Football in Australia has a rich, diverse, and proud history which transcends home shores, where Australia’s football teams compete on the global stage and create a sense of national pride unrivalled by other sports or codes.
On June 17, 2022, Football Australia will celebrate the Centenary of the Australian men’s national team, known today as the Socceroos.
This date will mark the 100th anniversary of the Socceroos’ first ever match back on June 17, 1922, when a team coached by Alf Morgan and captained by Alex Gibb took on New Zealand in Dunedin.
Players from New South Wales and Queensland were chosen for the tour which consisted of fourteen games, including three ‘Tests’ against New Zealand. New Zealand won the first game of the series 3-1, with the history books highlighting that William Maunder became the first man to score for Australia when he found the back of the net shortly before half time.
Throughout the remainder of 2022, Football Australia will be acknowledging this significant milestone in Australian sport with a program of activities, events, and initiatives, including the possibility of hosting a celebratory match featuring the Socceroos and New Zealand’s All Whites later in the year.
“The Socceroos are arguably Australia’s most identifiable and popular national sporting team, both at home and abroad, uniting the nation like no other sporting team,” said Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson.
“2022 marks the Centenary year of the Australian men’s national team, and since formation, the Socceroos have embodied the spirit of Australia, a local team forged through hard times and adversity, always punching above their weight on the global stage who pull on the green and gold jersey with great pride and a steely sense of responsibly.
Throughout 2022, Football Australia will pay homage to the players and personalities involved in the Australian men’s national team over the past one hundred years through a series of initiatives, including the unveiling of the Socceroos’ Team of the Century.
“The Socceroos are Australia’s team, and we hope that the Australian football family and supporters alike join Football Australia in celebrating the rich history of the Australian men’s national team during this special Centenary year,” concluded Johnson.
The first item to be unveiled as part of the program of activities is a coffee-table book titled, “Socceroos: 100 Years of Camaraderie and Courage”, curated by Are Media Books in connection with Football Australia.
This 224-page hardback book pays tribute to the men who have worn the national colours with distinction – from Gibb’s pioneers across the Tasman Sea, to Peter Wilson’s 1974 World Cup trailblazers, and the Golden Generation.
Featuring a foreword by revered former Socceroos captain Paul Wade and stories from key contributors including Graham Arnold, John Aloisi, Rale Rasic and the oldest living Socceroo, Kevin O’Neill, this tribute is a must for all fans of Australian football.
“Socceroos: 100 Years of Camaraderie and Courage” is available now for pre-sale from booktopia.com.au and will be available in stores from May 31.
Other commemorative items that will be available over the coming months include a retro jersey, scarf, pin, and keyring.
There are also other nationwide initiatives that will enable Socceroos’ supporters to access a special collector’s item as a keepsake, with further details to be unveiled during 2022.
Football Australia’s and the Socceroos’ websites and social media channels will also pay tribute to both past and present Socceroos, with an ongoing series of digital and written interviews and features, podcasts, galleries, and interactive experiences to be shared throughout the year.