Shirt Fronted 36
Australia home shirt World Cup 1974
Since we are a Podcast from Australia, I thought it would be the right thing to do to take a close look at the Australian World Cup Shirt of 1974. Prior to Australia’s acceptance into the Asian Football federation in 2006, and sebsequent football appearance (but under the Oceania banner after a famous home and away legs tie and win under sensational circumstances), 1974 was the one and only time that Australia had qualified for the world cup.
More about the squad and its results later in the article, but lets have a look at this shirt. Its a real banger, oozing australiana and fashionably 1974.
The shirt is not an original but it is a one off reproduction made exclusively for the world cup 2006 australian merchandise. Umbro had to follow strict guidlines ensuring that this shirt was true to its 1974 predecessor in every way possible.
As said it is a Umbro effort, one of this author’s favourite kit manufacturers. why? cause they make great shirts and have limited cookie cutter efforts – dont get me started on nike and adidas.
The material is a heavy cotton, with visable holes, no doubt the “technology” of the tme. “ how do we make a shirt breathable?” “lets put holes in it. the holes may just let the air through” Bang on! the Green and Gold , Australias sporting colours (not our national flag colours – wierd when you think about it), are adorned in all its glory. the green has changed over the greens, but i prefer this one the best, the dark Federation Green. It contrasts so well with the gold. Another thing that has changed over the years has been the coat of arms. This is the classic coat of arms….. nowadays a more modern version adorns the jersey. See inside the Shield, which shows each of the AustralianStates flag/symbol.
Another retro piece is the green and gold umbro diamond stitching on the sleeve. Its absolutely oozing class.Essentially its a piece of printed mayerial that has been sewn onto the sleeves and gives a good blend in with the colours and shirt design.
Australia made the 1974 World cup through a gruelling Asian qualification. Completely made up of ameuters, none of the squad boasted overseas club credentials at the time. Some of the clubs that were home to these players at the time were Safeway United, St George – Budapest, APIA Liechardt, Pan – Hellanic, Sydney Hakoah and the aptly titled Footscray JUST.
the coach was Rale Rasic, more better know to the public in more recebt times as a SBS 2006 special comments puntit, (however the notion that the team played “good football” did not cut it, and was more humerous at the time, such was the legendry commentry. But when you guide a team into the World Cup in arguably the hardest of times, these are the fruits you should dream of achieving. The squad was captained by Peter Wilson and included now legendry greats of the australian game as Johnny Warren, Ray Richards, Jimmy MacKay, Adrian Alston and GK Jack Reily.
After losing the opening match in group 1 to East Germany2-0, they lost 3-0 to West Germany, ( Both in Hamburg), before drawing with Chile in Berlin. They finished last in the group without scoring a goal, although the draw with Chile earned the Australia its first every officialy world cup point and result