Graham Arnold

Former Coach of the Socceroos.


raham Arnold is the former coach of the Australian national football team.

He was appointed to work as an assistant to Frank Farina in 2000. The two replaced Raul Blanco, who was the interim coach in charge after Terry Venables decided not to renew his contract with Soccer Australia after the failed World Cup campaign in 1997. When the FFA were looking to sign the now current coach Guus Hiddink his sole condition prior to signing was to talk with Graham to ascertain an insight into the current team and the basis of this was instrumental in Guus’s decision to sign.

Current work

Graham’s is a regular on Fox Sports Football as well as 2SM radio and is continually called upon by the press for analytical quotes. With his unique tactical knowledge into motivating his players to qualify and perform on the world stage, he is fast becoming a sought-after man on the speaking circuit.

Previous experience

World Cup: Graham headed to Germany for the 2006 World Cup after Australia’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Uruguay at Telstra Stadium on the night of November 16, 2005. This was the first time he has made it to the World Cup after five previous attempts both as player and coach. Assistant coach for the campaign, as deputy to Hiddink, he oversaw the Socceroos outstanding performance throughout the tournament, only to lose a heart-breaking quarter final to Italy in the dying seconds.

Hall of Fame: Graham Arnold’s glittering career was recognised when he was inducted into the Football Federation of Australia Hall of Fame.

Player: Graham was a striker who started his career at Canterbury-Marrickville in the New South Wales Premier League. He then moved to Sydney Croatia in Australia’s now defunct NSL, where he was both the league’s top goal scorer and player of the year in 1986. This was followed by a move overseas, where he made a name for himself in the Netherlands, playing for Roda JC and NAC Breda. He also spent time in Belgium with R.F.C.and Li├Ęge and R. Charleroi S.C.. He went on to play for Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Japan towards the end of his career, before finally returning home to play for the Northern Spirit FC.

Scores: Graham Arnold has represented Australia’s senior national team 56 times, scoring 19 goals (85 caps, 33 goals including unofficial matches and “B” internationals). He was given his full debut by Frank Arok in a World Cup Qualifier against Taiwan at Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Stadium on October 23, 1985. He scored on his debut as the “Socceroos” went on to record a 7-0 victory. His international playing career came to a sad end on November 29, 1997 in a World Cup Qualifier against Iran at the M.C.G., where the score ended 2-2 and Australia was cruelly knocked out on the away goals rule after leading 2-0 for most of the match

Coach: Graham had a cameo role as a coach very early on in his career. He was coach for 2 games whilst he was a player at Sydney Croatia during the 1989/90 season. However, his proper coaching career started in 1998, when he was appointed player/manager of the Northern Spirit. He was the coach for 2 seasons, making the playoffs in their debut season. He was then appointed to the position of assistant national coach in 2000 and after 35 games, the Socceroos have had 22 wins 5 draws and 7 losses including memorable victories against England, France and current World Cup Champions Brazil.

Success: Graham has completed the highest coaching qualifications in this country and has worked with world-renowned coaches such as Terry Venebles, George Leekens and Eric Greets. He will be the first ever Australian born coach to take the Socceroos to the World Cup Finals in Germany 2006 and a first to take the team in 32 years.