John Kosmina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Kosmina
Personal information
Full name Alexander John Kosmina
Date of birth (1956-08-17) 17 August 1956 (age 67)
Place of birth Adelaide, Australia
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
000–1973 Polonia Adelaide
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1976 Polonia Adelaide
1977 West Adelaide Hellas 23 (12)
1978 Adelaide City 4 (0)
1978–1979 Arsenal 1 (0)
1979–1980 West Adelaide Hellas 44 (12)
1981–1986 Sydney City 150 (89)
1987–1988 Sydney Olympic 44 (13)
1989 APIA Leichhardt 24 (6)
1990 Sutherland Sharks
International career
1976–1988 Australia 60 (25[1])
Managerial career
1994–1995 Warringah Dolphins
1995–1998 Newcastle Breakers
1999–2003 Brisbane Strikers
2003–2007 Adelaide United
2007–2009 Sydney FC
2010–2011 Adelaide Raiders
2011 Croydon Kings
2011–2012 Adelaide United (Caretaker)
2012–2013 Adelaide United
2016–2019 Brisbane City
2020–2021 Brisbane Strikers
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Alexander John Kosmina (born 17 August 1956), known as John Kosmina, is an Australian former football (soccer) player and manager, most recently being the Senior Head Coach of Brisbane Strikers. He is a member of the Football Federation Australia Football Hall of Fame.


Kosmina's father was from Poland and came to Australia after World War II. Kosmina's family lived in Port Adelaide, in a heavily Polish community. Kosmina was pushed into football by his father who worked in football.[2][3]

Kosmina is of Polish Australian ethnicity. He played for Polonia and then West Adelaide. The move offended some people in the community but Kosmina had wanted to play at a higher level.[3] He then played for the English club, Arsenal in February 1978. However, he only played one first-team league game for the Gunners (as a substitute against Leeds United on 19 August 1978), along with 3 appearances (2 as a substitute) in that season's UEFA cup. He was the first Australian to play for Arsenal. He returned to Australia in May 1979[citation needed] as he said he was feeling homesick and felt like a novelty.[4]

On his return, he went on to become one of the National Soccer League's most prolific scorers, with stints at Adelaide City, West Adelaide (for a second time), Sydney City, Sydney Olympic and A.P.I.A. Leichhardt Tigers before retiring in 1989. The most successful of these was with Sydney City, being part of their 1981 and 1982 championship winning teams, as well as being the league's top scorer in 1982.[citation needed]

Kosmina was captain of the Australian national football team, and helped the team win the Merlion Cup twice. He cited Peter Wilson as a player who had influenced his work as a captain.[2]

During the 1985 season, CR Vasco da Gama toured Australia, playing against various teams in a series of games. Kosmina scored the winning goal in his team's game against Vasco de Gama, which helped Australia win the series and later cited it as one of the best goals he had ever scored.[2]

Managerial career[edit]

After retiring, he began coaching the Warringah Dolphins in the New South Wales state leagues, before coaching NSL side Newcastle Breakers, followed by a stint at the Brisbane Strikers. Both stints were largely unsuccessful, his sides reaching the finals only once.

Adelaide United[edit]

In 2003, he became the inaugural coach of Adelaide United. Kosmina coached United to an impressive 3rd in the final season of the NSL. Maintaining his job for the inaugural season of the A-League, Kosmina led his side to the Minor Premiership but a poor finals series saw them finish 3rd overall. The next season saw mixed results for Kosmina and Adelaide United.

Finishing 2nd on the table behind Melbourne Victory, Adelaide managed to reach the grand final, only to be thrashed 6–0. Kosmina's criticism of the refereeing of that match, coupled with the devastating loss and a touchline ban earlier during the season for a scuffle with Victory captain Kevin Muscat, saw him forced to resign by the Adelaide board.[5] Kosmina said that he felt that Muscat had thrown an elbow at him and said he had "lost it".[4]

He was then appointed by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold as his assistant for the 2007 Asian Cup.

