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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 November 2015
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2015 SPORT First game in charge for home side’s new coach GEORGIOS HATZIMANOLIS The biggest match in Greek football takes place tonight as eternal rivals Panathinaikos and Olympiakos do battle at the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium in central Athens. League leader and defending champion Olympiakos has already opened up an eight point lead at the head of the table, with second -placed Panathinaikos desperate to reduce that deficit in tonight's game. The home side will be boosted by the return of Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien, who has made a full recovery from an injury that has kept him out of action for some time. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid star transferred to PAO in the summer but has missed almost the entire season so far with recurring injuries. Last Saturday he played a full half for PAO in a friendly against Levadiakos after Page 25 Finkler precision skewers the Mariners PAO host Olympiakos in Greek El Classico Page 26 Socceroos win big in Bangladesh 9 771321 167062 Ange Postecoglou’s story told by ABC The journey from migrant boy to successful national coach celebrated by public broadcaster The life of Ange Postecoglou was told by the ABC's Australian Story program this week, which followed a narrative from his time as a migrant child to that of successful Socceroos coach. Postecoglou, famous e y he was introduced in the second half by new coach Andrea Stramaccioni. Stramaccioni will begin his official reign as Panathinaikos coach against rival Olympiakos after being appointed as Giannis Anastasiou's successor. The former Udinese and Inter coach has signed an 18-month deal with PAO and will be hoping to guide the club to Champions League football next season. Olympiakos, undefeated in ten games so far this season, will be keen to extend its lead at the top of the table prior to its all-important game in Munich this week against Bayern for the UEFA Champions League group stages. The Greek Super League has two other games today. At 3.00 pm, fourth-placed Asteras Tripolis, fresh off an impressive away victory against AEK last week, takes on the struggling Atromitos club, which remains in the relegation spots. At 5.15 pm, PAS Giannina, currently 12th, takes on Kalloni, who are second last. On Sunday, sixth-placed PAOK will be desperate for a home win against mid-table Panetolikos, while ninthplaced Xanthi hosts the highflying Panionios currently third. Platanias takes on Levadiakos before Panthrakikos, currently bottom of the table, takes on fifth-placed AEK. AEK's new coach, Uruguyan Gustavo Poyet, is expected to make some changes to the side that lost at home to Asteras, including a possible switch to a 4-3-3 formation. The Super League fixtures for Round 11 conclude on Monday when Veria host Iraklis. FFA to receive boost from Australia-Greece friendlies Greece’s national side expected to face the Socceroos twice in 2016 In its first showing on Australian soil since 2006, Greece's national football side is expected to feature in two friendlies against the Socceroos next year. Although unconfirmed, Football Federation Australia (FFA) is anticipating two games in June - one in Melbourne and one in Sydney - prior to the Socceroos' final Asian World Cup qualifiers. Last time Greece faced Australia it was dealt a 1-nil loss, courtesy of retired-midfielder Josip Skoko, in front of 95,000 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Despite Greece's poor form of late, it is predicted to galvanise a strong crowd, with Melbourne boasting the world's largest Greek population outside of Athens. Josip Skoko (L) celebrates after scoring against Greece in 2006. PHOTO: AP PHOTO/MARK BAKER. for his hardline coaching tactics, arrived in Melbourne as a very young boy. Born in Athens, with parents who didn't have much, he found solace in a vibrant Greek community spurred on by the South Melbourne Football Club. "On a Sunday there were two places of worship for anyone of Greek origin. In the morning you'd go to church and in the afternoon you'd go to the football," Postecoglou said. His family arrived in Australia in 1970 after his father lost his business following the Greek military junta that led to seven years of dictatorship in the country. e And it was his affiliation with South Melbourne that would create the path for him to become a successful national coach. Under Postecoglou, South Melbourne played against the likes of Manchester United and 2000 FIFA Club World Championship runner-up Vasco da Gama at that tournament, facing the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson. But it wasn't a challenge - wife Georgia before re turning to Australia to take up a role with A-League club Brisbane Roar, leading it to two championships. "Brisbane Roar under Ange is the best Australian club team I've ever seen," said legendary football icon and former SBS commentator Les Murray. e Georgia, before re- Postecoglou or his side would disgrace themselves with. "I stared down the beast. After that I had nothing to fear," he said. His stint at South Melbourne led to his appointment as national youth team coach, but an unsuccessful spell saw him get sacked, which led him back to Greece where he would coach Patras club Panachaiki FC, with the support of Postecoglou's emphasis on attacking, possession-based play was the catalyst to his success as a coach, which came to fruition with this year's Asian Cup triumph. And now Ange Postecoglou has set the bar even higher. "I'd like to win the World Cup. I think most people will see that as a crazy statement right now but I've got three years to go for it, you never know," he told the program. - DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 Ange Postecoglou cel- ebrates Australia’s Asian Cup triumph in January. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/DEAN LEWINS. A five-year-old Ange Postecoglou on his arrival to Australia, holding his immigration number.
28 November 2015