Australia national soccer team
The Australia national soccer team represents Australia in international men's soccer. Nicknamed the Socceroos, the team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia, a member of the Asian Football Confederation and the regional ASEAN Football Federation since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006. Australia is the only national team to have been a champion of two confederations, having won the OFC Nations Cup four times between 1980 and 2004, as well as the AFC Asian Cup at the 2015 event on home soil; the team has represented Australia at the FIFA World Cup tournament on five occasions, in 1974 and from 2006 to 2018. The team has represented Australia at the FIFA Confederations Cup four times; the first Australia national team was constituted in 1922 for a tour of New Zealand, which included two defeats and a draw. For the next 36 years, New Zealand and South Africa became regular opponents in tour matches. During that period, Australia competed against Canada and India during their tours of Australia in 1924 and 1938 respectively.
Australia recorded their worst defeat on 30 June 1951 as they lost 17–0 in a match to a touring England side. Australia had a rare opportunity to compete on the world's stage during the team's first major international tournament as hosts of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. However, an inexperienced squad proved to be reason for the team's disappointing performance. With the advent of cheap air travel, Australia began to diversify its range of opponents. However, its geographical isolation continued to play a role in its destiny for the next 30 years. After failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 1966 and 1970, losing in play-offs to North Korea and Israel Australia appeared at their first World Cup in West Germany, 1974. After managing only a draw from Chile and losses from East Germany and West Germany, the team, made up of amateur players was eliminated at the end of the first round, finishing last in their group without scoring a goal, it would prove to be the only appearance for the Australian team until the World Cup tournament returned to Germany more than three decades in 2006.
Over a 40-year period, the Australian team was known for its near misses in its attempts to qualify for the World Cup. The team's poor record in World Cup competition was not reflected in their reasonable performances against strong European and South American sides. In 1988, Australia defeated reigning world champions Argentina 4–1 in the Australian Bicentennial Gold Cup. In 1997, Australia drew with reigning world champions Brazil 0–0 in the group stage and defeated Uruguay 1–0 in the semi-finals to reach the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup Final. In 2001, after a victory against reigning world champions France in the group stage, Australia finished the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup in third place after defeating Brazil 1–0 in the third-place decider. Australia defeated England 3–1 at West Ham United's Boleyn Ground in 2003 as Wayne Rooney made his international debut. In early 2005, it was reported that Football Federation Australia had entered into discussions to join the Asian Football Confederation and end an 40-year association with the Oceania Football Confederation.
Many commentators and fans, most notably soccer broadcaster and former Australian captain Johnny Warren, felt that the only way for Australia to progress was to abandon Oceania. On 13 March, the AFC executive committee made a unanimous decision to invite Australia to join the AFC. After the OFC executive committee unanimously endorsed Australia's proposed move, FIFA approved the move on 30 June 2005. Australia joined Asia, with the move taking effect on 1 January 2006, though until Australia had to compete for a 2006 World Cup position as an OFC member country. After a successful campaign, the team took the first steps towards qualification for the 2006 World Cup. After coach Frank Farina stood down from the position after Australia's dismal performance at the 2005 Confederations Cup, Guus Hiddink was announced as the new national coach. Australia, ranked 49th, would have to play the 18th ranked Uruguay in a rematch of the 2001 qualification play-off for a spot in the 2006 World Cup. After a 5–0 friendly win against Jamaica, the first leg of the play-off tournament was lost, with the return leg still to be played in Australia four days in Sydney on 16 November 2005.
The second leg of the qualifying play-off was played in front of a crowd of 82,698 at Stadium Australia. Australia led Uruguay 1–0 after 90 minutes following a goal by Mark Bresciano in the first half; the aggregate was tied, extra time was played. Neither team scored after two periods of extra time. Australia won the penalty shootout, making Australia the first team to qualify for a World Cup via a penalty shootout. Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer made two saves, with John Aloisi scoring the winning penalty for a place in the World Cup, Australia's first qualification in 32 years. Australia went into the 2006 World Cup as the second lowest-ranked side. Although their ranking vastly improved in subsequent months after a series of exhibition matches against high-profile teams, including a 1–1 draw against the Netherlands, a 1–0 win at the sold out 100,000 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground against the European Champions Greece. For the 2006 World Cup, Australia was placed into Group F, along with Japan and defending champions Brazil.
