Graham Arnold was today presented with the 2011-12 Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) A-League Coach of the season by PFA Executive member and Central Coast Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson.

Graham was overwhelmingly selected as the A-League Coach of the Season by Professional Footballers Australia members across all ten A-League teams. The PFA presents the A-League Coach of the Season award with the support of LUCRF – the PFA’s superannuation fund of choice.

Graham is the fourth coach to be honoured as coach of the season by the PFA. He follows AngePostecoglou (Brisbane Road 2010-11), ViteslavLaviscka (Sydney FC 2009-10) and Aurelio Vidmar (Adelaide United 2008-09) as recipients of this award.

The Central Coast Mariners named A-League Premiers following their away win at Wellington on Sunday, under Graham’s leadership have maintained a high performance level both domestically and also internationally as shown in their performances in the Asian Champions League both home and away.

Graham Arnold upon receiving his award said “It is a great honour to have been selected as the PFA A-League Coach of the season. It is always an honour to have been selected by the players for any award, but this gives me great pleasure particularly given the high calibre of coaches in the A-League. I wish to thank the players and the PFA for this award.”

Brendan Schwab, Chief Executive of the PFA, speaking from Melbourne said “The continued success of the Central Coast Mariners despite their heartbreaking loss in last year’s Championship decider shows how Graham and his playing squad have had been able to overcome many of the obstacles put in their way.
“This is particularly the case given the difficulties that the club has faced with training facilities, the financial constraints and the uncertainty which has surrounded the ownership of the club this season.

“It is even more to the credit of Graham that the side has continued its success despite coming from the A-League’s smallest market and the need to transfer key players out of the club.Despite these issues Graham has successfully developed a number of young players, many of whom should become the mainstay of future Socceroo teams.

“There has been a significant increase in attendances at A-League games, and also with the TV viewing audience. There is little doubt that these increases have been on the back of the performance of the players in the A-League. The on-field strength of the game is very much driving the increased audience of the game.

“I wish Graham and his club the best in both the forthcoming A-League finals and the Asian Champions League.”