Sydney FC[edit]

After the sacking of Branko Culina by the Sydney Football Club Board, Kosmina was confirmed on 24 October 2007 as the new Sydney FC coach.[6] Since signing with Sydney FC Kosmina made an immediate impact; winning his first game with Sydney 3–2 against rivals Central Coast Mariners at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Sydney FC beat the LA Galaxy 5–3 at Sydney's Telstra Stadium in a friendly, and also won a thrilling 5–4 victory against the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium. Following Sydney FC's poor run in the 2008/2009 season (missing the finals for the first time), John Kosmina had his contract terminated in late January 2009.[7]

Adelaide Raiders[edit]

He was announced the manager of the Adelaide Raiders, a semi-professional club playing in the FFSA Super League.[8] On 1 September 2011, it was announced he had signed as senior coach of FFSA Super League club Croydon Kings after more than 35 years away from the club.[9] It was announced on 18 December 2011 that Croydon Kings had agreed to release Kosmina from his coaching contract so he could accept the Adelaide United manager position.[10]

Return to Adelaide United[edit]

On 18 December 2011 he signed as caretaker coach with Adelaide United for the remainder of the 2011–12 A-League season.[11] On 22 March 2012 it was announced he had signed a one-year contract with the club to stay on for the 2012–13 A-League season.[12] On 28 January 2013 he stood down as manager of Adelaide United, citing a lack of trust at the club.[13]

Brisbane City[edit]

In August 2015, Kosmina was appointed senior coach and football leader at National Premier Leagues Queensland club Brisbane City, signing a three-year contract.[14] In November 2018, it was announced that he would join the coaching staff at St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace, taking responsibility for the Open First and Second XI teams, as well as the Year 10 and 11 teams, as part of a partnership between the college and Brisbane City.[15]

Brisbane Strikers[edit]

In November 2020, Brisbane Strikers announced that Kosmina would return to the club as senior coach,[16] 17 years after he last coached the side. After a string of shocking results Kosmina was sacked by the club on Monday 24 May

On 24 May 2021, it was announced via a club statement on the club website that the Brisbane Strikers and Kosmina would be parting ways.[17] This decision came after a poor run of form which saw the Strikers not take a single point from their first ten games in the 2021 NPL Queensland Season.[18]


He occasionally appears on Fox Sports as a commentator and football analyst. Kosmina co-hosts a weekly Internet television show about football on Australia Live TV with Ross Aloisi, Two Up Front[19] and the episodes are on

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list goal tally first.
No Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Opening Goal
1 27 October 1976 Beijing Workers Stadium Chinese Selection 3–3 4–5 Friendly Game No
2 27 October 1976 Beijing Workers Stadium Chinese Selection 3–4 4–5 Friendly Game No
3 9 November 1976 Eindhoven, Netherlands Netherlands PSV Eindhoven 2–1 2–1 Friendly Game No
4 2 February 1977 Olympic Park Stadium Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 1–3 1–3 Friendly Game No
5 20 July 1977 Sydney Sports Ground England Arsenal F.C. 1–0 3–1 Friendly Game Yes
6 28 July 1977 Olympic Park Stadium Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 1–0 2–3 Friendly Game Yes
7 16 March 1977 Ba, Fiji  Taiwan 0–1 1–2 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC) No
8 27 March 1977 Sydney Cricket Ground  New Zealand 3–1 3–1 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC) No
9 10 July 1977 Adelaide, Australia  Hong Kong 1–0 3–0 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC) Yes
10 10 July 1977 Adelaide, Australia  Hong Kong 3–0 3–0 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC) No
11 28 August 1977 Sydney Sports Ground  South Korea 1–1 1–2 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC) No
12 28 August 1977 Sydney Sports Ground  South Korea 1–2 1–2 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC) No
13 20 May 1981 Olympic Park Stadium  Indonesia 1–0 2–0 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC) Yes
14 10 June 1981 Hindmarsh Stadium  Taiwan 2–0 3–2 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC and OFC) No
15 10 October 1982 Singapore National Stadium  Thailand 0–3 0–4 Friendly Game No
16 10 October 1982 Singapore National Stadium  Thailand 0–4 0–4 Friendly Game No
17 15 October 1982 Singapore National Stadium  Malaysia 0–3 0–5 Friendly Game No
18 26 November 1983 Inglewood, Perth Western Australia 2–1 2–1 Friendly Game No
19 30 November 1983 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia Kuala Lumpur FA 1–2 1–4 Friendly Game No
20 30 November 1983 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia Kuala Lumpur FA 1–3 1–4 Friendly Game No
21 2 December 1983 Singapore  Singapore 1–1 1–3 Friendly Game No
22 4 December 1983 Singapore  China 2–1 2–1 Merlion Cup No
23 10 December 1983 Singapore  Thailand 0–2 0–2 Merlion Cup No
24 15 December 1983 Singapore  South Korea 0–1 1–3 Merlion Cup Yes
25 18 December 1983 Singapore  Singapore 2–2 2–4 Merlion Cup No
26 2 June 1984 Sydney Cricket Ground Scotland Rangers F.C. 2–1 3–2 Friendly Game No
27 7 June 1984 Lang Park, Brisbane England Nottingham Forest F.C. 1–0 2–2 Friendly Game Yes
27 21 June 1984 Sydney, Australia Greece Iraklis 1908 Thessaloniki F.C. 1–0 2–0 Friendly Game Yes
29 14 November 1984 Manchester, England England Manchester City F.C. 1–2 1–3 Friendly Game No
30 9 May 1985 Melbourne Cricket Ground Brazil Clube de Regatas Vasco da Gama 1–0 2–1 Friendly Game Yes
31 9 May 1985 Melbourne Cricket Ground Brazil Clube de Regatas Vasco da Gama 2–1 2–1 Friendly Game No
32 15 September 1985 Middle Park, Melbourne Victorian All-Stars 0–1 2–3 Friendly Game Yes
33 15 September 1985 Middle Park, Melbourne Victorian All-Stars 0–2 2–3 Friendly Game No



