|Full name||Frank Farina|
|Date of birth||5 September 1964|
|Place of birth||Darwin, Australia|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|1992||→ Notts County (loan)||3||(0)|
|2011–2012||Papua New Guinea|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Frank Farina OAM (born 5 September 1964 in Darwin, Northern Territory) is a former Australian football (soccer) player, and manager A-League club Sydney FC and the Papua New Guinea national football team.
His playing career spanned Australia, Belgium, France, Italy and England, and was a major player for the Australian National Team in the late 1980s and 1990s, as well as managing the national team in the early 2000s.
Farina spent part of his childhood in Papua New Guinea and grew up in Cairns, north Queensland and went to school at St Augustine's College. He won a prestigious position and scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in 1982 and played in the National Soccer League for the Canberra Arrows the following year.
National Soccer League
Farina's early playing career was spent in Australia, playing the National Soccer League. He played for the Canberra Arrows, Sydney City and Marconi-Fairfield. His early seasons were solid, scoring just under 10 goals a season for Canberra in the 1983 and 1984 season. He made his full international debut as a substitute in Australia's 2–3 loss in China in 1984. Farina moved to Sydney City in 1985, and that season City made the 1985 NSL Grand Final, losing 2–0 over 2 legs to Brunswick, as well as winning the 1986 National Cup.
Farina then moved to Marconi Fairfield for 1987 and 1988, where his form and ability flourished, scoring 16 and 17 goals respectively. This form led to him cementing a position in the Australian National Team, won him the 1987 NSL Player of the Year, the 1988 NSL Golden Boot and finally the 1988 Oceania Player of the Year awards as well as attracting overseas interest.
This interest led to him leaving Australia, for Belgium, and Club Brugge in the latter half of 1988. His finishing ability was well regarded, and he played over 70 games for Brugge, scoring 43 goals for the club, playing a major role in Club Brugge winning the Belgian First Division title in 1989/90 as well as the Belgian Cup in 1990/91 and Belgian Supercup in 1990 and 1991. Farina won the Belgian Golden Boot and Best Foreign Player awards in Club Brugge's successful 1989/90 season.
Unfortunately for Farina, his Belgian success was the high point of his European Playing Career, subsequently transferring to Bari in Italy in 1991/1992 (where he became the first Australian to play in Serie A), on loan at Notts County in England in 1991/1992 he played few games for either team, and transferred to RC Strasbourg in France in 1992/1993 where he had 2 solid seasons in French First Division, scoring 8 goals from 24 appearances in 1992/1993, then 6 goals from 23 appearances in 1993/1994. His final season playing in Europe was for Lille OSC who finished 14th in the French First Division, Farina scoring 6 Goals from 27 appearances.
Farina's return to Australia was with the Brisbane Strikers, for the 1995/1996 Season, scoring 20 goals from 20 matches, coming 2nd in the Golden Boot awards behind Damien Mori (31 Goals). Brisbane finished 5th in 1995/96. In 1996/1997, the Strikers needed a new Coach, and Farina stepped up to the position as the new Player/Coach. Farina led the Strikers to their first ever NSL title that year, as they defeated Sydney United 2–0 (with Farina scoring their first goal) in the Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium in front of 40,000 fans. He was named the Coach of the Year in 1997.
The Strikers could not back their title win however, crashing to 3rd last in the 1997/1998 season, with Farina seemingly succumbing to the pressure as he only managed a solitary goal in 18 appearances. He left the Strikers, and joined Marconi as a player/coach for a final season, with coaching being dominant, Farina only made 2 appearances for the Stallions, without scoring. However, he did coach the team to the Minor-Semi final place, eliminating the Northern Spirit, then losing 0–1 away to Perth Glory in the minor semi-final. He retired from playing that year.
Farina was appointed the Australian National Coach in 1999, chosen over many candidates including the then current caretaker coach Raul Blanco (who had replaced Terry Venables). His first match was a 0–2 Loss against a second string Brazilian team in Sydney, followed by a 2–2 draw with Brazil in Melbourne 3 days later.
The team under Farina won its first match in February 2000, with the majority of the European based players in the side, they demolished Hungary 3–0 in Budapest. In 2000
2000 OFC Nations Cup
Australia played in, and won, the Oceania Nations Cup, and subsequently qualified for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup.
2001 FIFA Confederations Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
In 2001, Australia began its quest to qualify for the World Cup for a 2nd time, and Farina led the team to huge victories over Tonga (22–0), and a record breaking 31–0 win against American Samoa, Archie Thompson breaking the record for most goals in a single international with 13. Australia defeated Tonga 2–0 to win their group, then New Zealand 6–1 on Aggregate to Qualify for a World Cup Playoff against Uruguay.
