Gary Cole has had an immense impact on Australian football during a playing, coaching, mentoring & administrative career that has seen him occupy roles at all levels of the game (amateur, semi-professional & professional).
His passion for the game & driving it forward with a pure agenda of what is in the best interests of the game is second to none. He has a 100% inclusive mindset & an ability to adapt to any level, situation or person he is dealing with. His relationships with every person & stakeholder in the game & his reputation is testament to that.
Gary played four seasons in the Victorian State League with Ringwood City Wilhelmina & Fitzroy United Alexander before playing in the inaugural season of the National Soccer League, then a decade long career at the highest level with Heidelberg United and Preston Makedonia, amassing 247 appearances (109 goals)
He made 40 appearances (21 goals) for the Socceroos, 19 of which were A internationals, with 17 goals including a world record for goals scored, at the time, in a World Cup qualifying match when he nabbed 7 against Fiji in 1981.
His coaching career involved time in charge of Altona Magic (Championship 1995), Bulleen Zebras & Bentleigh Greens, coaching 193 matches in Victoria’s top flight, with 89 wins, 49 draws and 55 losses. He also coached the Victorian State team whilst under the tutelage of Ron Smith at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Gary enjoyed great success as a football administrator at the top level of professional football in Australia, occupying the role of Director of Football for both Melbourne Victory FC & Sydney FC – the A-League’s two biggest clubs and at Football Victoria as Manager Strategy and Special Projects and then as Executive Manager Facilities & Advocacy.
Gary joined the Football Coaches Australia Executive Committee in 2019 and his tenure has been highlighted by his hosting of the successful FCA “The Football Coaching Life’ podcasts.
In a rare moment where the host becomes the guest, Heather Garriock asks Gary Cole about his Football Coaching Life.