In their opening group game, Australia defeated Japan 3–1, with Ti
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards score more goals on behalf of their team than other players. Modern team formations include one to three forwards. Unconventional formations may include none; the traditional role of a centre-forward is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. The player may be used to win long balls or receive passes and retain possession of the ball with their back to goal as teammates advance, in order to provide depth for their team or help teammates score by providing a pass. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the second strikers or central attacking midfielders, do the majority of the ball handling outside the box; the present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder in the 4–3–1–2 or 4–1–2–1–2 formations.
The term "target man" is used to describe a particular type of striker whose main role is to win high balls in the air and create chances for other members of the team. These players are tall and physically strong, being adept at heading the ball; the term centre-forward is taken from the early football playing formation in which there were five forward players: two outside forwards, two inside forwards, one centre-forward. When numbers were introduced in the 1933 English FA Cup final, one of the two centre-forwards that day wore the number nine – Everton's Dixie Dean a strong, powerful forward who had set the record for the most goals scored in a season in English football during the 1927–28 season; the number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. The role of a striker is rather different from that of a traditional centre-forward, although the terms centre-forward and striker are used interchangeably at times, as both play further up the field than other players, while tall and technical players, like Zlatan Ibrahimović, have qualities which are suited to both positions.
Like the centre-forward, the traditional role of a striker is to score goals. They are fast players with good ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short bursts of speed. A good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, have the ability to link-up with teammates and pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. While many strikers wear the number 9 shirt, the position, to a lesser degree, is associated with the number 10, worn by more creative deep-lying forwards such as Pelé, with numbers 7 and 11, which are associated with wingers. Deep-lying forwards have a long history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years; such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards. More two more variations of this old type of player have developed: the second, or shadow, or support, or auxiliary striker and, in what is in fact a distinct position unto its own, the number 10, exemplified by Dennis Bergkamp.
Other number 10s who play further back, such as Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane, are described as an attacking midfielder or the playmaker. The second striker position is a loosely defined and most misapplied description of a player positioned somewhere between the out-and-out striker, whether he is a "target-man" or more of a "poacher", the Number 10 or attacking midfielder, while showing some of the characteristics of both. In fact, a term coined by French advanced playmaker Michel Platini, the "nine-and-a-half", which he used to describe Roberto Baggio's playing role, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. Conceivably, a Number 10 can alternate as a second-striker provided that he is a prolific goalscorer. Second or support strikers do not tend to get as involved in the orchestration of attacks as the Number 10, nor do they bring as many other players into play, since they do not share the burden of responsibility, functioning predominantly as assist providers.
In Italy, this role is known as a "rifinitore" or "seconda punta", whereas in Brazil, it is known as "segundo atacante" or "ponta-de-lança". The position of inside forward was popularly used in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries; the inside forwards would support the centre-forward and making space in the opposition defence, and, as the passing game developed, supporting him or her with passes. The role is broadly analogous to the "hole" or second striker position in the modern game, although here there were two such players, known as inside right and inside left. In early 2–3–5 formations the inside-forwards would flank the centre-forward on both sides. With the advent of
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million. The city of Buenos Aires is the Province's capital. In 1880, after decades of political infighting, Buenos Aires was federalized and removed from Buenos Aires Province; the city limits were enlarged to include the towns of Flores. The 1994 constitutional amendment granted the city autonomy, hence its formal name: Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, its citizens first elected a chief of government in 1996.
Buenos Aires is considered an'alpha city' by the study GaWC5. Buenos Aires' quality of life was ranked 91st in the world, being one of the best in Latin America in 2018, it is the most visited city in South America, the second-most visited city of Latin America. Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, is known for its preserved Eclectic European architecture and rich cultural life. Buenos Aires held the 1st Pan American Games in 1951 as well as hosting two venues in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Buenos Aires hosted the 2018 the 2018 G20 summit. Buenos Aires is a multicultural city, being home to multiple religious groups. Several languages are spoken in the city in addition to Spanish, contributing to its culture and the dialect spoken in the city and in some other parts of the country; this is because in the last 150 years the city, the country in general, has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants from all over the world, making it a melting pot where several ethnic groups live together and being considered one of the most diverse cities of the Americas.