In between these matches, Australia defeated Mexico and France during the Confederation Cup group stage, then defeated Brazil 1–0 win claim 3rd Place. These results strengthened belief that the team would make the World Cup Finals, but Australia failed again at the final World Cup hurdle, losing 3–1 on Aggregate (1–0 in Australia, 0–3 in Uruguay), which meant the 1974 Australian team remained the only team to qualify for the World Cup finals.
2002 OFC Nations Cup
2002 was a dour year, with only the Oceanian nations cup taking place, Australia sending a team composed of Australian based players to New Zealand. After comfortable early stages, Australia needed a Golden Goal to defeat Tonga in the semi-final, then losing 1–0 to New Zealand in the Final. The only game of note in 2003 was a 1–3 win against England in a friendly. In 2004, Australia progressed safely through the World Cup Oceania qualifiers.
2005 FIFA Confederations Cup
2005 was Farina's final year as coach, his failure to win a single game in the Confederations Cup signalling the end of his reign. Farina became the subject of intense media pressure, as his team were criticised for not showing tactical awareness and cohesion expected of players of their quality. Farina became agitated with SBS football correspondents, accusing them of running a witch-hunt against him.
In 2005, after an unconvincing 2–1 win over Iraq during a friendly, Farina was involved in an incident with former SBS reporter Andrew Orsatti in an informal post-match interview conducted in a corridor outside the dressing room. After a series of curt three/four worded answers to a series of questions shown on air, it was alleged by both parties that the other instigated a fracas. Eyewitnesses said that Farina grabbed Orsatti by the throat and tried to punch him. Orsatti later dropped assault charges against Farina. It was reported that Farina was upset at suggestions by the FFA that he attend anger management classes. Leading SBS commentator Les Murray said that Farina simply interpreted any criticism of his professional work as a coach to be a personal slight.
Farina departed by 'mutual consent' on 29 June 2005 after his team lost all three games at the 2005 Confederations Cup. He cited a loss in confidence on the part of the FFA chairman Frank Lowy and CEO John O'Neill. He was replaced by the Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who in 2005, led Australia to a successful 2006 World Cup qualification campaign, defeating Uruguay (penalties after a 1–1 aggregate).
After his departure from the national team Farina was employed as a newspaper columnist and often conducted interviews about Australian football on talkback radio stations. He was also a radio commentator for the World Cup Qualification matches against Uruguay.
Queensland/Brisbane Roar FC
In 15 November 2006 Farina was appointed head coach of Brisbane Roar FC after the departure of Miron Bleiberg. He is credited for his support of young Australian footballers, having recruited Michael Zullo and Tahj Minniecon, who were catalysts for much of Queensland's success in the 2007–2008 season.
On 11 October 2009, Farina was suspended indefinitely by the club over drink-driving charges. He was on his way to training when he was caught. Farina was officially sacked on 14 October 2009. He was given a three-month severance package as part of the sacking.
Papua New Guinea
Farina is of Italian descent and is the uncle of footballer Zenon Caravella. In 1998 he published his autobiography My World Is Round: A Personal Playing History. In 2000 Farina was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for "service to soccer as a player and coach". In October 2009 Farina was interviewed by Monica Attard on ABC Radio's Sunday Profile where he discussed the drink driving charge and his dismissal and their effect on his family.
With Club Brugge:
With Brisbane Strikers:
- NSL Championship: 1996–1997
With Marconi Fairfield:
- NSL Championship: 1988
With Sydney City:
- NSL Cup: 1986
- FFA Hall of Champions Inductee – 2001
- Oceania Footballer of the Year: 1988
- Belgian League Top Scorer: 1989–1990
- NSL Player of the Year: 1987 with Marconi Fairfield
- NSL Player of the Year: 1988 with Marconi Fairfield
- NSL Top Scorer: 1987 with Marconi Fairfield – 16 goals
- NSL Top Scorer: 1988 with Marconi Fairfield – 16 goals
With Brisbane Strikers:
- NSL Championship: 1996–1997
- As of 28 March 2013.
|Brisbane Roar||16 November 2006||14 October 2009||60||25||17||18||41.67|
|Papua New Guinea||12 February 2011||Present||7||2||2||3||28.57|
|Sydney FC||28 November 2012||Present||19||7||5||7||36.84|
- "The Muppets jibe that fuelled a war". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 April 2005.
- Brisbane Roar's Frank Farina suspended over drink-driving
- Brisbane feuert Farina
- Brisbane Roar make Frank Farina sacking official after drink driving
- Frank Farina announced as new coach of Papua New Guinea
- Sydney FC appoints Frank Farina
- "Australian Honours". Australian Government. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
|NSL Player of the Year
|NSL Golden Boot