Take a look inside the Indigenous stars of Australian football

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Ever wondered who were the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander football players of Australia who made a name for themselves and created a path for future generations to be a part of the world game? Well, we have the book for you.

The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe by John Maynard, published in September 2019, explores the very topic.

It is an updated and revised edition of Maynard’s best-selling book of 2011 titled The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe: A History of Aboriginal Involvement with the World Game.

Maynard takes you on a historical journey of the legendary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander football players who have significantly impacted Australia’s game.

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It demonstrates the incredible achievements they have accomplished, including the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and of course, the FIFA World Cup, for both men and women. 

It showcases the achievements of these players, however, it manages to capture the cold and terrible reality that they had to face and endure during the time of the European settlers, post-WWII, and the 1967 Referendum.  

It also shows the hardships they had to face with racism, invasion, cultural destruction, incarceration on government-controlled reserves, and how they were denied opportunities that created difficult obstacles to play football.

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The reader will be able to have a better understanding through stories and interviews from great pioneers. Players such as Harry Williams, Charlie Perkins, John Moriarty, Gordon Briscoe, and many more created a strong foundation for future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players.

Each chapter tells a sad yet inspiring story of the incredible history of how the Indigenous people of this country have fought and continue to fight till this present day. To represent where they come from, what they stand for, and the love they have for the beautiful game.   

What is impressive about this book is the high level of information delivered in front of you. The majority of the mentioned players have deep and thorough stories about their lives and experiences, on and off the pitch. 

The 16 pages of images were refreshing, with beautiful colours and critical information about each photograph. It was a brilliant touch to the book because it helps readers develop a stronger connection with the stories of these players, and it puts a face to some of the players.

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However, the images should have been spread throughout the book instead of having it in one section. 

If you are a fan of football and the evolution of the world game in this country, then this is a book that you will want to add to your collection.

It is difficult to find information on Indigenous football players, even on the internet, so this book would be essential to have at your disposal. 

This book is packed with information which makes it perfect for those who love their history and want insights from the players themselves. 

Rating: 4/5 stars.

This book by Maynard is brilliant, full of surprises, excellent and helpful if you are looking to expand on your football knowledge.  

Featured image credit: Daniel Gualterio

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Daniel Gualterio
Bachelor of Sports Media student from Charles Sturt University covering Macarthur FC. Passionate for the world game.
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