-Stars, it just puts the focus on the game. Then you've got the grand final and it should be a cracking game too.

We'll get a big game tomorrow night and there will be a big crowd on Friday, with the women playing as well. It should be a good game of football.

Could we see you as the manager of Greece one day?

It's definitely in my future that you'll see me in Greece, but it's more likely to be on an island somewhere on a sunbed. I've got a big challenge here at Spurs and I'm looking forward to bringing some success here. I was born in Greece, I very much feel Greek and I'll definitely be there this summer like I am every summer but as far as coaching goes I'm happy where I am.

What are you hoping to get out of tomorrow night's game?

The same as always mate. It's a game of football so you try to play well and try to win and hopefully entertain the crowd. We had two cracking games against Newcastle this year. We played really well at home against them and scored four goals and then we got a thumping when we went there. Hopefully there will be goals tomorrow night for the fans and we'll try to win.

How are you going to deal with the extra games next year that come from playing in Europe?

That's the reward for finishing strongly this year. We're looking forward to that. It's another challenge for us and we'll be ready for it. I think not having European football this year probably hurt us a little bit in terms of our development. This club deserves to be in Europe and hopefully we're going to make an impact next year.

You're a bloke who pulls no punches and tries to be yourself, does everything that comes around the Premier League and the attention with it make that more challenging at this level?

No, I wouldn't say it's challenging. It's just part of the role. The English Premier League is probably the most high profile league in the world. Everyone watches it, everyone listens to it so I take that part of it fairly seriously as I'm the spokesman for the club. At the same time I just try to be myself. I haven't really changed. The media is the media wherever it is and you won't be surprised by that. I think I try to always be myself. If I'm happy, I'm happy. If I'm not, I'm not. If I like the question I'll like it and if I don't like the question I won't. That's pretty much it.

What did you make of the online criticism of Arsenal's Kyra Cooney-Cross wearing a Tottenham scarf to go and support Charli Grant at the FA Cup final?

Online? Yeah well. It's not a world I inhabit or have any interest in mate. I think if she's showing support for a friend then god forbid what she's done. I wasn't across the issue, obviously we're disappointed for Charli that they weren't able to win the cup final, but the girls have done awfully well this year and Rob and the team, all the players, have really grown this year and that's where the focus should be.

Are you aware of how proud the Australian fans are of you over here and how it's opening doors for other Australians in the game?

It's the first time I've been back to Melbourne since 2019, pre-Covid days, so I'm a bit detached but I've got friends here and they've made me aware. Part of me understands that because there was a whole part of my life where I was here and following other people overseas, mainly players. You go on their journey with them, whether that was Viduka or Kewell or Cahill or Schwarzer, you could name every team they played for. I understand the impact that makes. It's not something I'm conscious of on a daily basis but I understand that if I can continue to make inroads where I am then it continues to shine a light on Australia and Australian people. I kind of made it a part of the mission I've been on to open doors for Australian coaches.

I think it's still very difficult to get a look in because of where we come from. I've never thought that's right. Where we come from shouldn't come into it. I'm really pleased to see some guys already forging some really strong careers overseas, Musky [Kevin Muscat] and Harry [Kewell] is at Yokohama and Peter Cklamovski at FC Tokyo, guys that I've worked with. I've got Mile with me now which is brilliant. He's a great guy and he's learning his trade well. If I can open those doors for other guys coming through it's something I'll take great pride in.

How can the Australian game keep growing?

Again I think it's something we get wrong. We've tried to copy everything we see overseas and what we've come to realise is that you've just got to make the sport your own. The Australian way and the Australian people and that's just something we've got to embrace.

I've been fortunate the last seven or eight years, whether it's been in Japan or up in Scotland and now in the Premier League, I've enjoyed being places where the people are really passionate about the sport and passionate about their football clubs. I've been passionate about the game for as long as I can remember and it's nice to be in places where people are just as passionate as I am.

Will we ever get that here? I don't know, but we don't necessarily have to. We should just focus on trying to make it our own and enjoy our sport and football and not worry too much about other countries.

You want to win the Premier League, what do you think you need to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal?

I don't think we need to focus on other clubs. We need to focus on ourselves and we've just got to be the best club we can be and strive and aim to beat whoever is in front of us, whether that's the clubs you've mentioned or other clubs. I tried to stress last week that your measure shouldn't be other clubs. Your measure should be yourself and if you can push yourself to be the best you can be then you can see where that takes you. If you're just focused on two other clubs then there might just be someone else who creeps up that you don't even realise. For us it's just about trying... we've been ok this year, we've progressed this year for sure. We've got a lot of improvement to do and that's why we'll be working hard when we get back to pre-season to be ready for the upcoming season.

Listen to the latest episode of Gold & Guest Talk Tottenham by clicking here! In depth Spurs chat on your preferred podcast platform.