Australian soccer in the eighties was growing. The National Soccer League, established in 1977, was the first football code to launch a domestic competition. Organised sport had been highly State-based in Australia and soccer administrators made a bold move to change that.
On the international scene, the Socceroos were underperforming. Rudi Gutendorf had overseen a failed FIFA World Cup campaign in 1981, where the team missed out on a place in Spain to neighbours New Zealand. In came Frank Arok, an idiosyncratic operator with a history of success at St George in the New South Wales First Division and later, the NSL.
Arok took charge of the Socceroos in 1983 with a mandate to qualify for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He knew the NSL well and studied every player meticulously. Those few players overseas, of course, were used where possible but Arok knew he would have to cultivate what he had at home.
As the story goes, Arok failed. Twice. In 1985, it was Scotland. In 1989, Israel. Both at the final hurdle. This narrative would continue for the Socceroos until 2005. However, Arok could hold his head high, defeating world-class opposition throughout his tenure - the World Cup, just not meant to be.
To commemorate 50 years of FIFA membership, Australia's governing body announced its teams of the decade. The eighties included Terry Greedy (goalkeeper), Alan Davidson, Charlie Yankos, Tony Henderson, Graham Jennings, Murray Barnes, Joe Watson, Oscar Crino, Zarko Odzakov, John Kosmina (captain) and Eddie Krncevic.
This design is a tribute to Australian soccer in the eighties.
Socceroos Team of the Eighties T-shirt
- Unisex, regular fit
- Crew neck
- Mid-weight, 180 GSM
- 80% combed cotton, 20% polyester
- Neck ribbing, side seamed, shoulder to shoulder tape, double needle hems, preshrunk to minimise shrinkage
Size S M L XL 2XL 3XL W 47 52 56.5 61 64 68 L 71 75 78.5 82 83.5 85
Body width/length (cm)
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Measure a shirt you own 1cm below sleeve joint from side seam to side seam (no refund or replacement for incorrect size choice)
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