|Australia Vs England 1971|
|Tuesday, 29 July 2008 22:13|
AUSTRALIA VS ENGLAND - 1971
This was the first home series for the Socceroos under the guidance of coach Rale Rasic. This Australian team would go on to make up the bulk of the legendary 1974 World Cup side.
The English FA, decided to send out a second rate squad of relative no names. Instead of Charlton, Banks, Hurst and Marsh, the Australian public go to see Piper, Mills and Keen.
Soccer journalist Laurie Schwab wrote : "New players in the Australian squad were Max Tolson (South Coast United), Eric Norman (Adelaide Juventus), Brian Turner (Western Suburbs) and George Baboutis (Pan Hellenic). The big tough uncompromising striker Max Tolson was given a run in Melbourne and Norman came on in Sydney, whereas Baboutis stayed on the bench. Turner had to wait until a few months later to get his chance against Israel.
In both games, the FA beat Australia 1-0, but on reflection, I'd say the Socceroos would have won atleast one match had Jim Mackay and John Warren (both injured) and Manfred Schaefer (business commitments) been available and had Bill Vojtek, Alan Marnoch and Brian Smith been selected. Smith, the blond star of Pan Hellenic, was at his peak that year and deserved to play for Australia.
The tourists did nothing extraordinary in the 1st game. They were simply faster and less subdued, their support behind the ball was far, far better as a result, as was their back up in defence. John Watkiss was great in defence for Australia and George Keith had a good game against Chris Garland but Australia wilted badly in the 2nd half after Watson had scored in the 52nd minute.
It was again Watson who scored the winning goal in the return game in Melbourne. He found the target in 31st minute, after intercepting a ball which Peter Wilson had failed to control. The score was the same as it was in Sydney, but Australia's performance was much, much better. Max Tolson, who was to be Rale Rasic's battering ram in so many vital games to come, showed the worth of his great strength when he replaced George Blues, goalkeeper Jack Reilly was back at his best, George Keith once again contained Garland and attacked as well, and midfielders Jimmy Rooney and Ray Baartz were both excellent.
It was a far more positive game by the Socceroos, and their enthusiastic performance won the hearts of the Melbourne fans who had long been, and who would continue to be so hard to please."
The English FA recognises these games a 'B' Internationals.
The 1971 English touring team comprised :
June 13 - Australia 0 - England 1
Australia : Jack Reilly, George Keith, Peter Wilson, John Watkiss, Col Curran, Jim Rooney, Ray Richards, Ray Baartz, George Blues, Adrian Alston, Atti Abonyi (Eric Norman)
English FA : Peter Grummit, Peter Hindley, Alan Stephenson, Keith Eddy, Peter Wall, Mike Keen, Mike Mills, Norman Piper, Chris Chilton, Dave Watson, Chris Garland (George McVitie 82')
Goal : Dave Watson 52'
June 20th - Australia 0 - England 1
Australia : Jack Reilly, George Keith, Peter Wilson, John Watkiss, Col Curran, Jim Rooney, Ray Richards, Ray Baartz, George Blues (Max Tolson), Adrian Alston, Atti Abonyi
English FA : Peter Grummit, Peter Hindley, Alex Stephenson, Keith Eddy, Peter Wall, Mike Keen, Mike Mills, Norman Piper, Chris Chilton, Dave Watson, Chris Garland
Goal : Dave Watson 31