Franken represented Australia twice at 'A' level in a stellar senior career that spanned 16 seasons and reaped 278 national league games. Along the way also he played internationally at Under-20 and Under-23 levels, and made fourteen 'B' appearances for the Socceroo. Franken followed in the footsteps of his father, Frank, who donned Australia colours during 1959 in a 'B' fixture with Scottish club Hearts.
A product of the East Fremantle Tricolore youth system, Franken accepted a place at the Australian Institute of Sport after playng a starring role in the West Australian Under-16 side at the 1981 nationals. A taste of football at the highest level came early for Franken when he stood between the posts for Australia's Under-20 team against Mexico in front of over 100,000 spectators at the Azteca Stadium in the 1983 World Youth Cup.
1984 was a year of milestones for Franken. In February he debuted for Canberra City in the National Soccer League, and a few months later made his first senior outings for Australia in 'B' fixtures with Glasgow Rangers, Nottingham Forest and Iraklis. Upon completion of the league season Franken was honoured with the NSL Under-21 Player of the Year award. The year ended with further 'B' appearances against Beijing and Tottenham Hotspur on the Socceroos month-long tour of China and Europe.
Only scattered appearances for Australia came Franken's way over the next couple of years, however, he was a near ever-present for Canberra. A move to Sydney Croatia produced almost 100 outings for the club over four seasons, after which he joined APIA-Leichhardt for 1991/92. It was during the 1992 Presidents Cup that Franken gained his first 'A' cap for Australia against host nation Indonesia. He added to that in September in a big World Cup qualifier win over the Soloman Islands.
A couple more seasons with Sydney Croatia were interspersed by spells in the New South Wales State League with Sutherland and Rockdale Ilinden. Franken played ever game of 1994/5 for Parramatta Eagles and spent a year at Sydney Olympic before being lured to join Perth Glory in late 1997. He played 39 games for this hometown club before exiting the game as one of the nations longest-serving 'keepers in mid-2000.
|27.05.1984||Rangers (Melbourne)||0-0 (draw)||'B' game||Full game|
|31.05.1984||Rangers (Brisbane)||1-2 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|05.06.1984||Rangers (Adelaide)||1-1 (draw)||'B' game||Full game|
|11.06.1984||Nottingham Forest (Sydney)||0-0 (draw)||'B' game||Full game|
|17.06.1984||Iraklis (Melbourne)||1-1 (draw)||'B' game||Full game|
|05.11.1984||Beijing (Beijing)||3-2 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|03.12.1984||Tottenham Hotspur (London)||1-2 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|23.09.1985||China (Canberra)||2-0 (won)||'B' game||Sub on after 46 for Yakka Banovic|
|22.10.1986||Victoria All-Stars (Melbourne)||2-1 (won)||'B' game||Sub on after 70 minutes for Jeff Olver|
|09.11.1986||South Australia All-Stars (Adelaide)||2-1 (won)||'B' game||Sub on after ?? minutes for Jeff Olver|
|25.11.1986||China (Canton)||0-0 (draw)||'B' game||Sub off after 46 minutes for Mike Gibson|
|21.08.1990||Indonesia Under-23 (Jakarta)||7-0 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|10.08.1992||Thailand Youth (Jakarta)||1-0 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|13.08.1992||South Korea Youth (Jakarta)||0-1 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|14.08.1992||Indonesia (Jakarta)||3-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|26.09.1992||Soloman Islands (Newcastle)||6-1 (won)||World Cup qualifier||Full game|
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