This year, 2022, is the centenary year for the Australian men’s national football team, known since the 1970s as the Socceroos.
Hot on the heels of the Socceroos’ recent qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Australia Post has released, on 19 July 2022, an issue of two stamps as well as a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack and set of maxicards.
The first national men’s football team took the field in 1922 in New Zealand, following a tour invitation from New Zealand’s peak football body. Fourteen games were played, including three friendly internationals or “Tests”. The first of these took place in Dunedin on 17 June 1922, with New Zealand victorious, three goals to one, and with William Maunder scoring Australia’s first international goal. This was followed by a 1–1 stalemate in Wellington on 24 June, before New Zealand won the series in Auckland on 8 July, 3–1.
Australia played in a light-blue strip with maroon hoops on the socks, incorporating the playing colours of both New South Wales and Queensland, the two teams from which the national team was selected. On the pocket of the playing shirt was an emblem, comprising a maroon “A” and a golden fern leaf and kangaroo, to represent the two nations of the 1922 tour. This emblem has been graphically reproduced for the 1922 team stamp. Versions of the original fabric emblem still exist, including in the collection of the Parramatta Heritage Centre.
The current retail pocket emblem has been reproduced for the 2022 team stamp, which also highlights the current Socceroos colour palette. Current Socceroos players are shown “in action”, to showcase the athleticism and vibrancy of the sport.
The Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956 Olympics was Australia’s first major international tournament. In 1965, the Australian team competed for a place at a FIFA World Cup, but the team was beaten by North Korea. Australia has qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals on six occasions since then: 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022. Impressively, the five most recent qualifications have been achieved back-to-back.
The pioneers of 1974 (including Johnny Warren and Manfred Schaefer) and the “golden generation” of 2006 vie for recognition as the finest groups of players Australia has produced. The 2006 team included John Aloisi, Harry Kewell, the Socceroos’ top scorer Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer, who has played the highest number of internationals with the Socceroos. Other stars to have donned the uniform include Joe Marston, Ron Lord, Reg Date, Ray Baartz and Eddie Krncevic.
In late September, the Socceroos will play in a series of farewell matches, prior to their World Cup departure, including a match with the national team of New Zealand in honour of the 1922 series.
This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.