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Manly the epicentre of football in November

A who’s who of football writing, journalism and administration will be in Manly in just under four weeks’ time with the Football Writers’ Festival to be held at the Manly Pavilion on 21 and 22 November. 

In only its second year, the Festival attracts fans, readers, thinkers, and writers from major publications and broadcasters. 

This year’s guest speakers also include the CEO of Football Federation Australia (FFA) James Johnson, the CEO of Sydney FC Danny Townsend, FFA Board member Remo Nogarotto, the deputy Chairman of Melbourne City FC Simon Pearce, former Socceroos Craig Foster and Francis Awaritefe and former Matilda, Heather Garriock.

The Football Writers’ Festival will cover issues as diverse as Indigenous development in the game; what needs to be done to ensure that hosting the 2023 women’s World Cup leaves a legacy for the sport; and the latest on what is widely anticipated as a ‘re-boot’ of the A-League from season 2020/21. 

Authors of books about football written in the past 15 months will also have their works highlighted.

Titles to be put under the spotlight include: 

  • the Encyclopedia of Matildas by Andrew Howe and Greg Werner, which contains biographical information on every player, as well as lists every game and every goal for the national women's team; 

  • Surfing for England, a series of short stories of players who could have played for Australia but didn’t for one reason or another, by Jason Goldsmith; 

  • a political and cultural history of the game, Chronicles of Soccer in Australia from 1859 to 1949 by Peter Kunz; 

  • the second edition of The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe by Professor John Maynard; and 

  • the Jarrod Black series of football fiction by Texi Smith. 

Journalists and broadcasters who will interview the authors and special guests include the ‘voice of football’ Simon Hill, the deputy sports editor of Guardian Australia Emma Kemp, Fairfax’s Michael Lynch, and the ABC’s Jack Snape. SBS-TV’s Adrian Arciuli is the MC of the event.

Other special guests or presenters at the 2020 Football Writers’ Festival include recently retired veteran football journalist Ray Gatt, the sports editor of The Australian Wally Mason, Professor John Evans of UTS, and Professor Jack Anderson of Melbourne University. 

The Football Writers’ Festival includes one-on-one conversations and Q&A panel discussions. 

The entry fee is $15 for two days.

To find out more, including the full program and speakers list and how to register, visit, follow them on Twitter @fballwritersAU, Facebook @footballwritersfestival or Instagram @footballwritersfestival. 

The Festival is supported by the Johnny Warren Football Foundation and local Northern Beaches publishing house, Fair Play Publishing. The inaugural Festival in 2019 was held at Jamberoo, south of Wollongong, the home of the Johnny Warren Football Museum. 


Note: The program is subject to change depending on availability of speakers from Victoria and Queensland.

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