In the midst of the World Cup commencing in Russia on June 14, you could be easily mistaken the event is not happening; such is the lack of promotion and publicity in Australia.

On the news bulletins throughout the country, Rugby League’s miniscule State of Origin commands centre stage.

Despite Australia’s presence in its fourth successive campaign, our administration sits on the sideline and allows the propaganda machines of the other codes to roll on without challenge.

However, times haven’t really changed as the game in this country has always been about administrators and not players.

Fortunately, along come Andrew Howe and his publisher to produce a volume which records the history of our Socceroos which hasn’t even been endorsed by the FFA.

In my 60th year following Australian football, the book brings back so many memories. For me it’s like a bedside companion which reminds one of the great sacrifices these players gave for their country and their supporters.

Andrew Howe became a football supporter in 1988 as a 19 year old when he realised football was far more important in the eyes of the world than rugby league, the sport he had grown up with in the Sutherland Shire.

He makes it clear that this is the first edition and he will update as time passes.

My one criticism is the book needs to supply more photos as I counted just under half who weren’t identified facially and many of these are well known and still involved in the game. I also suggest we should no longer placate the other codes and in the next edition, the term soccer be replaced by football in all references to the game.

As an independent production which has received no financial support from the administration of the game, I salute the publisher’s effort in providing this outstanding resource to the football community.

I recommend it be read by all supporters and particularly the people who are employed in the game so they will finally acknowledge football did exist before 2005.

The Encyclopedia of Socceroos by Andrew Howe is published by Fair Play Publishing (also the publishers of Football Today) is available for $71.50 (inc GST) or $64.35 for Socceroos past and present. It is available to purchase online or in good bookstores. Also available is a digital-only A-Z of Socceroos - World Cup Edition for $9.90.

Categories: Opinion | Socceroos | Football Life

football books, encyclopedia of socceroos, socceroos, fair play publishing, andrew howe

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