Ernest Lukeman was involved in restarting the Commonwealth Football Association after the war. In 1920 he was appointed secretary of the reconstituted Australian Soccer Association (ASA), and continued in that position until 1933

He is the unacknowledged father of the team we now know as the Socceroos.  For the whole period between 1922 and 1933, an era which takes in all of Australia’s first 70 matches and all nine of the country’s international series, Lukeman combined working as team selector, team manager, referee, honorary secretary of the national association, football journalist and point of contact with overseas football.

He, above all others, encouraged the men around him to be ambitious for the national team.  In the 1920s Lukeman advanced the idea of playing at the Olympics, playing in Asia, joining FIFA and undertaking a world tour

He was responsible for making the arrangements for the 1927 tours by the Czechs and Chinese teams through Australia

For some years he contributed soccer notes to “The Referee” as “Throstle.”

His motto was said to be “Australia First”.  He was an internationalist who brought vigour and belief to the promotion of the Australian national team.  His career and his writing show a man with a far broader view of international football than any other official in the pre-World War II decades.

Ernest Lukeman chaperoned the Australian team through the first decade, dared to dream of Australia on the world stage, and was the man who took Australia to Asia.

In October 1936 Ernest Lukeman collapsed and died while walking along the street not far from his home at Drummoyne in Sydney’s inner west which, in the absence of a proper office, had also served as ASFA’s official address.


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