By Trevor Thompson

Playing for Australia - The First Socceroos Asia & World Football

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Australia's football history with Asia didn't just begin in 2006 when admitted to the Asian Football Confederation

The Australian football story stretches back more than 150 years through the presence of Australians at the birth of the modern game in England. British migrants established football in Australia and the game grew with the arrival of more immigrants who became players, spectators and officials.

But when the time came for the Australian game to find its own identity, and to express it through its national team, the Anglo-Australian relationship failed.

Instead, it was Asia that played a key role in the development of Australia's national team in its first two decades - and Australia played a significant role in Asia. Links with Asian neighbours suggested other ways to make progress on the international stage.

While Australia flirted with FIFA and Olympic football, it was clear London still called the shots. Australia's football stagnated while top Asian teams reached new heights.

Trevor Thompson’s book Playing for Australia – the First Socceroos, Asia and World Football compares Australia's experience with other paths taken by football's leading nations in the Asia Pacific region, and gives an account of big matches, tournaments, and key players on and off the field in Australia and Asia up to the Second World War.

When it comes to balancing Australia’s football history with geography, it’s not an issue of being British, European or Asian, but forging a uniquely Australian identity.


More Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-6481333-7-7
  • Weight: 0.4kg
  • Size: 140mm x 216mm
  • Pages: 262
  • Imprint: Fair Play Publishing

About the Author

Trevor Thompson has reported on football in Australia since the 1980s when he wrote and presented a documentary for Radio National on Australia's national football competitions. He covered the National Soccer League for ABC Radio's Grandstand program for over ten years and wrote a weekly review of A-League matches for ABC Online.

​Trevor covered the World Youth Cup for Triple Jay in 1993 and went on to report on Australian World Cup qualifiers for tournaments between 1994 and 2006. He reported from the World Cup finals in Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010. His history of football in Australia, One Fantastic Goal, was published in 2006. He produced and presented Match Night Asia, a weekly program on Australian and Asian football, for Radio Australia in 2007, and wrote about Asian football history for the Asian Cup 2015 website.

​Trevor has also been a freelance contributor on football for BBC'S Radio Five Live, CBS Radio, and Radio New Zealand.

​Trevor Thompson was born in England and spent the Saturdays of his childhood watching Newcastle United at St James' Park. His last game as a suburban player was for Arncliffe Scots in a grand final win in the St George Association's over-35s league.

​Throughout his long career in journalism, in addition to sport, he has also been a specialist reporter on communications and industrial relations. Trevor served for more than ten years as Chief of Staff in the ABC's Sydney newsroom and has been heavily involved in the training of young journalists.

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Playing for Australia The First Socceroos Asia & World Football—Trevor Thompson - test18Aug
Regular price $24.99
Regular price Sale price $24.99