Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has revealed he was recently asked to coach a Scottish Premier League club but opted to stay with the national team with a goal of winning the Asian Cup.
The 61-year-old was announcing the Socceroos squad for next week’s friendly against Mexico on Friday when he revealed SPL side Hibernian offered him a job.
“I have to say, it was an honour that Hibs rang and offered me the job,” Arnold said.
“I spoke to the owner… at this moment, the timing’s not right.
“I love coaching my nation, and I feel that I have a great job. For me, it’s all about Mexico and getting ourselves ready for that and developing and helping the boys here in Australia.”
Arnold is reportedly also being investigated as a potential coach for two English Championship teams but he has insisted his focus in the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the Asian Cup in January.
The opportunity to join Hibernian would have made him just the second Australian – after Ange Postecoglou – to coach in Scotland and could have led to lucrative opportunities in the English Premier League.
Hibernian sacked manager Lee Johnson this week after a poor start to the season and are continuing their search for a new coach in Australia with Central Coast Mariners mentor Nick Montgomery among those touted to take over.
The Socceroos were led by Arnold to the round of 16 at the recent FIFA World Cup and earlier this year signed him up on a four-year contract.
Arnold named a 23-man squad on Friday to travel to Dallas, USA next week to play Mexico, the 12th ranked side in the world.
Only 12 players from Arnold’s squad at the Qatar World Cup were retained in the side this international window with some missing out due to injury and retirement like Aaron Mooy.
Several stars from Australia’s domestic league missed out due to a lack of game time as the season has not yet started but veterans Aziz Behich and Mathew Leckie both survived the A-League cull.
“I don’t want to carry on about this… but at the end of the day, when A-League is not playing, and we’re we’re playing against a top-12 nation, we need players that are fit and have matches in their legs,” Arnold said.
“The hardest thing for me is having to ring those players and tell them that they haven’t been selected, and it’s not their own fault – it’s the domestic league and the structure that we have.”
Veterans Mat Ryan, Milos Degenek, Mitchell Duke, Jackson Irvine will feature in the squad which will also include five uncapped players who have benefitted from the overseas schedule which has afforded them game time already this year.
Middlesborough’s Sam Silvera and Thomas Glover along with Charlton Athletic’s Ashley Maynard-Brewer, Ipswich Town’s Cameron Burgess and Parma’s Alessandro Circati have all been selected for the first time.
Arnold said the focus of the trip to Dallas was about familiarising the squad to the environment where the next World Cup will be held as its hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico.
SOCCEROOS SQUAD FOR MEXICO FRIENDLY
Goalkeepers: Maty Ryan, Tom Glover, Ashley Maynard-Brewer
Defenders: Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, Milos Degenek, Alessandro Circati, Cameron Burgess, Aziz Behich, Nathaniel Atkinson, Ryan Strain
Midfielders: Jackson Irvine, Riley McGree, Denis Genreau, Cameron Devlin, Keanu Baccus, Aiden O’Neill, Connor Metcalfe
Forwards: Mitchell Duke, Nick D’Agostino, Martin Boyle, Mathew Leckie, Sam Silvera
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