First Australian-born coach of the Socceroos
Frank Farina was the first Australian born coach of the Socceroos (1999-2005) and the former coach of Brisbane Roar (2007 – 2009). In 1997 he was named Coach of the Year by the Queensland Sports Federation. Prior to coaching, Frank Farina was an internationally recognized soccer player who was capped 67 times for Australia. As a star player for various clubs, he was awarded Player of the Year (twice), and Most Entertaining Player.
Frank Farina is an exceptional keynote speaker who peppers anecdotes from his playing and coaching days with valuable messages about leadership, teamwork and the attributes of success.
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Frank Farina was born in Darwin and spent his early childhood in Papua New Guinea. The youngest of four children, he grew up in Cairns where he played school soccer with St. Augustine’s College, and with club sides Stratford United and Edge Hill United before playing with Mareeba United in the Queensland State League at the age of 16. He Won a Scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra as a 17 year old.
Frank began his national soccer league career with the Canberra Arrows in 1983 and also played with Sydney City and Club Marconi before making the move overseas to play in Belgium, France and Italy. In Australia, he twice won each of Player of the Year, Leading Goal Scorer of the Year and Most Entertaining Player. In Belgium, Frank Farina won the best foreign player, as well as the Leading Goal Scorer award in 1991.
Frank retired from international competition in 1993 and returned to Australia in 1995 to play with the Brisbane Strikers. In 1996-97, he became player-coach of the Strikers and guided them to victory in the National Soccer League (NSL) Grand Final in May 1997 when they defeated Sydney United 2-0 before a record crowd for a domestic game at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. In a 17 year playing career, he played 360 League games in five countries and scored 167 goals, the best game ratio of any Australian player in domestic competition. He also played numerous Cup games in Australia and Europe, including the prestigious European Cup competition. Frank represented Australia on 86 occasions, including the World Youth Club in Mexico City in 1983, the 1986, 1990, and 1994 World Cup campaigns, and the 1988 Olympics.
In November 1997, Frank Farina was named Coach of the Year by the Queensland Sports Federation. He returned to Marconi as coach in 1998-99 taking them to fourth on the NSL championship table.
Frank’s book on his playing career, entitled My World is Round, was published in September 1998.
Frank Farina was appointed as the first Australian-born coach of the Socceroos in August 1999, and his national coaching record of 31 games includes 18 wins, 5 draws and 8 losses, including wins over world champions France, and a win over football powerhouse, Brazil at the FIFA Confederations Cup in June 2001.
The Socceroos, unfortunately, missed out on the opportunity for the 2002 World Cup finals when they were defeated 3-1 on aggregate by Uruguay in November 2001.
Farina coached the Socceroos until 2005 then took on the role of Brisbane Roar coach midway through the 2006/07 season. He took the club to third in consecutive seasons.
Frank is married to Julie and they have a son and daughter, Jordon and Tyler. He relaxes by playing golf and watching movies.