GREGOR TOWNSEND wants Scotland to play Celtic style after linking up with Ange Postecoglou
Toony was a recent guest at the Hoops’ Lennoxtown training ground when he and Postecoglou shared stories of their coaching and management experiences.
The Scotland boss then had lunch with the Celtic team in the back room to reflect on how they would go about their day-to-day business.
It’s not the first time Townsend has met a sports icon to expand his own coaching knowledge.
He has previously sat with the likes of Roberto Martinez, Craig Brown, Gordon Strachan and boxer Joe Calzaghe.
And ahead of a big game, a special message came from Sir Alex Ferguson.
The self-confessed Rangers fan admits meeting Postecoglou gave him plenty to think about as the World Cup is now less than five months away.
And he thinks there’s a lot in common in the way both sides go for an uncompromising attack.
Townsend said: “Meeting Ange was good.
“I watched the team train and they were very welcoming.
“John Kennedy, Gavin Strachan and Harry Kewell had lunch with me.
“Ange had met me before training and then I went to his office to chat for a few hours about the coaching philosophy but also his coaching journey.
“We had many experiences together.
“He trained in Japan and we had the World Cup in Japan in the same area, Yokohama, where he trained.
“He knew a lot of Australian rugby coaches who I know well.
“It was great to give him his philosophy when he comes to a new club and what he’s looking for.
“It’s been good, you’re picking up on things, even things from her training – maybe things will be rekindled in the back of your mind.
“And I think you’re taking away similarities.
“They have a game they believe in and we have a game we believe in too.
“It’s a fast-paced attack which means the guys have to be skillful, fit and precise.
“If you get these things right, you can cause problems for the opposition.”
Townsend signed a new contract this week that keeps him at Murrayfield until 2026.
After a rapprochement last winter, he has been linked with a move to the France national team.
But he insists there was no way he could have considered that just before Scotland were due to face Les Bleus in the Six Nations tournament.
He added: “There were a few contacts.
“The one that people knew about was the France national team. But the timing was strange.
“I think it was mid-December and I was like, ‘We’re going to play you guys in a month.’
“So it wasn’t possible that there would be any more commitment to it.
“And in the end it was more of a conversation about coaching.
“After that nothing really developed with them.
“I think if there hadn’t been a contract offer here, France would have been an option, but at club level.
“It was a time I had really good memories of playing there and French club sport is thriving at the moment.
“But there is no longer a need to think about that path.
“Of course, when I didn’t think I would get a contract extension, I spoke to those close to me.
“I have told my wife and others that I want to stay in coaching. The uncertainty hasn’t stopped me from not being a coach.
“Where that might have ended up, who knows? But I’m glad it ended up here.”
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