Football Book Review: If I Started to Cry I Wouldn’t Stop

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Have you ever wanted to delve into the stories of Australian football through the eyes of someone who has seen it all?

If I Started to Cry I Wouldn’t Stop, written by acclaimed journalist Matthew Hall, gives a first person narrative structure which enables readers to decipher major events in the domestic game over the past generation.

The title gets its name from former Socceroo captain Lucas Neill on his thoughts post Australia’s loss to Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where the defender gave away a late penalty.

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From dinner with Former FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner to staying in a dingy pub in Germany with Mike Cockerill, Hall recounts his part played in the Australian football media.

Readers are taken through the thoughts of the biggest influencers not only in Australia but in world football, including players, coaches, media, player managers, and CEOs.

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Interviews with former Socceroos Mark Bosnich, Johnny Warren, Harry Kewell, and Frank Lowy at the top of his powers show the professionalism of Hall’s work.

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There are unexpected confessions about player relationships in the Socceroos along with explanations into failed campaigns, most notably the AFC Cup in 2007.

The writing was basic but powerful. It transcends the reader into their own opinions which will reignite patched tensions into particular issues.

It is not necessary to have a profound knowledge on every event discussed. Hall’s chronological wording means no part is left unsaid and he recounts dialogue in an orderly fashion.

The historical nostalgia is somewhat overshadowed by incorrect editing to no fault of the author. Incorrect placing of full-stops and wrong placings of commas, along with a lack of capitalisations does take away from the power of the text.

Hall manages to overlap stories which intertwine between players, coaches, journalists, and officials in a natural way.

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This reverts into a somewhat cyclical nature which flows quite easily.

Due to these tales never being really told before it does not feel forced at all.

My rating: three out of five.

You can purchase this book right now from Fairplay Publishing by clicking here.

To view all book reviews on The Football Sack, please click here.

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Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.