Penguin Random House Australia (Puffin) has acquired an eight-book publishing program with Football Australia to promote football and the Australian senior national teams, the Socceroos and CommBank Matildas, in the lead-up to a huge 12 months for football in Australia.
The eight-book publishing program for young readers, featuring CommBank Matildas and Socceroos players, includes junior fiction, non-fiction, board books and a picture book, with something to engage and entertain every junior football fan.
‘We are so thrilled that Puffin will be the publishing home of football in Australia. The sense of passion and excitement that surrounds the CommBank Matildas and Socceroos, as well as football at a grassroots level in Australia, is incredible. It’s these emotions that have formed the inspiration for our expansive publishing program,’ explained Holly Toohey, Head of Brands, Partnerships and Audio Director, Penguin Random House Australia.
‘We are absolutely delighted that Penguin Random House has joined the Football Australia family. The CommBank Matildas and Socceroos have an incredibly exciting period ahead, especially in the lead-up to two FIFA World Cups. Football is the largest and fastest-growing team sport in Australia and, in working with Penguin Random House, we will be able to reach a diverse audience that will help us to inspire young children across the country to get involved with our great game and support our beloved senior national teams,’ commented James Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Football Australia.
The CommBank Matildas were crowned Australia’s favourite sporting team in 2019 and their popularity boomed during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics when they became Australia’s most-watched women’s sporting team in television history, with a record-breaking 1,468,747 viewers tuning in across the nation to watch them take on Sweden. Meanwhile, on June 15 of this year, the Socceroos qualified for a fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup™ after a dramatic penalty shootout against Peru, with media from around the world and at home celebrating the team’s success.
The first book in a four-book junior fiction series in partnership with the Matildas and Socceroos is set to publish on August 30, with book two slated for release on December 29. Penned by author and broadcast journalist Kristin Darell, the series will follow the ups and downs of a talented junior team.
The books will feature current Australian squad members, including Ellie Carpenter, Mary Fowler and Joel King plus respective national team captains, Sam Kerr and Mathew Ryan.
Kristin Darell has been a writer and journalist for more than 20 years. She has worked at the Seven Network, Australian News Channel and the ABC as a reporter and producer of news and current affairs.
Football Fever 1: The Kick-off is available for pre-order here.