It is recorded under the archives of Aragonese that Catalan missionaries and Jesuits arriving in Cagliari under the Crown of Aragon, after its capture from the Pisans in 1324 established their headquarters on top of a hill that overlooked the city. The hill was known to them as Bonaira, as it was free of the foul smell prevalent in the old city, adjacent to swampland. During the siege of Cagliari, the Catalans built a sanctuary to the Virgin Mary on top of the hill. In 1335, King Alfonso the Gentle donated the church to the Mercedarians, who built an abbey that stands to this day. In the years after that, a story circulated, claiming that a statue of the Virgin Mary was retrieved from the sea after it miraculously helped to calm a storm in the Mediterranean Sea; the statue was placed in the abbey. Spanish sailors Andalusians, venerated this image and invoked the "Fair Winds" to aid them in their navigation and prevent shipwrecks. A sanctuary to the Virgin of Buen Ayre would be erected in Seville.
In the first foundation of Buenos Aires, Spanish sailors arrived thankfully in the Río de la Plata by the blessings of the "Santa Maria de los Buenos Aires", the "Holy Virgin Mary of the Good Winds", said to have given them the good winds to reach the coast of what is today the modern city of Buenos Aires. Pedro de Mendoza called the city "Holy Mary of the Fair Winds", a name suggested by the chaplain of Mendoza's expedition – a devotee of the Virgin of Buen Ayre – after the Sardinian Madonna de Bonaria. Mendoza's settlement soon came under attack by indigenous people, was abandoned in 1541. For many years, the name was attributed to a Sancho del Campo, said to have exclaimed: How fair are the winds of this land!, as he arrived. But Eduardo Madero, in 1882 after conducting extensive research in Spanish archives concluded that the name was indeed linked with the devotion of the sailors to Our Lady of Buen Ayre. A second settlement was established in 1580 by Juan de Garay, who sailed down the Paraná River from Asunción.
Garay preserved the name chosen by Mendoza, calling the city Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María del Buen Aire. The short form "Buenos Aires" became the common usage during the 17th century; the usual abbreviation for Buenos Aires in Spanish is Bs. As, it is common as well to refer to it as "B. A." or "BA". While "BA" is used more by expats residing in the city, the locals more use the abbreviation "Baires", in one word. Seaman Juan Díaz de Solís, navigating in the name of Spain, was the first European to reach the Río de la Plata in 1516, his expedition was cut short when he was killed during an attack by the native Charrúa tribe in what is now Uruguay. The city of Buenos Aires was first established as Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre after Our Lady of Bonaria on 2 February 1536 by a Spanish expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza; the settlement founded by Mendoza was located in what is today the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires, south of the city centre. More attacks by the indigenous
Graham James Arnold is an Australian association football manager and former player. Arnold was appointed to work as an assistant coach of the Australian national football team in 2000. After head coach Frank Farina was sacked in 2005, Arnold worked with Guus Hiddink for the 2006 FIFA World Cup campaign, in which they made the second round of the finals. After Hiddink left, he became acting coach of the Socceroos. Arnold went on take the manager role at A-League club the Central Coast Mariners between 2010 and 2013, where he guided the club to two premierships and a championship, he is a member of the Football Federation Australia Football Hall of Fame. He has now won with Sydney FC in 2016–17 A-League. Arnold holds a number of A-League records: he has managed the second most games of any manager in the A-League, he has achieved the second most wins in the competition's history, he has the best career winning percentage of any A-League manager, he has the best career unbeaten percentage of any A-League manager, he is one of just 3 managers to have won multiple A-League championships.
