Frank Farina has become just the fifth person to be awarded the prestigious Alex Tobin Medal by the Professional Footballers Association. The award is done annually by the PFA to a current, or a former, player based on four attributes demonstrated by Alex Tobin throughout his career and which reflect the philosophy of the PFA.
The only other recipients are inaugural winners Joe Marston and Johnny Warren as well as Mark Viduka and Liverpool legend Craig Johnston.
Farina will officially receive his honour at the annual PFA awards in Brisbane on June 13 which will also unveil the PFA men’s and women’s Footballer of the Year, international Footballer of the Year and the Harry Kewell Medal for Australia’s best male under 23 player.
Advertisement: Story continues below The Alex Tobin Medal is awarded by the PFA executive to a current or former player who has displayed leadership, achievement as a player and service and dedication to the game.
“Frank Farina has demonstrated these attributes over a 30-year professional career,” PFA CEO Brendan Schwab said.
Farina enjoyed a stellar playing career in Australia, Belgium, Italy and France, took part in the Seoul Olympics and was capped 86 times in an international career that included the 1986, 1990 and 1994 World Cup qualifying campaigns.
“He was also the first of Australia’s successful exports to come home,” said Schwab.
In Farina’s first year as player-coach, the Brisbane Strikers won the 1997 NSL championship.
He also took over the Marconi reins before being appointed Socceroos coach in 1999, a position he held until 2005 when replaced by Guus Hiddink.
In 2000, Farina was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to football.
Farina is currently the Papua New Guinea national coach. He is currently with the PNG men’s team who are in Gold Coast for their lead up games as preparations for next month’s Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup in Solomon Islands.