Just weeks ahead of Australia taking part in its seventh successive Women’s World Cup, a new book sheds light on the facts, figures and history of the 239 women who have pulled on the green-and-gold for Australia as a ‘Matilda’.
Precisely 200 pages, and running to 100,000 words, the first ever Encyclopedia of Matildas is a labour of love from statistician, Andrew Howe, of Adelaide and football historian, Greg Werner of Sydney.
It complements the Encyclopedia of Socceroos, also by Howe, published this time last year.
The Encyclopedia of Matildas lists each of the women who had played for Australia in official matches up to the end of 2018, giving facts and figures on their games, goals, their opponents, and biographical information. There are also detailed tables showing who Australia has played, where games have taken place, where players have come from, the coaches, and the record holders.
In contrast to the Socceroos whose early history reflected Australia’s migration and settlement patterns, the Matildas have been more ‘homegrown’ with almost all players born in Australia, or moved to Australia at a very young age.
While Sydney dominates as the home of most Matildas players since their first game in 1978, regional areas of Australia are also well represented from every state and territory.
The Encyclopedia of Matildas is published by Fair Play Publishing, a niche publisher of football books that tell Australian stories and impart Australia’s football history and heritage – one book at a time.
The Encyclopedia is available from good bookstores and direct from Fair Play Publishing.