Book of the Week: A-League Heaven

Games, Goals, Glory

Roy Hay

The Hyundai A-League is into its twelfth season and has started to become part of the football literary field with a number of tomes dedicated to the national league hitting our shelves in recent years. One of the latest is a celebration of the local game as Roy Hay and friends bring to life the competition in Games, Goals, Glory.

Hay, a renowned historian of the game and co-author of a History of Football in Australia, has gathered together a number of the most prominent writers and broadcasters on the competition to compile a collection of the best bits of the A-League over its first eleven iterations. And it works.

Separated into easy to digest chapters and bite-size pieces of information, you get exactly what it says on the tin: a look back at the best goals, games and players that the A-League has produced since its inception. Lavishly illustrated throughout with pictures that add depth to the snippets of information provided, the book is a superb souvenir of the competition.

Okay, it has its downsides in parts, some of the information may be incorrect (such as the mention of Dwight Yorke scoring the winning goal in the maiden Grand Final) but its heart is in the right place and it’s easy to overlook these minor quibbles and appreciate the book for what it is – a celebration of OUR national league.

As with any book selecting the ‘best of’, content is very much subjective and the opinion of its contributors. But such is the myriad talent on display, there is sure to be something for fans of every team. And while some of the selections are obvious, there are plenty of less than obvious choices too, sparking wonderful memories of the nascent years of the league as it surged into the consciousness of the football public.

What is especially likeable about this book is its presentation. Designed to be digested a piece at a time, it’s easy to read a couple of chapters or pages and put down to be glanced at another time. This won’t be to the taste of every reader: indeed, if you are after an in-depth look at the history of the A-League this isn’t for you. However, I would imagine this would go down well with a vast array of A-League supporters.

Featuring contributions from Simon Hill, Andy Harper, Michael Cockerill and Mel McLaughlin amongst others, including a tremendous piece from Ange Postecoglu, it’s definitely worth a look and a place on any discerning A-League fan’s bookshelf.

Book Review: Three Stars

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