Sport Australia football in mourning as one-time Socceroos coach Frank Arok dies

Australia football in mourning as one-time Socceroos coach Frank Arok dies

Frank Arok coached the Socceroos from 1984 to 1990 to great success and established Australia on the world stage. Photo: Getty
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Australian football is in mourning following the death of former Socceroos coach Frank Arok, aged 88.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that former @Socceroos coach, Frank Arok AM, has passed away at the age of 88,” Football Federation Australia tweeted on Tuesday night.

“Frank made a telling impact on Australian football, coaching the Socceroos in 89 internationals, and at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.

“Frank also made a significant contribution to club football in Australia, coaching numerous sides and mentoring hundreds of successful players in the National Soccer League.

“Football Australia would like to extend its condolences to Frank’s family, friends and loved ones.

“His profound impact on Australian football will never be forgotten. Vale.”

The Yugoslav-born legend played for FK Jedinstvo for a decade in the 1950s before making his name as one of the great Australian managers.

He coached St George Saints, as well as South Melbourne FC, Port Melbourne, Gippsland Falcons and Sydney Olympic but is best remembered for his role as coach of the Australian national team.

He was in charge of the Socceroos for 48 internationals between 1983 and 1989 and made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 1990 Australia Day honours for his service to soccer.

After working with Perth Glory’s youth team between 2001 and 2003, Arok moved back to Serbia with his wife to retire.

Fellow former Socceroos coach Frank Farina and English Premier League winner Robbie Slater were others to post their condolences on Twitter.

“Frank Arok RIP ! The man that discovered and made me ! Thank you ! A true legend ! @Socceroos,” Slater posted.

Others said he was among the five most influential figures in Australian soccer history.