Ron Smith (footballer, born 1949)

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Ron Smith
Personal information
Full name Ronald Smith
Date of birth (1949-05-05) 5 May 1949 (age 66)
Place of birth London, England
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966 Tottenham Hotspur
1968–1971 Borough Road College
1971–1972 Kingstonian
1972–1973 Southall
1974–1975 South Melbourne
Teams managed
1979 Keflavik FC
1986–1995 AIS
1995–1997 Sabah FA
1998–1999 Johor FC
2005 Australia (Interim)
2006–2007 Perth Glory
2007–2008 Australia U-23 (Asst.)
2008–2009 Australia (Advisor)
2010– Nike Australia - Chief Scout
2014 Pahang FA
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Ronald "Ron" Smith (born 5 May 1949 in London, England) is a former football player and current coach. He was the former technical analyst for the Australian national team.

Playing career[edit]

Smith played as a junior for North London team Tottenham Hotspur before injury forced an end to his top flight football ambitions. He then went onto play for a number of non-league teams in England before emigrating to Australia to play for South Melbourne SC in 1974.

Managerial career[edit]


Smith worked as the Assistant Coach of the football (soccer) program at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from 1982 to 1986, and then as Head Coach from 1986 to 1996. During this period he mentored a number of players who played for the Socceroos or professionally overseas, including Frank Farina, Tony Franken, Jean-Paul de Marigny, Rodney Brown, Robbie Hooker, Warren Spink, Jason Polak, Lou Hristodoulou, Sean Murphy[disambiguation needed], Kevin Muscat, Steve Corica, Ned Zelic, Steve Horvat, Paul Trimboli, Mark Viduka, Josip Skoko, Clint Bolton, John Aloisi, Craig Moore, Hayden Foxe, Simon Colosimo, Lucas Neill, Brett Emerton, Vince Grella, and Josip Simunic (who captained Croatia at the 2006 World Cup Finals).


Smith coached Sabah FA in 1995, for eight matches at the end of the season. The team went from 13th position to 5th in the league and qualified for the Malaysia Cup. The team were knocked out in the semi-final of the Malaysia Cup by penalty shoot-out by Pahang. In 1996 Sabah won the 'M' League for the first time in the club's history and reached the Malaysia Cup Final, losing to Selangor in a penalty shoot-out in front of 82,000 spectators. In 1997 Sabah came third in the 'M' League. Smith was voted Coach of the Year in recognition for his achievements in 1996, the trophy presented by Kevin Keegan. Smith coached Johor FC in 1998 and 1999 laying the foundation for the first club team ever to be promoted to the "M' League in 2000. Smith served as Technical Director to the Football Association of Malaysia between 1999 and 2002 and established the Bukit Jalil development program based on the Australian Institute of Sport model.

Perth Glory[edit]

In July 2006, Smith resigned as full time Technical Manager with the FFA to take on the vacant coach's job at Perth Glory FC.[1][2] David Mitchell served as Smith's assistant and the two planned to rebuild the squad for the 2007–08 season.

On 3 November 2007, Ron was sacked as Perth Glory's coach, after 11 matches without a win that season and 5 points adrift at the bottom of the A-League table. Perth Glory were under administration financially, crippled with the injuries to key players and unable to recruit new players until an owner was found. During this time two key talents were unearthed from the local league who have since gone on to sign with clubs overseas. Nikita Rukavytsya and Jimmy Downey. Perth reached the final of the Pre-season Cup at the start of the 2007-08 season losing to Adelaide Utd. The club sent him to Bali afterwards for a well earned holiday.[3]


Smith spent time in 2003 at Liverpool F.C. assisting Gérard Houllier with video analysis before returning to his adopted Australia in 2004 to serve as Technical Manager to the Australian Football Federation.

In June 2005 Smith was appointed interim coach of the Australian national team until the appointment of Guus Hiddink when he resumed his position as Technical Manager. Ron Smith uses "Sportscode" digital video analysis software that allows coaches to analyse football video by breaking the play down into its component parts.

From January 2008 Smith assisted Graham Arnold with the Olympic team through to the finals in Beijing in August that year and worked as the technical analyst to Pim Verbeek to the World Cup Finals in Germany in June 2010.

Smith continues his role as technical analyst to the Olympic team and Senior National Team who have qualified for their third successive World Cup in Brazil next year.

He was linked to a technical director's role at NSW Premier League club Sydney Olympic [4] and signed in December 2009 as a Technical Consultant.[5] Smith provided advice to Sydney Olympic during the 2010 season.

In the 2009-10 'A' League season the 'Coaching Clinic' series on Fox Sport's Match Day Saturday program, was written and produced by Ron Smith.[6]

In August 2010 Ron Smith was the chief scout for Nike, in "The Chance" and nominated Tom Rogic, who was voted in the top eight from one hundred trialists from all over the world, to spend a year at the Nike Academy in England in 2011. Tom Rogic has since played for the Australian National Team and signed with Celtic FC.

In 2012 Ron produced an App for Coaches called 'Football Practices' and launched a website for coaches in 2013, www.the football

Pahang FA[edit]

Smith returns to Malaysia at the end of 2013 to join Pahang FA, replacing Dollah Salleh who joined PDRM FA. Signing a 3-month contract, Smith was tasked to improve the newly crowned 2013 Malaysia Cup champions for the 2014 season.[7]

In early March 2014, Smith's contract was not renewed by Pahang, and were released by the club, after a perceived failure to improve the team.[8]


External links[edit]