Subway Socceroos Head Coach, Graham Arnold will break an Australian men’s national team coaching record this Thursday evening at AAMI Park, when the Subway Socceroos face Bangladesh, the first step on their FIFA World Cup 2026™ qualification journey.
One of Australian football’s most passionate and committed servants, Arnold will surpass Frank Farina’s record for most 'A’ Internationals as men’s national team Head Coach (58) when he steps into the technical area for the 59th occasion on Thursday.
Arnold – who also boasts 56 caps as a player – has been involved in national team coaching ranks since 2000, first as an assistant to Farina and then Guus Hiddink, before a brief period as caretaker coach in 2006.
After time spent at the helm of Australia’s U-23 program including the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Arnold went to club coaching, first with Central Coast Mariners FC and then Sydney FC – bringing domestic success to both outfits, while helping usher in a new generation of Australian representatives at club level.
Appointed as the men’s national team Head Coach following the completion of the 2018 FIFA World CupTM in Russia, Arnold was immediately presented with a major tournament in the 2019 AFC Asian CupTM, before embarking on what would be a successful qualification campaign for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM – despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 throughout that period.
Throughout his two stints at the helm of the Subway Socceroos, Arnold’s record across his 58 games in charge stands at 33 wins, 9 draws and 16 losses. Since his appointment in 2018, Arnold has only had the opportunity to coach on Australian soil on 10 occasions, in large part due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
In addition to his senior role, Arnold also took on the dual responsibility of the U-23 program in 2019, guiding the Subway Olyroos in their Olympic campaign for Tokyo 2020 – overseeing the emergence of a new wave of national team players from within this development pathway.
As both a player and coach, Arnold’s association with the Australian men’s national team extends more than three decades and included three FIFA World Cups, two AFC Asian Cups and four Olympic Games.
Football Australia CEO, James Johnson congratulated Arnold on reaching a significant milestone.
“Graham is one of the greatest contributors to the Socceroos,” Johnson said.
“He’s been a constant in the Australian football landscape for more than 30 years as both a player and coach, being a part of some of the Socceroos most memorable moments.
“Anyone who knows Arnie will tell you he bleeds green and gold. His love for the Socceroos and football in Australia is both infectious and inspiring. That energy and passion is a huge element to the way he’s able to lead and inspire our nation’s best male footballers in some of our sport’s most challenging arenas.
“On behalf of Football Australia, I’d like to congratulate Arnie on everything he’s achieved in reaching this milestone and we look forward to him continuing to build on what is already an exceptional legacy,” Johnson concluded.
Arnold said he was humbled by the individual accolade and was looking forward to his side getting their FIFA World Cup 2026™ qualification campaign underway.
“It’s certainly a proud moment and an achievement that I’ll reflect on when the time is right,” Arnold said.
“I look at some of the names on that list – Farina, Arok, Thompson, Rasic – guys I played under or assisted in the early part of my coaching career, and it gives you some perspective on what a journey it’s been so far.
“I think back to that caretaker period and how much I learnt about coaching; it was a challenging experience and one that on reflection I probably wasn’t ready for. I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given and what it was able to teach me ahead of my pathway into club coaching.
“I was able to put lessons from that time into practice, develop and eventually return to the Socceroos much more prepared for the role. It’s been a privilege to be part of the national team again with the benefit of that experience, and I'm immensely proud of what this group has been able to achieve in the last four years.
“In my opinion, there’s no greater honour than representing your nation on the international stage. I look at the young players coming through the Socceroos system now full of pride in the work they’ve put in to get where they are, and the journey that’s ahead of them.
“I’ve always loved being a part of the Socceroos culture and my desire to see Australia fulfil its footballing potential is still driving me to take this group to further success,” concluded Arnold.
FIFA WORLD CUP 2026™️ SECOND ROUND ASIAN QUALIFIERS:
Subway Socceroos v Bangladesh
Thursday, 16 November 2023
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 8.00pm AEDT
Tickets: via Ticketek
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+
Palestine v Subway Socceroos
Tuesday, 21 November
Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium, Kuwait
Kick-off: 5.00pm (local) / 1am AEDT (Wednesday, 22 November)
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+
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