On 8 March 2018, it was announced that he will replace Bert van Marwijk as Australian coach after the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Arnold's daughter, Elissa, is the partner of Australia national football team defender Trent Sainsbury. Arnold Place in the Sydney suburb of Glenwood is named for him. Arnold was a striker who started his career at Gwawley Bay in 1969, he played for them and Sutherland representative teams concurrently until 1979 when he moved to Canterbury-Marrickville in the New South Wales Premier League. He moved to Sydney Croatia in Australia's now defunct National Soccer League, where he was both the league's top goal scorer and player of the year in 1986; this was followed by a move overseas, where he made a name for himself in the Netherlands, playing for Roda JC Kerkrade and NAC Breda. He spent time in Belgium with R. F. C. de Liège and R. Charleroi S. C.. He went on to play for Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Japan towards the end of his career, before returning home to play for the Northern Spirit FC.
Graham Arnold has represented Australia's senior national team 54 times. He was given his full debut by Frank Arok in a World Cup Qualifier against Taiwan at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium on 23 October 1985, he scored on his debut. His international playing career came to a sad end on 29 November 1997 in a World Cup Qualifier against Iran at the MCG when the score ended 2–2 and Australia was eliminated on the away goals rule after leading 2–0. Arnold had a cameo role as a coach early on in his career, he was coach for 2 games. However, his proper coaching career started in 1998, when he was appointed player/manager of the Northern Spirit FC, he was the coach for 2 seasons, making the playoffs in their debut season. He was appointed to the position of Australian assistant coach in 2000, becoming acting coach in July 2006 appointed head coach in December 2006. On 6 September 2006 Australia was defeated 2–0 in an Asian Cup qualifying game against lowly-ranked Kuwait; the FFA confirmed. Australia started their Asian Cup campaign poorly, drawing with Oman in its opening Group stage game in Bangkok.
Media pressure focused on Arnold and on 13 July 2007 Australia were beaten 3–1 by Iraq in the 2007 Asian Cup. Following the match, Arnold told the assembled media, "There's some players who seem like they don't want to be here. I'm disappointed." Arnold continued in the role as Manager of the Australian U-23 side, qualifying through to the 2008 Olympics. In the tournament proper his side finished 3rd in the group with 2 losses, he was linked with the manager's position at Bolton Wanderers and Norwich City in England but lost out to Gary Megson and Glenn Roeder respectively. With the appointment of Dutchman Pim Verbeek as the Australian manager, Arnold along with Henk Duut served as his assistant to the national side during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. On 9 February 2010, it was announced that Arnold will take on the position of head coach for the Central Coast Mariners until the end of the 2012/2013 season. At the conclusion of the 2011–12 A-League season he rejected a lucrative contract from Sydney FC and decided to stay on with the Mariners signing a one-year extension to his original contract with the club.
In the month of November 2013 Graham was a target for a few clubs in Asia Vegalta Sendai in Japan's J1 League. Although interest again raised from the Australian Football Federation to make Graham the national team coach, he always wanted to stay in club football over the national team setup and within weeks agreed terms with Sendai to be the first Australian coach, since the late Eddie Thomson to coach at the highest level in Japanese football. Graham recruited his assistant from the Central Coast Mariners Andrew Clark to join him in Japan. On 9 April 2014, it was announced by Vegalta Sendai that Arnold had been sacked after an winless 8-game streak endured by Sendai in the league and cup competitions. Arnold was appointed as the new head coach of Sydney FC on 8 May 2014. In his first season with the Sky Blues, they were runners-up in the 2014–15 A-League season, finishing second behind Melbourne Victory, losing the 2015 A-League Grand Final to them. After their respectable 2014–15 season, they saw an unsuccessful 2015–16 A-League season, finish in 7th place and missing out on the Finals Series.
He was, able to
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Paul Michael Okon is a former Australian football player. He has Belgian citizenship, he captained the Australian National Team and has represented Australia Olympic Football Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Okon's career began at Marconi Stallions in the old NSL in Australia, he went on to play at many European clubs including S. S. Lazio and Fiorentina in Italy's Serie A, Vicenza Calcio in Serie B, Middlesbrough F. C. and Leeds United F. C. in the English Premiership, Club Brugge, K. V. Oostende in Belgium's Jupiler League and APOEL in the Cypriot First Division. Okon was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2009, for his services to football in Australia. During his time in Belgium, Okon acquired citizenship of the country. Okon grew up in a Sydney suburb of Bossley Park, he is of Italian descent. He represented his high school, Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield during his time as a teenage schoolboy and featured prominently in all teams including the A Grade squad.
