By Greg Downes

The First Matildas - the 1975 Asian Ladies Championship

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The First Matildas is the story of the women who played for Australia in the Asian Cup Ladies Football Tournament held in Hong Kong in 1975. Australia took part along with teams from Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand. The tournament, which was the forerunner to what is known today as the Asian Football Confederation's Women's Asian Cup, was won by New Zealand with Australia placed third. 

It was a turning point for women's football in Australia. 

Author and academic Greg Downes speaks with many of the women involved in the 1975 championship, as they tell their story in their own words of how they came to wear the green and gold of Australia for the first time, and the lasting pride they have in doing so. 

The First Matildas is a fitting testament to the enduring legacy of the 16 women who formed the squad which will continue to inspire future generations of players for years to come.

More Information

  • Format: Paperback and E-Book
  • Published: June 2023
  • ISBN: 978-1-925914-52-8, 978-1-925914-53-5 (ePub)
  • Weight: 0.2kg
  • Size: 216mm x 140mm
  • Pages: 148 pages 
  • Imprint: Fair Play Publishing

About the Author

Dr Greg Downes is a sessional academic who completed his Ph.D. thesis in 2016 with Victoria University, in Melbourne. Greg currently writes, teaches, and researches women’s sports history, sport management, and human services.

Greg became interested in women’s football (soccer) due to the involvement of his youngest daughter, where he became aware of the many injustices and discriminations faced by young girls and women in their pursuit to play the game. During this time he became involved in the fight to make his daughter’s involvement in soccer an inclusive one.

While pursuing his studies, Greg used examples of these injustices faced by women involved in football as topics for his research. He also realised that little or no research had been done on the history of women’s football in Australia. His two books, Dedicated Lives and The First Matildas help to redress that deficit.

Greg lives in Lennox Head on the north coast of NSW. 

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Regular price $24.99
Regular price $29.99 Sale price $24.99
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