Atti Abonyi
Personal information
Full name Attila Abonyi
Date of birth (1946-08-16) 16 August 1946 (age 76)
Place of birth Budapest, Hungary
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1968 Melbourne Hungaria 99 (49)
1969–1976 St George-Budapest ? (?)
1977–1979 Sydney Croatia 89 (74)
1980 Melita Eagles ? (?)
International career
1967–1977 Australia 61 (25)
Managerial career
1978–1979 Sydney Croatia
1980 Melita Eagles
1981–1982 Riverwood
1983 Canberra City
1984 Sydney Croatia
1985–1986 Rockdale Ilinden
1987–1988 St George-Budapest
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Attila Abonyi (born 16 August 1946 in Budapest) is a former Hungarian-born Australian soccer manager and player and played for the Australia national team.

Abonyi made his senior international debut for Australia in 1967 at age 20, and had earned 61 caps, including appearing in the 1974 World Cup; Australia's first entry into the World Cup.[1] In his first nine matches for Australia, he scored eleven goals all coming from the 1967 South Vietnam Independence Cup. He scored his first of three international goals against New Zealand in November 1967.[2]

Early life

Attila Abonyi was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. Abonyi did not play regular football in Hungary, as he could not play junior competitive football until the age of twelve. He migrated from Budapest to Melbourne at age 10 after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[3] He started playing for the St Kilda junior club when he turned 11 years old. He moved to his home club Melbourne Hungaria at age 14 until he made the senior team in 1962.

Club career

Born in Hungary, he took up football after emigrating to Australia at age 10 in 1957. Attila played his senior debut for Melbourne Hungaria in 1962 at 15 years of age in the old Victorian State League. In 1967 Abonyi was a key player in helping the club achieve their first ever State League title. He was the top goalscorer for that season with 31 goals in 29 games, and he scored the goal that won them the title. In that same year Abonyi was man of the match in helping Melbourne Hungaria win the Australian Cup, with a hat-trick, to defeat the favoured APIA Leichhardt 4-3 in extra-time. This turned out to be his final season with Melbourne Hungaria.[4]

He moved to Sydney and joined St. George-Budapest between 1969 and 1976 where he was part of three NSW State League titles,[5] before finishing his career with Sydney Croatia between 1977 and 1979. In June 1975, Abonyi made a guest appearance for a touring Manchester United side, coming on as a substitute for David McCreery against Queensland. He scored United's third goal in a 3–0 win.[citation needed]

International career

Abonyi made his debut for Australia in May 1967 when he played against Scotland. The national team traveled to Vietnam for a friendship tournament where scored a hat-trick on debut against New Zealand, and then scored another hat-trick in his second match against Singapore a few days later.[4]

He is well known for being a member of the Australian 1974 World Cup squad in West Germany and also represented New South Wales and Victoria. He scored 25 international goals for Australia in 61 games between 1967 and 1977 making him tied as the fifth highest goal scorer for Australia. He made a total of 88 appearances for Australia and scored 36 goals.[6]

Managerial career

After retiring in 1979 Abonyi switched to coaching at the state level after taking on the player-coach for the 1978 and 1979 seasons. Sydney Croatia won the minor premierships in those two years. Abonyi then moved to Melita as a coach only, where they won the minor premiership and lost the grand final. He was then offered a full-time job with Riverwood, the only full-time coaching position in the state league at the time. In his first season they finished seventh and then runners-up in 1982 on goal difference to Sydney Croatia.[5]

He moved to Canberra in 1983 and coached Canberra City in the National Soccer League (NSL).[7] For the 1984 season Sydney Croatia in their first season in the NSL offered Abonyi the head coach position, which he accepted (as his family had remained in Sydney). He was sacked halfway through the season because of poor results and high expectations by the board. In 1987 and 1988 and assisted Frank Arok at St. George who were in the NSL. After the 1988 season, Abonyi moved away from Sydney and football (soccer).[5]


Melbourne Hungaria
St George-Budapest
Sydney Croatia

Abonyi Place in the Sydney suburb of Glenwood is named for him.[8] Abonyi made a lap of honour on the MCG at half time of the 1998 World Cup qualifier against Iran.[3]

Personal life

Abonyi now lives in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of New South Wales.[4]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Melbourne Hungaria 1962 Victorian State League 3 0 3 0
1963 Victorian State League 15 2 15 2
1964 Victorian State League 19 4 19 4
1965 Victorian State League 13 2 13 2
1966 Victorian State League 16 10 16 10
1967 Victorian State League 16 20 16 20
1968 Victorian State League 17 11 17 11
Total 99 49 99 49


Team Year[9] Competitive Friendly Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Australia 1967 0 0 9 11 9 11
1969 9 0 3 1 12 1
1972 0 0 5 2 5 2
1973 9 3 1 0 10 3
1974 2 0 3 0 5 0
1976 0 0 7 4 7 4
1977 10 3 3 1 13 4
Career total 30 6 31 19 61 25


  1. ^ Howe, Andrew (2018). Encyclopedia of Socceroos: Every national team player. Fair Play Publishing. ISBN 978-0-648-13330-8.
  2. ^ "AUSTRALIANS TO TIGHTEN UP MIDFIELD SOCCER PLAY". The Canberra Times. Vol. 42, no. 11, 839. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 7 November 1967. p. 29. Retrieved 19 January 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ a b Forward Thinking Archived 16 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c Gorman, Joe. "Should the FFA Cup award the Attila Abonyi Medal?". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Atti Abonyi". Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Attila Abonyi". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  7. ^ "SOCCER Arrows chose Abonyi". The Canberra Times. Vol. 57, no. 17, 432. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 21 June 1983. p. 26. Retrieved 20 October 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ O'Maley, Christine (10 October 2010). "Park is a goner". Blacktown Advocate. Cumberland Newspapers. p. 14. ...streets are named after well known football identities...
  9. ^ Howe, Andrew. "The Australian National Men's Football Team: Caps and Captains" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2020.