Former 'Roos United

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced the establishment of an alumni for Socceroos players prior to the Australia v China FIFA 2010 World Cup qualification match at ANZ Stadium, Sydney.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced the establishment of an alumni for Socceroos players prior to the Australia v China FIFA 2010 World Cup qualification match at ANZ Stadium, Sydney.

"As football continues to experience huge growth and popularity, it is vitally important that we recognise and celebrate the history of the code and also the players who have made significant contributions representing Australia," FFA CEO, Ben Buckley, said.

“Just over 500 men have played football for Australia since the first international match in 1922 and those who have done so continue to be an important part of the game.

“The alumni will help bring a unity of focus for former national team players, especially as we work with them across a number of areas of mutual interest to advance the game further.”

‘Socceroo Club- committee member, and Socceroo great, Ray Baartz said that the Socceroos embody the spirit, heritage and tradition of the game.

“-Once a Socceroo, always a Socceroo- is what we-re about,” said Baartz.

“All of us who have worn the green and gold have done so with enormous pride and commitment, and we all love this game with a passion.

“Regardless of whether we retired from football 50 years ago or five years ago, we want to continue to contribute to the game and we-re delighted to be working with FFA to do this on a formal basis across a number of areas,” Baartz said.

The ‘Socceroo Club- will work with FFA to promote and advance the history, culture, values and future of football as well as the Socceroos.

The initial managing committee of the 'Socceroo Club' are Baartz, Charlie Yankos, Ted Smith and Harry Kewell.

Baartz said that some of the projects the player alumni will work on with FFA include a mentoring program for young players, finalising the presentation of caps to former (and current) players, the establishment of Australian Football Awards and upgrading the Hall of Fame.

Also at the announcement were seven former Socceroos who received a cap from FFA Chairman, Frank Lowy AC, to recognise their time as players. The group included three members of the 1974 FIFA World Cup squad (Doug Utjesenovic, Ray Richards and Gary Manuel) as well as former Socceroos captain, Charlie Yankos. Others capped were Allan Maher, Ron Corry and Murray Barnes.


Murray Barnes

Born: 16-1-1954

Socceroo statistics: 32 Caps, 6 goals (plus 19 appearances / 3 goals in non-A internationals) 1975-1981

Club career: 1971-1986 Hakoah/Sydney City (NSW/Australia)

Tall, strong and aggressive midfielder, also often used in attack, who won four NSL Championships in just six years at Sydney City/Hakoah. He captained Australia throughout its 1982 World Cup campaign.

Ron Corry

Born: 21-7-1941

Socceroo statistics: 27 Caps (plus 6 appearances in non-A internationals) 1967-1973

Club career: 1964 Canterbury (NSW), 1965 Pan Hellenic (NSW), 1966-1975 Sydney Croatia (NSW), 1976-1978 Manly (NSW), 1980-1981 Marconi (Australia)

One of Australia-s goalkeeping legends with an extensive career at playing and managerial level. He was the top-choice keeper in Australia-s marathon 1970 World Cup campaign, and later won a NSL Championship as Wollongong Wolves coach.

Alan Maher

Born: 21-7-1950

Socceroo statistics: 22 Caps (plus 17 appearances in non-A internationals) 1974-1981

Club career: Club career: 1968-1969 Western Suburbs (NSW), 1970-1971 Granville (NSW), 1972-1974 Sutherland (NSW), 1975-1983 Marconi (Australia)

Goalkeeper who was part of the squad that travelled to West Germany for Australia-s first World Cup appearance in 1974, aged just 23. He was an ever-present for Marconi as it took out the 1979 NSL Championship and 1980 National Cup.

Gary Manuel

Born: 1947

Socceroo statistics: 4 Caps (plus 2 appearances / 1 goal in non-A internationals) 1969-1975

Club career: Club career: 1964-1971 Prague (NSW), 1971-1975 Pan Hellenic (NSW)

Fast and tireless attacking midfielder who was just a fringe national team player until an impressive form run with Pan Hellenic early in the 1974 NSW state league season earned him a prestigious spot in Australia-s World Cup finals squad.

Ray Richards

Born: 18-5-1946

Socceroo statistics: 31 Caps, 5 goals (plus 29 appearances / 5 goals in non-A internationals) 1967-1975

Club career: 1963-1966 Latrobe (Qld), 1967-1969 Hollandia (Qld), 1969-1978 Marconi (Australia), 1979 Apia Leichhardt (Australia)

Known as a midfielder destroyer and with an incredibly long throw, English-born Richards played major roles in both the 1970 and 1974 World Cup campaigns, and started in all three of Australia-s matches at the 1974 finals.

Doug Utjesenovic

Born: 8-10-1946

Socceroo statistics: 36 Caps, 2 goals (plus 25 appearances in non-A internationals) 1972-1976

Club career: 1967-1968 OFK Belgrade (Yugoslavia), 1969-1970 Footscray (Vic), 1970 Melbourne Hungaria (Vic), 1971-1980 St George (NSW/Australia)

Key defender with a formidable free kick, who emigrated from Serbia at age 23. He has the rare distinction of playing in every minute of every match of a World Cup qualifying and finals campaign (1973-1974), while he barely missed a match at club level too.

Charlie Yankos

Born: 29-5-1961

Socceroo statistics: 49 Caps, 7 goals (plus 37 appearances / 4 goals in non-A internationals) 1983-1990

Club career: 1979-1985 Heidelberg (Australia), 1986 West Adelaide (Australia), 1987-1988 Apia Leichhardt (Australia), 1988-1989 PAOK (Greece), 1989-1990 Blacktown (Australia), 1990-1994 Wollongong (Australia)

Powerful and fearless defender whose stunning 40m goal against Argentina in the 1988 Bicentennial Gold Cup was replayed all over the world. He was captain at both club and international level for several years, including in Australia's 1990 World Cup campaign.