Almanac Soccer: Vale Frank Arok AM


Frank Arok


Legendary former Socceroos coach Frank Arok has died at the age of 88. Regarded by many as the most influential football (soccer) coach in this country’s history, Arok is credited for bringing a new understanding of professionalism, both on and off the field, to the Australian game.


As national coach from 1983 until early 1990, Arok coached the team in 89 matches (including 49 ‘A’ internationals) for 41 wins and 22 draws, as well as coaching well over 400 matches in the national league. Particular highlights included the famous Bicentennial Gold Cup 4-1 defeat of reigning world champions Argentina in 1988 and, later that same year, reaching the final eight of the Seoul Olympic Games competition.


He will be remembered as a man of great passion for the game, even obsessed (in the best sense of the word), and a marvellous motivator of his players. Former national captain Paul Wade was quoted as saying: “Some of his pre-match talks, he was covered in sweat, he was so passionate, a lot of the time we didn’t understand what he said, but boy did we know that we were going out to play for our country.” (


Vale Frank Arok AM.


To read Football Australia’s tribute to Frank Arok click HERE.


SBS is the home of ‘the world game’ in Australia. To read its tribute to Frank Arok, click HERE.


To read The Guardian’s laudatory obituary of Frank Arok click HERE.






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  1. I love Paul Wade’s comment! It sounds like Arok was ‘a force’ in all of his dealings but passionate about the tasks he set himself. and determined to lift the standard and the profile of the game in Australia.

  2. Russel Hansen says

    very worthy acknowledgment Ian. I have always enjoyed listening to Paul Wade’s views too. Thanks, RPH

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