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Soccer Boom The Transformation of Victorian Soccer Culture 1945-1963
- Book Details
- John Kallinikios
- Paperback, 172 pp.
- Walla Walla Press Sports History Dissertation No. 2, 2007
- ISBN-10 1-876718-01-3
- ISBN-13 978-1-876718-01-5
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Soccer boomed in the immediate post-Second World War period when the code became a more commercial and professional mass-spectator sport. Soccer's spectacular rise in popularity in Victoria and other states was linked to post-war immigration that provided the code with a distinctive profile. Migrant players and supporters were prominent and successful in this period.
Previous historians have focused on ethnicity as the key dimension of this soccer boom. Because soccer's ethnic dimensions were viewed negatively in the mainstream media, historians have argued that soccer's post-war ethnic links contributed to the marginalisation of the sport for decades.
John Kallinikios challenges previous interpretations of the soccer boom in post-war Australia. He argues persuasively that historians have overplayed the ethnic factor and underplayed a significant advance of the code from an amateur participant-based sport to a more commercial and professional mass-spectator sport. The tensions that surfaced during this period shaped the administrative structure and culture of the code for decades afterwards. However, they were not necessarily linked to ethnicity.
The first soccer boom, far from being an ethnic blind alley, laid the basis for the second boom when Australia reached the finals of the FIFA World Cup in 2006 and the sport achieved national prominence.
John Kallinikios spent his youth playing soccer in the northern suburbs of Melbourne desperately trying to emulate the style of his hero Johan Cruyff. He collected a number of junior state championship titles with the Lalor and Thomastown clubs before refocusing his creative energies on his other passion, writing history.
Kallinikios completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2005. Soccer Boom is a revised version of this dissertation. He is a former secretary of the Australian Society for Sports History.