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GRAHAM ARNOLD 
SYDNEY FC

Whilst having a meeting with Sydney FC Football Manager, Terry McFlynn, on 13 November 2015, Graham Arnold came over and I was introduced to him in the coffee shop at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. That brief introduction turned into a 40-minute conversation; an Expect to Win talk.

On the 10th August 2016, I randomly rang Graham Arnold from the number on his business card. We spoke for 39 mins; another Expect to Win talk.

He was at his hotel room, said he never answer blocked numbers, but he answered my call. Sydney FC had a game that night, for the FFA Cup against Wollongong and Graham was nervous, despite being the favourites. I text Graham a programme for the match and Sydney FC won 3-0.

I continued to forward programmes to Graham, each week, through the FFA Cup series right through to their Grand Final appearance on November 30, 2016, and as the 2016/17 A-League season started. I spoke to him on the phone on August 17, 2016 for an hour & 7 November 2016 for 30 minutes. This was the first-time Sydney FC had ever made a Grand Final in the FFA Cup. They lost to Melbourne City in the Grand Final 1-0.

After the loss in the FFA Grand Final, I spoke to Graham about the energy surrounding the club on social media and re-built the belief.

The 2nd time I met Graham in person, was on the sidelines after the Brisbane Roar Vs Sydney FC game, in Brisbane, on 19 November 2016.

The A-League season was well under way as I continued to send programmes weekly.Graham had begun to ring me, twice a week, from Round 14, January 2017 for further Expect to Win talks.

I put together a programme whereby Sydney FC would be undefeated for the entire A-League season. By round 19 in the A-League, Sydney FC was still undefeated. In round 20, Sydney FC was beaten by the Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0, due to a unanimously agreed significant error by the referee. To continue striving and winning, I developed programmes whereby Sydney FC would tick off various records held in the A-League. We remained undefeated until the completion of the regular season, breaking every record ever held in the A-League.

Sydney FC won the 2016/17 Premiers Plate with 66 points out of a possible 81 points, breaking the previous record of 65 points (larger competition with 3 extra games). Sydney took the Premiers Plate with 4 rounds to go and then went on to win the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League overall, in the Grand Final, against 2nd place Melbourne Victory, on 7 May 2017 in a penalty shoot-out. We also won the 2017/18 Premiers Plate with 64 points & the Westfield FFA Cup in 2017/2018. In this 2 season period together, we won 4 of the 6 titles on offer.

Graham has also won the A- league Coach of the Year in those 2 seasons. I worked alongside Graham to qualify the Socceroos for the 2022 Football World Cup and during the record breaking success of the Socceroos at the 2022 World Cup. I also worked alongside Graham with the qualification, and playing, of the Olyroos in the 2021 Olympics, who qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 12 years. 

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The "Coach Whisperer" behind Graham Arnold's resurrection at Sydney FC

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By his own admission, Graham Arnold was “more of an actor than a coach” in the public eye. He was not nearly as relaxed and his real personality was buried far beneath the surface as...

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