Ange Postecoglou has resigned as coach of the Socceroos, just one week after securing Australia's place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Australia beat Honduras 3-0 in Sydney last Wednesday to book their place at the 32-team World Cup finals in Russia next year thanks to a second-half hatrick (well, two goals plus an own goal off a deflected free kick) from captain Mile Jedinak.
But at a press conference on Wednesday, Postecoglou confirmed one of football's worst kept secrets -- that he wouldn't be with the Socceroos at their fourth consecutive World Cup.
"After a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I've decided that the journey for me ends as Socceroos coach," he said.
"As I've said many times it's been the biggest privilege of my life, and it's probably not the ending how I had envisaged when we started.
"But at the same time... knowing it's the right time for me and the right decision."
Postecoglou took the helm of the national team four years ago after very successful stints in the A-League with Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory. The Socceroos won the Asian Cup on home soil under his stewardship two years ago, Australia's greatest footballing achievement.
It's been the greatest privilege for me to coach our best players."
Ange Postecoglou resigns.— Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) November 21, 2017
A grand shame.
"To the players... I love coaching Australian players. I've often said to them that when you make a choice in this country to play football, and that's going be your dream, you're choosing to take the hardest possible road. And it takes enormous courage," Postecoglou said.
"And that's why I love coaching Australian players. They've shown that in bucketloads over the last four years.
"I've challenged them in many different ways and they've never, never, ever taken a backwards step or any hesitation in doing what I was asking of them.
"It's been, like I said, the greatest privilege for me to coach our best players, and I'll be forever indebted to them for the faith and belief they showed in me and the journey we started four years ago."
Postecoglou withstood criticism for his tactics and failure to secure results in winnable games during a long and difficult campaign to qualify for the World Cup. Yet he still prevailed, with a team devoid of the type of talent that secured a place in Germany 12 years ago.
He relied heavily on old heads like Tim Cahill and Jedinak, whose injury woes further exposed a thin roster that certainly lacked the type of quality from the Socceroos' golden generation of Cahill, Kewell, Viduka, Schwarzer, Neill and Bresciano.
With Postecoglou's resignation now confirmed the next big question is whether Cahill -- greatest Socceroos of all time -- will make the trip to Russia. If this challenging qualification period was any indication, Australian football needs him now more than ever.