Graham Arnold

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Graham Arnold
Graham Arnold.jpg
Personal information
Full name Graham James Arnold
Date of birth (1963-08-03) 3 August 1963 (age 51)
Place of birth Sydney, NSW, Australia
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1981 Canterbury-Marrickville
1982–1990 Sydney United 178 (68)
1990–1992 Roda JC 61 (22)
1992–1994 Liège 60 (23)
1994–1995 Charleroi 16 (1)
1995–1997 NAC Breda 63 (35)
1997–1998 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 28 (7)
1999–2001 Northern Spirit 47 (5)
Total 453 (161)
National team
1985–1997 Australia 54 (19)
Teams managed
1989–1990 Sydney United
1998–2001 Northern Spirit
2006–2007 Australia
2007–2008 Australia U23
2010–2013 Central Coast Mariners
2014 Vegalta Sendai
2014– Sydney FC
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Graham James Arnold (born 3 August 1963 in Sydney, New South Wales) is a former football (soccer) player and manager of A-League club Sydney FC. Arnold was appointed to work as an assistant coach of the Australian national football team in 2000. After head coach Frank Farina was sacked in 2005, Arnold worked with Guus Hiddink for the 2006 FIFA World Cup campaign, in which they made the second round of the finals. After Hiddink left, he became acting coach of the Socceroos.[1] Arnold went on take the manager role at A-League club the Central Coast Mariners between 2010 and 2013, where he guided the club to two premierships and a championship. He is a member of the Football Federation Australia Football Hall of Fame. Arnold Place in the Sydney suburb of Glenwood is named for him.[2]

Playing career[edit]


Arnold was a striker who started his career at Gwawley Bay in 1969. He played for them until 1979 when he moved to Canterbury-Marrickville in the New South Wales Premier League. He then moved to Sydney Croatia in Australia's now defunct National Soccer League, 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. de Liège 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.


Graham Arnold has represented Australia's senior national team 54 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 23 October 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 29 November 1997 in a World Cup Qualifier against Iran at the MCG when the score ended 2–2 and Australia was eliminated on the away goals rule after leading 2–0.

Managerial career[edit]

Arnold 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 FC. He was the coach for 2 seasons, making the playoffs in their debut season.


He was then appointed to the position of Australian assistant coach in 2000, becoming acting coach in July 2006, then appointed head coach in December 2006.

On 6 September 2006 Australia was defeated 2–0 in an Asian Cup qualifying game against lowly-ranked Kuwait. The FFA confirmed Arnold would remain Head Coach through to the end of 2007 Asian Cup campaign.

Australia started their Asian Cup campaign poorly, drawing with Oman in its opening Group stage game in Bangkok. Media pressure focused on Arnold and on 13 July 2007 Australia were beaten 3–1 by Iraq in the 2007 Asian Cup. Following the match, Arnold told the assembled media (in reference to some of the team's higher profile members), "There's some players who seem like they don't want to be here. I'm extremely disappointed."

In a poll conducted by Four Four Two, Graham Arnold, as voted by the subscribers, was found to have been the most influential reason for Australia's failed progression at the 2006 Asian Cup, with an overwhelming 78% of the vote[3]

Since the tournament, Arnold has continued his role as Manager of the Australian U-23 side that is in the final qualification stages for the 2008 Olympics. He was also linked with the manager's position at Bolton Wanderers and Norwich City in England but lost out to Gary Megson and Glenn Roeder respectively.

