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FootballToday.news is part of Fair Play Publishing, a niche publisher of 'really good football books' - an Australian publisher focusing on football books and particularly those written by Australians, and/or about Australian football. 

Fair Play Publishing's first book is set to roll off the presses next month: the inaugural Encyclopedia of Socceroos - Every National Team Player by the man most football fans know as the 'stats guru', Andrew Howe.

It's been 18 months since Fair Play's founder and managing editor, Bonita Mersiades, approached Andrew about doing the Encyclopedia, but the work behind the Encyclopedia itself has been more than 25 years in the making - ever since Andrew began his labour of love compiling and maintaining an unofficial - and then official - record of Australian football.

The Encyclopedia gives the cap number of every player who has pulled on the green and gold, the number of games played, goals scored, match listing and a biography of each player. There are some wonderful appendices including all international games, all players, the captains, the coaches, and two terrific data maps showing our international opponents and the birthplace of every player ... all 592 of them up until 31 December last year when we closed-off the data collection for this first edition. 

Also included is a profile on 20 non-'A' international players, and a feature article on each of Australia's four World Cup captains to date: the wonderful and reclusive Peter Wilson (1974), plus Mark Viduka (2006), Lucas Neill (2010) and Mile Jedinak (2014) written by Ray Gatt of The Australian

The Foreword is provided by a man who didn't become a Socceroo. At the height of his playing career, many would have said he was unlucky not to be selected, but he also played in the NSL in an era when there was a surfeit of talented forwards for Australia. We're talking of FOX Sports' Andy Harper - perhaps the only person in Australian football who could have written this opening paragraph for the Foreword!

“Well, hard-copy bound encyclopediae were supposed to have gone the way of the dodo. But here we are, in 2018, and it's back to the future. Thank god for that!”

We may be biased, but we're also honest and professional enough to know that we're not over-reaching when we say it is truly a wonderful book; meticulously researched, beautifully designed, and a true keepsake for any student of sporting history, football history, Australian football or the Socceroos. 

'The Record Holders'

'The Record Holders' is a limited-edition run of a poster and players' cards depicting the 11 men who are major record holders amongst the Socceroos, as noted in the Encyclopedia. To commemorate the launch of the Encyclopedia, we commissioned a young artist, Daisy Harris, to create her depiction of the players in a unique manga-style drawing. The designer of the Encyclopedia, Leslie Priestley, then turned these into individual cards and a poster to make them look truly beautiful and a genuine souvenir.

Launch roadshows

As part of the activity to support the launch of the Encyclopedia of Socceroos, Andrew Howe will be undertaking a roadshow to make a presentation on one of the important themes that emerge from the book and to answer your questions.

Of course, we'll also have books for sale along with the wonderful poster and player cards of 'The Record Holders' series.

The launch roadshows are being held from 5.30pm to 7pm on:

  • Friday 25 May at Club Marconi, Sydney
  • Monday 28 May at Broadmeadow Magic FC, Newcastle
  • Tuesday 29 May at South Melbourne FC
  • Thursday 31 May at Corporate Centre, Ipswich City Council, North Ipswich
  • Wednesday 6 June at Adelaide City FC.

Attendance is FREE, but we do ask you to register please. Canapes will be provided at all venues, and a cash bar is available. You can register here

World Cup edition

We realise that a book that is 376 pages, 200,000 words and weighs 2.2kg is not something you want to lug around with you to the World Cup in Russia, so we're also putting together a World Cup Edition of the Encyclopedia of Socceroos in digital format only.

It will include the profiles of every player on Bert van Marwijk's long-list, details of the games, and some World Cup facts and figures. It will cost $10 and be available for sale soon after the long-list is known. If you want to sign-up to the Fair Play Publishing e-news, we'll keep you posted

How to buy

For further information, or to purchase any of the items mentioned, visit www.fairplaypublishing.com.au or go directly to the online store:

Editor's Note:  Fair Play Publishing is publishing Andrew's Encyclopedia of Matildas this time next year.

Categories: News | Socceroos | Football Life

really good football books, encyclopedia of socceroos, andrew howe, ray gatt, leslie priestley, daisy harris, socceroos

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