The celebratory atmosphere sparked by the CommBank Matildas’ 4-0 triumph over world No. 2 Sweden on Saturday at Melbourne’s AAMI Park was further enhanced by Football Australia’s induction of six greats of Australian football into the Football Australia Hall of Fame.
Matildas’ greats Moya Dodd and Collette Gardiner (née McCallum), former Socceroos’ Head Coach Ange Postecoglou, globally revered administrator Brendan Schwab, leading Tasmanian media personality Walter Pless, plus past Socceroo and significant contributor to the Australian game off the pitch, Ted Smith, joined an esteemed list of Australian football personalities in the Football Australia Hall of Fame.
All six were nominated to be inducted into the Football Australia Hall of Fame via a public process, with the nominees then considered by a panel of Australian football historians.
The panel of historians provided their recommendations to the Football Australia Board, with Football Australia’s Directors subsequently ratifying each person’s elevation into the Football Australia Hall of Fame.
Football Australia Chair Chris Nikou said in a statement:
“The Football Australia Hall of Fame is the highest honour bestowed upon players and participants who have served the game – either on or off the field – with distinction, with no better demonstration of this than our Class of 2022.
“These six highly regarded figures of the Australian football community have not only made significant contributions at a local and national level but in the case of Moya (Dodd), Ange (Postecoglou), and Brendan (Schwab), their impact and influence has been felt on the global stage.
“With Australia to co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year, it’s timely that one of Australia’s greatest female footballers in Collette Gardiner is acknowledged for her pioneering feats, along with former Socceroo Ted Smith who continues to play an important role with our men’s national team, and Walter Press for his unwavering dedication to the promotion of football in Tasmania.”
Since the initial induction of 84 players and participants in 1999, more than 250 male and female players, coaches, referees, administrators, and media representatives have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to our game.
Following the induction of the sextet, Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson added via press release:
“The Football Australia Hall of Fame is an exclusive club featuring members of our community who have represented Australia with the highest of distinction, have influenced the corridors of power to drive our sport forward, or given tirelessly to support the growth of the game.”
“The six newest inductees are outstanding ambassadors for Australian football, and I would like to provide our warmest of congratulations to Moya (Dodd), Collette (Gardiner), Walter (Pless), Ange (Postecoglou), Brendan (Schwab), and Ted (Smith) on their richly deserved recognition and thank them for their important contribution to our great game.”