Ajdin Hrustic is ready to turn to mentor Ange Postecoglou – so he can help continue the theme that when it comes to Rangers, the Aussies rule.
The Eintracht Frankfurt star has watched from afar as his former Socceroos boss helped Celtic to a dream domestic double along with Australia team-mate Tom Rogic.
Hrustic now wants the inside track on how to bring down Gio van Bronckhorst’s side in the Europa League showpiece.
The midfield ace is looking for an advantage going into Wednesday night as he looks to help the Germans sign off their 12-game unbeaten Euro run in style by getting their hands on the trophy and automatic entry to next season’s Champions League.
Hrustic said: “Maybe I’ll have to pick up some information. We’ll see!
“We’re playing in the final so obviously want to win. Let’s hope we can keep the Aussies on top.”
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Postecoglou helped shape Hrustic as a youngster then gave him his Australian international break.
Hrustic was a promising 11-year-old when Postecoglou first helped put him through his peace when he was selected for the Victoria Elite.
He then gave the player his first Socceroos cap back in 2017 so Hrustic knows the Celtic boss has been a key man in his career.
The 25-year-old said: “Ange coached me when I was a little boy. It was called V elite as in Victorian Elite. It was a little program where the young talents got together and had a chance to show our qualities.
“He was managing and showing us some techniques and drills.
“We didn’t work only with him, we had a few other coaches there too, but he was one of the few I remember.
“He gave me my debut for the national team so it’s something I’ll always remember and keep in my heart.
“We’ve been in touch, I had him with the national team too and he’s a great manager. He’s providing himself and I’m happy for him.
“He’s a manager I loved working under and I’ve been following how he’s been getting on.
“We’ve got Tommy Rogic there as well. I follow the league quite a lot to be honest.”
Postecoglou has rebuilt Celtic since taking over last summer and transformed them back into title winners like a phoenix from the flames.
Hrustic hasn’t been surprised and the attacking midfielder said: “You see the way he wants to play football.
“The confidence he gives players is something magnificent. It’s small things, detail that makes it count on the pitch.”
Departing Celtic star Rogic is another Hrustic knows well. The pair are Socceroos team-mates and the Hoops star could also give Hrustic the lowdown on Rangers.
Rogic was in tears as he said his Parkhead farewells on Saturday and Hrustic knows how much Celtic means to their Wizard of Oz.
He said: “I’m in contact with Tommy. I’ll see him after the Europa League Final when we meet in Qatar with the national team.
“I’ve heard he’s leaving Celtic and I wish him all the best. He’s a great person and a great player. I think he’s deserved a new challenge in his career.
“He’s given everything for the club and I’m happy for him.”
Eintracht’s dream run has seen them get past the likes of Barcelona, West Ham, Real Betis, Olympiakos and Antwerp on their march to the final.
Former Groningen star Hrustic added: “It’s obviously one of the biggest games for all of us in our careers so we’ll use this as a good challenge and we’re ready to go on Wednesday.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.