For the Good of the Game: Twenty Years of the PFA

"Athletes respect sport and never forget their experiences of competing. They think differently because they know the sport from the inside out" Johann Cruyff. It's been through its fair share of re-branding and renaming, but April 2013 marks 20 years of the Professional Footballers Association. Twenty years ago tomorrow, a group of semi-professional footballers in Australia formed the first players union, during one of the most turbulent periods of the National Soccer League. Over the past two decades, the PFA [...]

By | April 25th, 2013|History|2 Comments

Australian Football’s ‘False Dawn’ Syndrome: The Bicentennial Gold Cup, 1988.

"In today's Australia, our very diversity is an ever growing source of richness, vitality, and the strength of our community... there must be no hierarchy of dissent, no privilege of origin." Bob Hawke's Bicentennial Adress, 1988. In 1988, the Bicentennial Celebrations under a Hawke Labor Government were at pains to stress the importance of multiculturalism. The controversial policy, which was just over a decade old, came under withering criticism by academics and politicians from the right. Geoffrey Blainey's 1984 book All [...]

By | March 27th, 2013|History|0 Comments

Marketing Meets Multiculturalism: David Hill’s National Merchandising Plan, 1996-97.

“Race, ego, politics and Australian identity – they’re being fought out on the nation’s soccer fields just weeks before the start of what could be one of the code’s most successful seasons” Johnny Warren, Sydney Morning Herald, Aug. 15, 1996.   In August 1996, as teams were nearing the end of their pre-seasons, Soccer Australia released what would become one of it’s most controversial schemes – the National Merchandising Plan. The idea behind the initiative was simple. The new chairman of [...]

By | February 28th, 2013|History|2 Comments

A Story Worth Telling: The Politics of Australia’s Football History

As we all remember, the A-League was founded on the understanding that it would set a new standard for football in this country. The catch-cry “it’s football, but not as you know it” and the deliberate juxtaposition between “old soccer” and “new football” were cunning ploys to finally draw a line in the sand, and leave the decades of mismanagement and marginalisation in the past. As former FFA chief executive John O’Neill recalls – “tinkering with soccer was never going [...]

By | February 13th, 2013|History|6 Comments

Leopold Baumgartner: Historical Lessons of a Marquee Player (Part 3)

The final instalment of this 3 part series on Leopold Baumgartner, examines what lessons the game can learn, and the missed opportunities to leverage off a marquee's talents.  Historical Lessons of a Marquee Player (Part 1) Historical Lessons of a Marquee Player (Part 2) Leo Baumgartner never achieved the great heights of his time at Prague, Canterbury and APIA. However, one of the powerhouses of New South Wales football – Hakoah – had finally got the player they had been [...]

By | February 11th, 2013|History|0 Comments
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