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Celtic success paves way for Nick Montgomery's arrival at Hibs - 'he quashed that pretty quickly'

Nick Montgomery has been given a three-year deal at Hibs. (Photo: Paul Devlin - SNS Group)
Nick Montgomery has been given a three-year deal at Hibs. (Photo: Paul Devlin - SNS Group)

The 41-year-old Englishman has spent his entire coaching career at Central Coast Mariners, where he started in the academy, and along with his assistant head coach Sergio Raimundo he turned it into the best in Asia and one of the best in the world for developing young players for the first team. Moving up to assistant manager, he eventually became the head coach in 2021, lifting the side from the lower echelons and transforming them into A-League Champions and Australia Cup winners.

That track record has landed him his new role in the Scottish Premiership, but he acknowledges that it was easier to be taken seriously due to the way Postecoglou adapted to life in Scottish football. Bagging five trophies, including back to back league titles in his two seasons in Glasgow, the current Tottenham manager made a positive impact and proved that a winning mindset and managerial know-how travels well. And that has given other trophy collectors down under greater kudos.

“Definitely, the media around Ange and the negativity when he came over to Scotland, he quashed that pretty quickly,” said the man who has been charged with elevating Hibs’ on-field status. “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. I’m from Leeds originally. I’m English but I have been in Australia so I saw how good he was for Australian football and he gets a lot of support over there. You see the support he is getting at Tottenham now and it is well deserved because he has done very well everywhere he’s been. He has had success everywhere he’s been and I have seen it up close. 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 Japan. 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.”

Ange Postecoglou tasted great success at Celtic. (Photo: Craig Williamson - SNS Group)
Ange Postecoglou tasted great success at Celtic. (Photo: Craig Williamson - SNS Group)

While Postecoglou’s success is undoubted, Montgomery is viewed as one of the best young coaches in Australia and, having been presented with his next challenge, he is keen to follow the Greek-Aussie’s lead, convinced that he can find the right blend of hard work and attacking football all his teams are known for with the greater defensive resolve needed in the Scottish game.

“There are similarities between the A-League and here,” continued Montgomery. “That’s why you’ve seen so many Australian players have success here. Principles are principles and while I don’t like to talk about philosophies, they can be implemented in any league. I have experience of Championship football and I played in the Premier League. I have educated myself and watch a lot of football from around the world and I have an assistant in Sergio [Raimundo] who has worked all around the world as well. I’m very confident that I can implant my principles in the SPL with Hibs. My long-term goal is to hopefully bring success back to the club because it's been a while, but that's not easy,"