Football Federation Australia (FFA) has appointed Graham Arnold to take over as Head Coach of the Caltex Socceroos at the conclusion of this year’s FIFA World Cup™ in Russia.
Arnold, who is currently a premiership and championship winning Head Coach with Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League, is a former assistant and acting Head Coach of the Caltex Socceroos and represented Australia 56 times as a striker during an international career spanning 12 years. Arnold also won one premiership and a championship as Head Coach of Central Coast Mariners.
Today’s announcement completes a two-phased approach to the recruitment of the Caltex Socceroos Head Coach role which began after the departure of Ange Postecoglou in late 2017. In January, Dutchman Bert van Marwijk, who took the Netherlands to the Final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, was appointed Socceroos Head Coach for the 2018 tournament.
Arnold has been appointed until the end of the next FIFA World Cup™ in 2022.
FFA Chairman Steven Lowy AM said Arnold had been the stand out candidate for the long-term role.
“We developed a set of criteria for the role with the help of three distinguished former Socceroos – Mark Schwarzer, Stan Lazaridis and Mark Bresciano – and our own experienced staff led by FFA’s Head of National Performance and former Socceroo, Luke Casserly, and our National Technical Director, Eric Abrams,” said Lowy.
“Based on that we decided to appoint the best person for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ and the best person to lead the Caltex Socceroos for the long term after this year’s tournament.
“The long-term appointee did not have to be the best Australian; it had to be the best person when all factors were considered. That person was Graham Arnold.”
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop AM said: “When you look at his previous experience with the Caltex Socceroos as a player and a coach and you look at his success in the Hyundai A-League and his understanding of where we are trying to take the game in this country, he was an obvious candidate.
“But what really convinced us was the passion he clearly has for the role. We are delighted that he has accepted the challenge.”
Gallop acknowledged the professionalism and goodwill from Sydney FC during the process.
“I want to thank Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow and Chief Executive Danny Townsend for their understanding and collaboration through all of this,” he said.
“We are making this announcement today to bring clarity to the situation and allow Sydney FC to get on with the job of filling Graham’s very big shoes at the club.
“Graham’s first task after the World Cup will be to prepare the team for the Asian Cup in January next year when we will be defending champions. Until then we are going to be focussed on the World Cup and giving every support to Bert van Marwijk, the players and the support staff.”
Graham Arnold said his appointment as Head Coach of the Caltex Socceroos marked the achievement of a major ambition.
“It is a very great honour to coach your national team,” he said.
“It’s a job I have always been interested in doing and I believe the timing is perfect for me.
“I am deeply grateful for the trust that Chairman Steven Lowy, the FFA Board, David Gallop and Luke Casserly have shown in me. They have my total commitment and when July comes I look forward to beginning work on our defence of the Asian Cup.
“Until then I remain totally focussed on my current team and playing group at Sydney FC. It has been a tough decision to leave the club and I am determined to repay all of the support I have been given with more silverware in my final season. After today I won’t be saying any more about the Socceroos until after the World Cup out of respect for Sydney FC and out of respect for Bert van Marwijk.
“I said at the time that I thought he (van Marwijk) was a great appointment to lead the Socceroos in Russia and everything he has done since has reinforced that view. I won’t be getting under his feet but I will be cheering him and the team on from the stands.”