However, his abilities did not stop at the football pitch. He set the record for high jump at the College's annual Athletics Carnival in the under 16s age group, not broken until 2004. Okon left Marconi Stallions in 1991 for Club Brugge, due to a series of excellent performances at sweeper won the Belgian Golden Shoe, the Belgian Jupiler league and two Belgian Cups; these performances captured the attention of some of Europe's biggest clubs, in 1996 Dino Zoff – coach of Italian giants Lazio – flew out to Belgium to sign the Australian, stipulating in his contract that Okon would play sweeper and promising first team football. However, with the departure of Roberto Di Matteo to Chelsea – forcing him to play in midfield – and a succession of knee injuries resulted in game-time being limited. While he did return for the 1999 Scudetto decider that summer he departed the Roman club; this began a turbulent chapter of Okon's career, with spells at Fiorentina, Leeds United and Vicenza before returning to the country where he made his name with Oostende in 2004.
After a brief spell with APOEL in Cyprus, Okon returned to Australia. He signed with A-League club Newcastle United Jets for the 2006–07 season. Okon fit into a well-constructed Jets side and helped make the play-offs in 2007. Due to injury concerns, Okon decided to retire from professional football in June 2007. Okon played for amateur team West Ryde Rovers' over-35 Division 1 team in the GHFA. On 24 June 2008, along with Alex Tobin, Alistair Edwards and Nicola Williams, Okon was a recipient of an inaugural three-year scholarship under the Elite Coaching Development Program led by the FFA; as part of the program, Okon spent time at Coverciano with the Italian U-23 side under Pierluigi Casiraghi in the lead up to the 2008 Olympic Games, spent a stint studying the youth setup of PSV Eindhoven. On 2 September 2008 Okon was appointed assistant coach to Miron Bleiberg at Gold Coast United for their inaugural season. Before taking up his new role he took up an interim coaching role at APIA Leichhardt for their 2009 NSW Premier League season.
On 30 October 2008 Okon was appointed to lead the Australian U-18 side at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in the month of January, aimed as part of a long term view towards establishing the team for the 2012 Olympic Games. On 23 February 2010, Okon did not renew his contract with Gold Coast United, following the team's loss in the first round of the A-league finals. Since he has gone away on tour with the Australian Olympic under 23 squad for a tournament in Vietnam where he was assistant coach to Aurelio Vidmar. On 19 April 2012 it was announced he was appointed head coach of the Australia national under-20 football team and Assistant coach of the Australia Olympic football team. On 29 August 2016, Okon was appointed the new manager of the Central Coast Mariners, signing a two-year contact. Okon replaced Tony Walmsley, sacked following Central Coast's FFA Cup elimination at the hands of National Premier Leagues Victoria team Green Gully SC. In Okon's debut as Central Coast manager, the Mariners drew 3-3 with Perth Glory at Nib Stadium, after coming back from 3-0 down at half time.
Okon achieved his first win as Central Coast manager in his fifth game in charge: a 2-1 win over defending champions Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on 6 November 2016. On 20 March 2018 it was announced that Okon had resigned from his position as manager of the Central Coast Mariners; as of 6 May 2018 Club Brugge Belgian Supercup: 1991, 1992, 1994 Belgian Pro League: 1995–1996 Belgian Cup: 1994–1995, 1995–1996Lazio Coppa Italia: 1997–98 Supercoppa Italiana: 1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1998–99APOEL Cypriot Cup: 2005–06 Australia OFC U-20 Championship: 1990 OFC Nations Cup: 2000 NSL Papasavas Medal: 1989–1990, 1990–1991 Belgian Golden Shoe: 1995–1996 Oceania Footballer of the Year: 1996 Oz Football profile
Stephen Christopher Corica IPA: born 24 March 1973 in Innisfail, Australia) is a retired Australian football player and the current manager of Sydney FC in the A-League. A technically gifted and skillful attacking midfielder during his playing career, he represented Australia more than thirty times and captained Sydney FC to a domestic double. Since retiring in 2010, he was an assistant and youth coach at Sydney FC, before being appointed Head Coach in May 2018. Corica started playing football in his home town of Innisfail, in Far North Queensland and joining the elite player program at the Australian Institute of Sport in 1990. On completion of the scholarship he signed with Marconi-Fairfield in the now defunct National Soccer League. In his first NSL season he made just three starts, but developed to a regular selection in following years. In 1992/93 he was named Under 21 Player of the Year; the next two years were less successful for the Marconi and in 1995, Corica sought a career move to Europe.
