Former Australia coach Frank Arok has died in Serbia due to an undisclosed illness, Football Australia said. He was 88.

Arok migrated to Australia from Yugoslavia in the late 1960s and became head coach of the Socceroos in 1983, having previously coached a National Soccer League team.

He held that position for seven years and coached the national team in 89 matches with 41 victories and 22 draws. Australia did not qualify for the World Cup during his coaching tenure.

Arok re-entered the Australian club coaching scene after his national team duties ended, taking charge of a number of teams. He led Marconi to the National Soccer League grand final in 1993 and coached 429 NSL matches overall, the second-most of any coach behind Zoran Matic.

Former Australia and Premier League goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer said on Twitter: “Very sad to hear about the passing of Frank Arok. Your knowledge, passion and dedication of the game was infectious. The 2 years I had the privilege to work with you . . . were some of my most enjoyable times in football.”

Arok was also an inaugural inductee into Football Australia’s Hall of Fame in 1999. He returned to Serbia in 2003 when he retired.

Football Australia said Arok is survived by his daughter, Marijana Novakovic, and granddaughter Gordana, who was named after Arok’s late wife.

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