Growing up in the 1960s on Sydney's upper North Shore, playing with Kissing Point & Wahroonga soccer clubs, Greg's connection with the national team was cemented early on hearing sideline stories of the talented Murray Barnes, who also played with Kissing Point and would go on to captain his country.
That fascination grew over the decades working as an announcer, writer and producer in rural and Sydney radio where, amongst other things, he wrote the history of sporting events covered by 2GB at the time. Sadly, football was not amongst them.
Fast forward to more recent times and the connection to the Matildas began with the accidental discovery that the young Servet Uzunlar (Matilda #162) grew up playing for a club not far from Greg's now home in Sydney's Sutherland Shire. This spiked an interest in uncovering the local origins of ALL Australian representatives, stories unknown to Wiki and the broader footballing community.
In 2014 he began the odyssey that has become the GrassRoots Football Project (GFP), tracking down and talking to any player he could find, Socceroo or Matilda, whether they played 1 game or 100. Over the ensuing years the connection with the Matildas has deepened as each player has unveiled her story, and in 2017 he was invited to the first official Matildas reunion at the Brasil match in Newcastle.
Greg's work on the GFP was recognised by Andrew Howe in the Encyclopedia of Socceroos and the two have formed a friendship through football, despite residing in different parts of the country. Greg was delighted to be asked to contribute to this marvellous book.
Greg's connection to the game has been first and foremost as a player, then girl's coach and now referee and administrator, but it has always been and will always be, as a fan, at all levels of the game be it grassroots or Australia.
TITLES BY GREG WERNER
Release: May 2019
Encyclopedia of Matildas
Every player, every game, every goal. The complete record of the Matildas up until 31 December 2018, co-authored with Greg Werner.