Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy says meeting Adrian Alston, a member of the 1974 World Cup side, was like seeing himself in 40 years time.

Socceroos get history lesson

November 13, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Standing next to legendary Socceroos striker Adrian Alston, Josh Kennedy says it was like seeing himself 40 years down the track.

The current Socceroos squad were treated to a history lesson on Tuesday as they attended a function celebrating the 40th anniversary of Australia qualifying for a first World Cup.

As they prepare to face Costa Rica at Allianz stadium next Tuesday, Ange Postecoglou were given the opportunity to look into the past in the hope it would motivate them for the future.

Like Kennedy, Alston, who was part of Australia's 1974 World Cup team in West Germany, was often pinpointed by opponents as a dangerman.

Before clashing with the hosts in the group stages of the `74 tournament coach Helmut Schoen famously remarked: "We have nothing to fear from Australia....apart from Adrian Alston."

Alston recalled the match and told of how he became the envy of his teammates after exchanging jerseys with German legend Franz Beckenbauer.

The 64-year-old former striker went on to play in the UK for Luton Town and Cardiff City, before playing in the developing North American Soccer League against the likes of Pele, George Best and Bobby Moore.

And with only seven months until next year's showpiece in Brazil he hammered home to the current squad the honour that comes with representing your country saying: "All of that is s**t, wearing the green and gold at a World cup is the only thing that matters."

Kennedy, who himself became part of history after heading home the goal in Australia's 1-0 win over Iraq to secure the Socceroos' berth in Brazil, said meeting Alston and the rest of the squad gave him a sense of the impact he can have on the sport.

"I don't think most of the boys will know what an honour it was to meet these guys personally today," he said.

"Today was the first time I met him (Alston) and it was a bit like looking into a mirror a few years down the track.

"They really were the pioneers in Australian football and they started the whole journey off for us.

"We definitely want to leave a legacy just like these guys have."

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