Tuesday, October 31, 2006

David Mitchell leads 2006 Australian Hall of Fame

Former long-serving Socceroo and current Perth Glory assistant coach David Mitchell heads a list of nine inductees into the Australian Football Hall of Fame announced in Sydney this morning. He joins goalkeeper Robert Zabica, 1974 World Cup Socceroo Ernie Campbell, winger Peter Sharne and goal scoring ace of the 1940s/50s Charlie Stewart. In the non-playing category long-serving administrator and journalist Fred Villiers, Socceroo coach Raul Blanco, referee Ray Sandell and Australian football historian and collector Andre Kruger have also been inducted.

David Mitchell is the sole inductee for 2006 for the top category - Hall of Champions. He represented Australia with distinction for 12 years becoming the first player to represent the Socceroos in four World Cup campaigns between 1981 and 1993. He made a total of 29 appearances for Australia scoring 11 goals. He also became a modern-day pioneer for Australians in Europe representing several high-profile clubs in the 1980s including Glasgow Rangers, Eintracht Frankfurt, Feyenoord, Chelsea and Newcastle United. He became the first Australian to play in the Scottish Premier League, German Bundesliga and the Dutch Premier League and was also the first Socceroo to score in a European club competition.

The Australian Football Hall of Fame was established in 1999 and recognises both players and non-players for their contribution to the sport on a national basis. A system of awards exists at three distinct levels, with separate but equivalent groups for both ‘on the field’ and ‘off the field’ contributions. 1. Hall of Champions (players) and Hall of Honour (non players); 2. Medal of Excellence (players) and Roll of Honour (non players); and 3. Award of Distinction (players) and Roll of Honour (non players). All candidates are considered via nomination. A nomination form is sent to State and Territory bodies annually and is also available from Football Federation Australia. Players are not eligible for inclusion in the Hall of Fame until three years after the end of their playing career.

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