• FPP Team

20 years since Sydney 2000

Easy, we thought, when making this month’s theme for PLAY ON e-magazine the letter ‘M’. Maradona, Lionel Messi, Miroslav Klose, Mohamed Salah, Marco van Basten, Bobby Moore, or even the Maracanã, Milan, Madrid or Marconi … so much to write about! 

And yet, here we are and we don’t have stories about any of them. However, we do have the world’s greatest woman player, Marta, as our cover story with an edited excerpt from Jorge Knijnik’s wonderful book, The World Cup Chronicles – 31 Days that Rocked Brazil.

As Jorge points out, Marta is the only person to have won the best player of the year award in five consecutive years and, for good measure, she won it for the sixth time in 2018 at age 32. 

We also dip into some Australian football memories that are writ large on our consciousness and culture.

  • John Davidson goes back 20 years to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the high hopes we had for the Olyroos. Australia's campaign kicked-off in Melbourne against Italy almost 20 years ago today (13 September 2000). 

  • Paul Nicholls reminds us of ‘that’ night at the MCG in November 1997.

  • Matthew Hall shares a Montevideo Diary from 2005 and what it was like to be an Australian in Uruguay for both the first and second leg of those final two 2006 World Cup qualifying matches.

On a more contemporary basis, we also take a look at two potential future Matildas - Claudia Mihocic and Holly Murray via Clement Tito; just how Manchester Unitedmay be on the way up again from George White; a read that says so much about the bad and the ugly in football from Michael Renouf about Veracruz FC in Mexico; the A-League’s marquee players and whether they work for us from Ben Somerford; while Matthew Galea talks to three of the marathon men of the A-League. 

Once again, a lot of great reading, which we hope you enjoy.

This will be the last monthly edition of PLAY ON. When we started in April, we did so with the intention of giving football fans something different to read for six months while we all got through the worst of the COVID lockdown together. We’ve mostly done that, so we now take PLAY ON to a quarterly publication starting in December this year.

For those who can’t get enough reading, writing, thinking and talking about football, we’re also forging ahead with the (socially distanced) Football Writers’ Festival on 21-22 November in Manly (Sydney). Special guests include FFA Board member, Remo Nogarotto, talking about his life in football; FFA CEO James Johnson talking around our theme of ‘Crisis, Opportunity, Change’; and two of the big thinkers in the A-League, Simon Pearce of Melbourne City (and the City Football Group) and Danny Townsend of Sydney FC. 

That’s in addition to a wonderful and eclectic group of writers, journalists, authors and commentators to help bring our game of opinions to life. 

If you want to join us, we’d love to welcome you to only the second Football Writers’ Festival. Because of COVID restrictions, you must purchase your tickets beforehand as places are strictly limited; just $15 for two days. All details can be found at footballwritersfestival.com.au, where you can also buy your tickets. 

If we don’t see you at #FWF2020 in November, we hope you enjoy this month's PLAY ON, and you’ll read more PLAY ON in December.

Until then, stay safe.