Attila Abonyi

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Atti Abonyi
Personal information
Full name Attila Abonyi
Date of birth (1946-08-16) 16 August 1946 (age 69)
Place of birth Budapest, Hungary
Playing position Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1968 Melbourne Hungaria
1969–1976 St George
1977–1979 Sydney Croatia 89 (74)
1980 Melita Eagles
National team
1967–1977 Australia 61 (25)
Teams managed
1978–1979 Sydney Croatia
1980 Melita Eagles
1981–1982 Riverwood
1983 Canberra City SC
1984 Sydney Croatia
1985–1986 Rockdale Ilinden
1987–1988 St George Saints

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.


Attila Abonyi (born 16 August 1946 in Budapest) is a Hungarian-born Australian football (soccer) manager and former player. He was a member of the 1974 World Cup squad, the first Australian national team to make the World Cup finals.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Hungary, he took up football after emigrating to Australia at age 10 in 1957.[1] Attila played his senior debut for Melbourne Hungaria in 1962 at 15 years of age in the old Victorian State League. In 1967 Abonyi was a key player in helping the club achieve their first ever State League title. He was the top goalscorer for that season with 31 goals in 29 games, and he scored the goal that won them the title. In that same year Abonyi was man of the match in helping Melbourne Hungaria win the Australian Cup, with a hat-trick, to defeat the favoured APIA Leichhardt 4-3 in extra-time. This turned out to be his final season with Melbourne Hungaria.[2] He moved to Sydney and joined St. George-Budapest between 1969 and 1976 where he was part of three NSW State League titles,[3] before finishing his career with Sydney Croatia between 1977 and 1979.

In June 1975, Abonyi made a guest appearance for a touring Manchester United side, coming on as a substitute for David McCreery against Queensland. He scored United's third goal in a 3–0 win.

International career[edit]

Abonyi made his debut for Australia in November 1967 when the national team traveled to Vietnam for a friendship tournament. He scored a hat-trick on debut against New Zealand, and then scored another hat-trick in his second match against Singapore a few days later.[2]

He is well known for being a member of the Australian 1974 World Cup squad in West Germany and also represented New South Wales and Victoria. He scored 25 international goals for Australia in 61 games between 1967 and 1977 making him tied as the third highest goal scorer for Australia. He made a total of 88 appearances for Australia and scored 36 goals.[4]

Managerial career[edit]

After retiring in 1979 Abonyi switched to coaching at the state level after taking on the player-coach for the 1978 and 1979 seasons. Sydney Croatia won the minor premierships in those two years. Abonyi then moved to Melita as a coach only, where they won the minor premiership and lost the grand final. He was then offered a full-time job with Riverwood, the only full-time coaching position in the state league at the time. In his first season they finished seventh and then runners-up in 1982 on goal difference to Sydney Croatia. He moved to Canberra in 1983 and coached Canberra City in the National Soccer League (NSL). For the 1984 season Sydney Croatia in their first season in the NSL offered Abonyi the head coach position, which he accepted (as his family had remained in Sydney). He was sacked half way through the season because of poor results and high expectations by the board. In 1987 and 1988 and assisted Frank Arok at St. George who were in the NSL. After the 1988 Abonyi moved away from Sydney and football (soccer).[3]

Honours[edit]

Abonyi Place in the Sydney suburb of Glenwood is named for him.[5] Abonyi made a lap of honour on the MCG at half time of the 1998 World Cup qualifier against Iran.

Personal life[edit]

Abonyi now lives in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of New South Wales.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forward Thinking Archived 17 January 2010 at WebCite
  2. ^ a b c Gorman, Joe. "Should the FFA Cup award the Attila Abonyi Medal?". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-09. 
  3. ^ a b "Atti Abonyi". www.ozfootball.net. Retrieved 2015-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Attila Abonyi". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 2015-12-09. 
  5. ^ O'Maley, Christine (2010-01-20). "Park is a goner". Blacktown Advocate (Cumberland Newspapers). p. 14. ...streets are named after well known football identities... 

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