Sydney City



Adelaide United

Kosmina Street in the Sydney suburb of Glenwood is named for him,[24] along with Kosmina Crescent in the northern Adelaide suburb of Hillbank.

John Kosmina Medal[edit]

The award given to the player of the match in the National Premier Leagues Grand Final each year is named in his honour.


  1. ^ The Australian National Men's Football Team: Caps and Captains Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c National Soccer Monthly, August 1985, Issue 4, publisher: National Soccer Monthly, published: 1985
  3. ^ a b John Kosmina: Socceroo legend talks about Sydney City, the NSL and more with Sasha Pete, Sasha Pete, 2021, retrieved 13 March 2023
  4. ^ a b Football Legend: John Kosmina, Neds Australia, 2022, retrieved 13 March 2023
  5. ^ David Davutovic (22 February 2007). "Kosmina sacked". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  6. ^ "Sydney FC unveil Kosmina". 24 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Kosmina parts ways with Sydney FC". ABC Online. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  8. ^ "Kosmina, Aloisi now SA coaches".
  9. ^ Migliaccio, Val. "Kossie's back to where it started". The Advertiser. Adelaide.
  10. ^ "Latest Football Australia News". Archived from the original on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Adelaide replaces Coolen with Kosmina". Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Kosmina reappointed as Coach – Adelaide United FC 2011". Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  13. ^ Earle, Richard. "John Kosmina leaves Adelaide United because of lack of trust with management". The Advertiser. Adelaide.
  14. ^ "Coaching Coup as Brisbane City Fc Signs Famed Coach John Kosmina". Brisbane City FC. 24 August 2015. Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  15. ^ Smale, S (10 November 2017). "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT – Brisbane City announce historic partnership with St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace". Brisbane City FC. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  16. ^ FC, Brisbane Strikers. "John Kosmina named Brisbane Strikers FC Senior Academy Head Coach". Brisbane Strikers FC. Archived from the original on 20 April 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  17. ^ FC, Brisbane Strikers. "Club Statement: Changes to Senior Coaching Structure". Brisbane Strikers FC. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Ladder for NPL Men's 2021". GameDay. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Two Up Front".
  20. ^ "Teams of the Decade: 1981–1989". 20 December 2013.
  21. ^ "KOSSIE IN THE MEDIA". W Sports and Archived from the original on 11 May 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  22. ^ "John Kosmina". 20 July 2023.
  23. ^ "NPL TITLE GOES ON THE LINE". Football 10 October 2013.
  24. ^ O'Maley, Christine (20 January 2010). "Park is a goner". Blacktown Advocate. Cumberland Newspapers. p. 14. ...streets are named after well known football identities...

External links[edit]