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100 years of international NZ football celebrated in new book 'Burning Ambition'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This June 17th, New Zealand and Australia will celebrate the centenary of the first Football Ashes played in 1922, kicking off a century of international exploits, all chronicled in the new book, ‘Burning Ambition’.

Reaching the momentous 100-year milestone alongside Yankee Stadium, Vitamin D tablets, comic books, centre court at Wimbledon, the blender, and the BBC, international football in New Zealand will be forever linked to the exploits of group of dreamers and toilers from the early 20th century.

For those involved, the Dunedin first ‘Test’ on June 17, 1922, was the first day of a new dawn for football, as New Zealand took on another country for the first time. The 1922 series, followed a year later by return matches in Australia, was met with big crowds, kicking off a decade of cosmopolitan action for both teams.

Burning Ambition, co-authored by Trevor Thompson and Nick Guoth, traces the genesis of the first New Zealand and Australia national teams, recounts the inaugural three ‘Tests’ in New Zealand in June 1922, examines the obstacles to making the series happen, and the efforts to make international football a reality.

Burning Ambition co-author, Trevor Thompson, says of the milestone: "The two football Ashes series of 1922-23 represent a turning point for the sport in New Zealand and Australia, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to the determination of those, who in the early twentieth century, believed in a bright future for our two countries on football’s world stage.

"They got there under their own steam, without much help from outside forces. They had no political agenda, but we can see now that they were creating new national identities for themselves, and through the increasingly global reach of football, were able to jointly take a firm step towards the future."

Burning Ambition is available now at, with all good bookstores, and coming soon as an e-book.

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