Graham Arnold will take the Socceroos reins from Dutchman Bert van Marwijk after the World Cup
08 March, 2018, 13:26
Graham Arnold will succeed Dutchman Bert van Marwijk as Australia coach after this year's World Cup in Russian Federation.
A stalwart of Australian soccer, the Sydney FC coach returns for a second stint in the head role, having led the national team for a year after Guus Hiddink stepped down after the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Experienced Dutchman Bert van Marwijk, centre, will coach the Socceroos at the World Cup in Russian Federation.
The Socceroos' new long-term coach Graham Arnold says it was a hard decision to reject a bumped-up offer to remain as Sydney FC manager. His contract carries him through to the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
He switched to Sydney FC in the 2014-15 season and led the Sky Blues to the Premiers Plate and grand final victory in 2016-17.
"I started as a player/coach and I didn't coach a club properly and then I went to the national team", Arnold said. "It's a job I have always been interested in doing and I believe the timing is flawless for me", said Arnold, a former striker who played for Australia 56 times.
The announcement is expected to come hours after Sydney were dealt a near-fatal Asian Champions League blow, losing to group opponents Kashima Antlers 2-0 at Allianz Stadium. "I know what the job is about, I know it's not an easy job, but I feel I'm definitely ready".
"Arnie is clearly in our opinion the best person for the job, not just the best Australian but the best person for the job", he said.
Graham Arnold speaks to the media during a press conference announcing he will take over as Socceroos coach.
Arnold's first major assignment will be Australia's Asian Cup defense in the United Arab Emirates next January.
"Based on that we chose to appoint the best person for the 2018 World Cup and the best person to lead the Socceroos for the long term after this year's tournament".
Van Marwijk was appointed in January after Ange Postecoglou resigned in November, following Australia's qualification for Russian Federation through the intercontinental play-off.
"I won't be getting under his feet but I will be cheering him and the team on from the stands".
In unveiling Arnold as the long-term coach of the Socceroos, FFA chief executive David Gallop identified a more holistic set of criteria for this appointment with a clear directive to have a hands-on approach with the junior national teams as well as the senior squad.