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Nov 19, 2013

Postecoglou's first Socceroos date begins

Like most relationships, this one started with a quick, casual look.

Ange Postecoglou appeared casual on his first date as Socceroos coach.

Postecoglou walked in customary style - head lowered, hands in pockets - to the sidelines of Sydney's Allianz Stadium to begin his reign as Socceroos coach.

As his players readied for Tuesday night's friendly against Costa Rica, the new boss quickly looked around at a stadium less than half-full of people - but full of hope.

Is this the start of the long-term relationship Australian soccer fans have long fantasised about? A home-grown coach, of a home-grown team, with home-spun philosophies.

Postecoglou was true to his word: while wanting to win, this first date was more about putting the feelers out.

The renowned strike force of Tim Cahill Josh Kennedy started on the bench - Postecoglou already knows what they offer.

He gave Mat Ryan first crack at goalkeeping duties, ahead of Mitch Langerak.

The area most in need of repair, the defence featured Lucas Neill, now Australia's longest-serving captain, partnered with Rhys Williams in the central postings.

The troublesome left-back position was filled by Jason Davidson, with A-Leaguer Ivan Franjic at right back.

Postecoglou opted for cool heads Mile Jedinak, Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan in midfield, with Robbie Kruse and Dario Vidosic on the flanks of an attack headed by Mathew Leckie.

Then, after the anthems, Postecoglou's first date began - appropriately, with a few hesitant passes.

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