Last week was my busiest for a while: marking, lecturing and watching a veritable churn of my work going out into the public via various sources.
My work on Soccer Anzacs in Victoria had reached a critical mass. Athas Zafiris (of Shoot Farken fame) and I had worked our arses off putting together the bones of a database of Victorian soccer players in 1914-1915. We had reached a point where we could start to make some decent substantive observations: 800-100 players, 70-80% enlistment rate, 15-25% casualty rate of those who enlisted, for example.
We also had identified a number of interesting and moving stories about teams, mates and players that were worthy of sharing.
FFV had agreed to publish material I supplied them. They started with an overview piece 'Behind the Lines' to which they attached the series of cameos. They generously allowed me to seek further publication for the material, So I was delighted when Joe Gorman at Leopold Method agreed to spread the word in a series called 'We Shall Remember Them'.
The stories also reached The St Kilda News and the Mirboo North local paper (waiting for confirmation of the latter).
I was truly astounded though by the effect of my piece on the Irymple 9 published in the Sunraysia Daily. The article was read by vice-captain of the present day Irymple Knights, Chris Romeo, who decided to act and create a brief commemoration ceremony for the 9 before his team's pre-season cup final against Three Colours. I will try to get a report from Chris when I can.
My final publication of the week came in the publication of this article Soccer also made its sacrifice in the Sunday Age, a kind of summary and example of the material I published during the week. It was also published concurrently on the SMH website.
I need to thank a number of people and bodies. FFV helped with funding and Athas Zafiris played a vital role of being both a smart and energetic addition to the project. Mark Boric and Roy Hay gave vital database and other kinds of support. Damian Smith still provides me with an inspiration for this work.