Corica signed with Leicester City in the English First Division. He debuted for the club on 12 August 1995 and scored in a 2–1 win. Adding to his tally was harder to come by for following games, in February and fellow Australian Zeljko Kalac were signed by their former Leicester manager Mark McGhee for Wolverhampton Wanderers in a joint £1.75 million deal. Kalac was unable to gain a work permit for Wolves and returned to Australia. In four-and-a-half seasons at Wolves, Corica made over 100 appearances, although hampered by a series of knee injuries. Corica left Wolves in 2000, moving to Japan with J1 League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima for two season returning to England at Walsall. In September 2004, unable to work his way into the first team, Walsall agreed to release him, he decided to return home to Australia after spending 10 years abroad, joining new A-League club Sydney FC. It was a shaky start to the new competition for Corica, sent off in Sydney's third A-League match against Newcastle for a dangerous foul.
After serving a one match suspension, he repaid the club scoring just five minutes in against Queensland Roar, following up with a second goal in the match. Corica retained a place in the side for much of the year. A set-up from Dwight Yorke in the second half, gave Corica the only goal in Sydney FC's 1–0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners to help the team win the inaugural A-League Championship, he remained with the club in 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons, playing a key role in Sydney's 2007 Asian Champions League campaign, scoring four goals in six matches. On 1 April 2008 he signed a 1-year contract to remain at Sydney, given his age is possible he will retire afterward. Corica had a great start to the 2008–09 A-League Season after scoring a double in the Round 2 match against Central Coast Mariners, he became Sydney's highest goalscorer after overtaking Sasho Petrovski's former record of 14, with a Penalty in Sydney's 5–2 thrashing of Perth Glory. He became Sydney's 3rd player to reach 100 professional games for the club, with their 2–1 loss to Perth Glory on 19 November 2008 at Members Equity Stadium.
On 11 February 2010 he announced his retirement at the end of the season. On the final day of the regular season in the 2009/10 season against Melbourne Victory, Corica limped off in the 20th minute due to hamstring problems. Sydney claimed the Premiership. After examination of his injury, it was discovered that he had torn his hamstring muscle off the bone and required surgery thus ending his season, he announced his full retirement from professional football. Corica has represented Australia at all youth and at national team level, the first Australian to achieve the feat, he represented Australia at the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Scotland in 1989. Although his team finished last in a tough group, he did have his moments, such as scoring against Brazil in a 3–1 loss. In 1991, he was selected for the FIFA World Youth Championship in Portugal, where Australia performed remarkably well and reached the semi finals before losing to the hosts, he went on to play in two Olympic Games football tournament, the first being the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, where Australia made another impressive run to the semi finals, this time falling to Poland at the pemultimate stage.
Four years he was part of the 1996 Olympics team in Atlanta. He was part of a generation of Australian players dubbed the "Golden Generation". On 16 April 1993 Corica was given his full national team debut by Eddie Thomson against Kuwait in a friendly match in Singapore, he went on to play for the national team, earning over 40 caps and scoring 6 goals including appearances at the 1997 and 2001 Confederations Cups. After a five-year absence from the national team, he appeared in an Asia Cup qualifier against Kuwait on 16 August 2006 as one of eight Sydney FC players called up to the national team. Corica took over as coach for the Sydney FC National Youth League team from the 2010–11 season, it was announced in July 2011, that Corica would become one of two Assistant Coaches to Manager Vitezslav Lavicka, along with Ian Crook, the assistant coach at Sydney FC, under Pierre Littbarski during Sydney FC's Inaugural season, in which they won the 2005–06 Championship. In 2012, Corica acted as caretaker coach of Sydney FC, after the resignation of Ian Crook and until the hiring of replacement Frank Farina.
In the 2013–14 season Corica became Head Coach of the Sydney FC National Youth League once again guiding them t