Burning Ambition: The Centenary of Australia-New Zealand Football Ashes


Publication Date: 1 May 2022
Format: Paperback / softback

ISBN 9781925914122

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    June 2022 is the centenary of the first international football series played between Australia and New Zealand.

    For the men involved, the Dunedin first ‘Test’ on June 17, 1922, was the first day of the future. The coming-of-age of the game would see not only international football but also domestic discussions about professionalism, relationships with Asia, FIFA membership, reorganising Empire contact and Olympic Games ambitions.

    The 1922 series, followed a year later by return matches in Australia, were met with big crowds, kicking off a decade of cosmopolitan action for both teams.

    The burning ambition of Australia and New Zealand was to establish a strong domestic base, and through regular contact with each other, to stretch out as serious international competitors in the British Empire, and the wider world.

    Burning Ambition traces the genesis of the first Australia and New Zealand national teams, recounts the inaugural three ‘Tests’ in New Zealand in June 1922, examines the obstacles to making the series happen, and the efforts of dreamers and toilers in both countries to make international football a reality.

    The book includes line-ups of every match played between Australian state sides and New Zealand, and Australia and New Zealand from 1904 to 1923, as well as photos and news clippings from the tours.