With the appointment of Dutchman Pim Verbeek as the Australian manager, Arnold along with Henk Duut served as his assistant to the national side during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Central Coast Mariners[edit]

On 9 February 2010, it was announced that Arnold will take on the position of head coach for the Central Coast Mariners until the end of the 2012/2013 season.[4][5] At the conclusion of the 2011–12 A-League season he rejected a lucrative contract from Sydney FC and decided to stay on with the Mariners signing a one year extension to his original contract with the club.[6]

Vegalta Sendai[edit]

In the month of November 2013 Graham was a target for a few clubs in Asia, especially Vegalta Sendai in Japan's J.League. Although interest again raised from the Australian Football Federation to make Graham the national team coach, he always wanted to stay in club football over the national team setup and within weeks agreed terms with Sendai to be the first Australian coach, since the late Eddie Thomson to coach at the highest level in Japanese football.[7] Graham recruited his assistant from the Central Coast Mariners Andrew Clark to join him in Japan. On the 9th April 2014, it was announced by Vegalta Sendai that Arnold had been sacked. Arnold came to the media later in the day, to set the record straight that his leaving was a mutual agreement and he hadn't been sacked as originally reported. His departure from the club came after a winless 8-game streak endured by Sendai in the league and cup competitions.[8]

Sydney FC[edit]

Arnold was appointed as the new head coach of Sydney FC on 8 May 2014.[9]

Club career statistics[edit]


Club performance League
Season Club League Apps Goals
Australia League
1985 Sydney Croatia National Soccer League 28 11
1986 25 12
1987 24 17
1988 23 7
1989 27 10
1989/90 26 6
Netherlands League
1990/91 Roda Eredivisie 28 8
1991/92 33 14
Belgium League
1992/93 Liège First Division 32 16
1993/94 28 7
1994/95 Charleroi First Division 16 1
Netherlands League
1994/95 NAC Breda Eredivisie 15 10
1995/96 30 16
1996/97 18 9
Japan League
1997 Sanfrecce Hiroshima J. League 1 18 6
1998 10 1
Australia League
1998/99 Northern Spirit National Soccer League 28 5
1999/00 6 0
2000/01 13 0
Country Australia 200 68
Netherlands 124 57
Belgium 76 24
Japan 28 7
Total 428 156

International career statistics[edit]

Australia national team
Year Apps Goals
1985 2 1
1986 6 4
1987 6 3
1988 16 4
1989 4 2
1990 0 0
1991 2 0
1992 0 0
1993 6 1
1994 0 0
1995 2 1
1996 3 0
1997 7 3
Total 54 19

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 23 October 1985 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Australia  Taiwan 5–0 7–0 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 3 August 1986 Olympic Park Stadium, Melbourne, Australia  Czechoslovakia 1–1 1–1 Friendly
3 25 October 1986 Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand  New Zealand 0–1 1–1 Trans-Tasman Cup
4 2 November 1986 Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, Australia  New Zealand 1–0 2–1 Trans-Tasman Cup
5 23 November 1986 Guangdong Provincial People's Stadium, Canton, China  China PR 0–2 0–2 Friendly
6 21 June 1987 Olympic Stadium, Seoul, South Korea  South Korea 1–1 1–1 1987 President's Cup
7 15 November 1987 Zhongshan Soccer Stadium, Taipei, Taiwan  Taiwan 0–1 0–3 1988 Olympics qualification
8 0–2
9 26 February 1988 Bruce Stadium, Canberra, Australia  Taiwan 1–0 3–0 1988 Olympics qualification
10 2–0
11 27 March 1988 Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand  Taiwan 1–0 3–0 1998 Olympics qualification
12 3 December 1988 Macquarie Field, Speers Point, Australia  Fiji 4–0 5–1 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification
13 12 March 1989 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia  New Zealand 2–0 4–1 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification
14 3–0
15 30 May 1993 Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand  New Zealand 0–1 0–1 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification
16 18 June 1995 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia  Ghana 2–0 2–1 Friendly
17 13 June 1997 Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, Australia  Tahiti 4–0 5–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
18 17 June 1997 Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, Australia  Solomon Islands 0–2 2–6 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
19 6 July 1997 Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, Australia  New Zealand 2–0 2–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification




Central Coast Mariners



External links[edit]

Preceded by
Graham Honeyman
NSL Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Andrew Zinni
Frank Farina
Preceded by
Charlie Egan
NSL Golden Boot
Succeeded by
Frank Farina
Preceded by
Ange Postecoglou
Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Tony Popovic