After being announced as our new Head Coach yesterday morning, we take a more in depth look at Harry Kewell’s career to date.
Born on 22nd September 1978 in Sydney, Australia, Harry Kewell spent his early days playing football locally in his home city and grew up as an avid supporter of Liverpool. Kewell spent his early years playing for local side, Smithfield Hotspurs before transferring to Marconi Fairfield as a teenager.
It would be at Marconi where Kewell would ultimately get his first break at the beginning of his illustrious playing career. After impressing in an international youth tournament against Italian and English sides, the winger was offered a trial with Leeds United at the tender age of 15. After impressing during his four-week trial, Kewell then signed his first contract with the Whites in 1995.
The 1999-00 and 2000-01 season were by the far the most successful during Kewell’s time in Yorkshire. He played a big role in helping Leeds make it all the way to the UEFA Cup Semi-Final, as well as guiding the Whites to a third-place finish in the Premier League. His talents were recognised at the end of the 1999-2000 season as he picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award after a fantastic season that saw the Australian net 17 goals from midfield in all competitions. The following season was another historic one for Kewell and his teammates as they once again found themselves in a European semi-final, this time in the UEFA Champions League.
A move to boyhood Club Liverpool followed, where Kewell also enjoyed great success during his time at Anfield. Across four campaigns with the Reds, the Australian made 138 appearances and scored 16 goals for the Merseyside Club. Most notably during his time in the North-West, Kewell was part of the Liverpool team that historically came from three-nil down to win the UEFA Champions League against AC Milan in 2005.
The Australian left England in 2008, moving to Turkish giants Galatasaray where he would go on to make 91 appearances for the Club, scoring 34 goals in the process. After three seasons in Turkey, Kewell then finished his career with spells back home with Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart, with a spell in Qatar with Al-Gharafa in-between. On 19 October 2016, it was announced that Kewell had been chosen as the recipient of the Alex Tobin Medal, Australia’s most prestigious football honour, for his achievements during the course of his career.
Alongside his Club career, Kewell was much loved on the international stage and was adored by the Socceroos faithful. Kewell featured in both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup’s, most notably putting in a Man of the Match performance in Australia’s crucial group game against Croatia, scoring the goal that secured passage to the knockout stages in Germany. During his international career Kewell won the OFC International Cup, scoring in the final as the Socceroos won 11-1 on aggregate against the Solomon Islands.
The midfielder made 58 senior appearances for his country, scoring 18 goals in a Socceroos shirt. In 2012 Kewell was also voted as his countries ‘greatest ever footballer’.
Since leaving the field of play, Kewell quickly secured his UEFA A and B coaching badges, whilst also setting up his own academy in Australia. Soon after he took up his first coaching role in England, as he became Head Coach of Premier League side Watford’s under-23s. However, it would be Crawley Town where Kewell would make his senior managerial debut and he achieved a 14th placed finish in his first season in charge of The Red Devils.
A move to Notts County soon followed where after a difficult start, Kewell oversaw a five-match unbeaten run which saw the Magpies, including a 3-1 win over former side Crawley Town which culminated in a three-game winning streak. Coincidentally, his last game in charge at Meadow Lane was a draw with Oldham Athletic, where Kewell would eventually become boss in August 2020. Under extremely difficult budgetary and off-field circumstances, Kewell had the Latics situated in 16th place in League Two, higher than their previous league position the season before, as well as picking up notable victories against several promotion contenders during the latter stages of his time at Boundary Park.
Kewell comes to The Hive London with plenty of know-how and success during his career, he’ll be hoping to bring the good times to the football club. His knowledge of players available in the EFL will be of great benefit as between himself and Head of Football, Dean Brennan they look to boost the Bees back to the right end of The National League in what is set to be an exciting 2021/22 season.
Bees fans will be able to hear Kewell’s first interview as the Bees Head Coach in the early part of next week!