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Johnny Warren in action for the Socceroos. Photo: Johnny Warren Foundation

New PhD scholarship honours socceroos legend

As the Socceroos prepare for the first game of their fifth World Cup campaign, the foundation named in honour of the captain in their first World Cup appearance is sponsoring a new PhD scholarship at The University of Sydney.

The Johnny Warren Football Foundation has announced that it will sponsor a $140,000 PhD scholarship at the University of Sydney Business School for research into the governance of soccer in Australia.

Jamie Warren, executive chair of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation and Johnny’s nephew, said the sponsorship supports the foundation’s aim of supporting “high-quality research that will inspire discussion and debate and influence policy”, with the goal of one day achieving Johnny Warren’s dream of a World Cup victory for Australia.

“Our focus is on John’s legacy and what football can do for this country,” Mr Warren said. “We want to improve the way we do things in football in Australia – look at what the problems are and how to fix them.

“We are only limited by our imagination,” he added.

Professor Stephen Greaves from USYD Business School said there is a “broad spectrum of governance and management issues that could be investigated” by the scholarship recipient.

“These might include grass-roots/youth development, broadening football’s participation base, ‘tackling’ societal issues through football and fostering relationships with other nations.

“Australia has challenges right from the grassroots in trying to promote the game against other codes, but also in competing with the rest of the world, in that so many of our best players go overseas,” Professor Greaves said.

Johnny Warren, a former Socceroos captain, played 42 international matches including Australia’s first World Cup appearance in 1974. After retiring from the field, he went on to a successful career as a soccer coach, administrator, commentator and writer. His book, Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters: An Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren and Soccer in Australia, was a best-seller when it was published in 2002.

“Uncle John believed in the game and its power to improve things for this country,” Warren said. “We’d like to build on that legacy.”

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