|Full name||Manfred Schaefer|
|Date of birth||12 February 1943|
|Place of birth||Pillau, East Prussia, Germany|
|1982–1986||Sydney Olympic FC|
|2002–2004||Parramatta Power Assistant Manager|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Manfred Schaefer (born 12 February 1943) is a former association football defender. At club level he won titles with St. George Budapest. With the Australian national team he participated in the 1974 World Cup in his native Germany. As coach he was several times runner-up in the Australian National Soccer League with various clubs.
Schaefer was born in Pillau (now Baltiysk, Russia) near Königsberg now Kaliningrad in East Prussia (then, part of Germany). In the dying days of World War II his family fled towards the west, where they settled in Bremen. In 1954 the family emigrated with Manfred, by then aged 11, to Australia. Legendary was Manfred Schaefer's occupation as milkman, a profession that became extinct by about the mid-1980s. Every morning he delivered fresh milk to households in the suburbs and walked, respectively run enormous distances in the course, to which his extraordinary physical fitness was often attributed.
The tough and rugged central defender commenced his football career in 1960 with Blacktown in Sydney's west, playing in the second division of New South Wales. In 1963 he joined first division Budapest Club, which was renamed St. George-Budapest SC by 1965. There he played until 1975 alongside other great Australian football stars of the era, like Attila Abonyi and Johnny Warren. In 1967, 1971, 1974 and 1975 he won with the club the state championship – which in absence of a national title was the highest possible achievement. 1967, 1972 and 1975 he won the state cup, then known as the Ampol Cup, and in 1964 and 1972 the Federation Cup of the state. The titles of 1975 he won as player-coach.
Schaefer's debut for the national side was for a match in the Vietnam National Day Tournament on 5 November 1967, which Australia won in Saigon, today's Ho-Chi-Minh City against New Zealand 5–3. In total he played 73 times in the colours of Australia, 49 times in official international matches in which he scored one goal. His last three matches for Australia were 1974 World Cup, against East Germany, West Germany and Chile. He also represented New South Wales in interstate matches.
In 1975, he commenced a coaching career. Until 1977 he stayed with St. George-Budapest. Between 1982 and 1986 he became twice runner-up with Sydney Olympic in the national championship. 1989 he coached Brunswick Juventus in the state league of Victoria, from 1989 to 1991 and 1995 he coached APIA Leichhardt, and from 1992 to 1994 he was at the helm of Sydney United. From 1995 until 1997 he was with Marconi Fairfield and led the team into the grand final of the national championship, albeit losing there 1–2 to Melbourne Knights FC. From 1998 to 1999 he headed the Adelaide Sharks and from 2002 to 2004 he was assistant coach at Parramatta Power, runner-up in the national championship of 2004.
Schaefer Tce in the Sydney suburb of Glenwood is named after him. His daughter Kim Schaefer played a couple of non-A international matches for the Australia women's national soccer team "The Matildas".
- Huxley, John (13 June 2006). "The other Socceroos, living in the '70s". The Age. Melbourne.
- Benjamin Kuhlhoff / Les Scheinflug: Australiens Amateurtruppe 1974: Schlosser, Maler und ein Milchmann, 11 Freunde via Der Spiegel, 10 June 2010
- "Schaefer, Manfred". Australian Player Database. OzFootball. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Cockerill, Michael (19 November 2003). "Cup honour draws Schaefer back". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 August 2012.