Graham Arnold (1963)
Graham James Arnold (August 3, 1963) cult hero of Roda JC and NAC Breda, among others, in the 1990s. He was known as an attacker and became a crowd favorite due to his boundless effort, passion, experience and goals.
Before playing in the Netherlands Eredivisie, Graham Arnold played in Australia for Sydney United. Then he left for 100,000 guilders to Roda JC where he would play for two seasons. He remembers his entrance on Kaalheide flawlessly. “I also remember when I first entered the dressing room and everyone looked very surprised! They expected me much bigger. Jan Reker had mainly seen me play on video, perhaps because of my jumping power I seemed bigger. But I was certainly a lot smaller than John van Loen with whom I played in the attack. ”
After a difficult first season, Arnold played much better the following year with wing attackers Max Huiberts and René Hofman. The striker made 16 goals that season and Roda made the cup final. Arnold probably had to leave the Limburgers after a great season for financial reasons (read: Arnold Hendriks).
Club Liège brought Arnold to the Belgian league by paying NAC a transfer fee of 500,000 guilders. In Belgium, the center-forward played meritoriously. He scored 19 goals in his first season, in his second 13. After one season in Charleroi in 1995-1996, Arnold returned to the Netherlands and started playing football at NAC.
Graham Arnold played for NAC for a total of three seasons. In that period, the attacker grew into a hugely popular player with the audience and scored 35 times in the NAC football shirt. In the 1995-1996 season, Arnold finished third on the top scorers list. He was taken to forget the phenomenon Pierre van Hooijdonk, which was euphemistically quite successful.
The then 32-year-old striker, who quickly became the leader of the NAC team with his experience, radiated in everything that 'the general public' likes so much: boundless commitment, passion, experience. And goals (even 2x four times in 1 match). In 1997, the popular striker left NAC to finish his football career with Sanfrecce Hiroshima from Japan.
After his football career, Graham Arnold worked as a trainer at various clubs and became national coach. He was a trainer with club coach at Sydney United and Northern Spirit FC and Assistant National Coach (including Guus Hiddink) of the National Team of Australia. Later he would also become national coach of the Socceroos. After that, Graham Arnold (1963) was coach of Young Australia and club coach of the Central Coast Mariners.
(Photo: ANP – Hans Steinmeier)