Book Review: Cracking the Footy Codes

By Daniel Andruczyk

As promised I have read through Tony Squires new book “Cracking the Footy Codes”. So this blog post will be a sort of a book review. Now the book is for the newbie, a person who has no idea of any of the four football codes in Australia, rather than the avid and dedicated fan.


The first thing that you notice about the book is that its colour coded. Each of the codes have their own colour associated so that are easy to reference. AFL blue, Soccer orange, Rugby League red and Rugby Union Green. Tony sets out to make a simple recipe book for the uninitiated fan to be able to follow the sport of choice. One of the good things is that it takes only about half an hour to read through the respective section, so you do not need to waste time reading than enjoying the game.

Each sport, is split into easy section. The first is a description of the history sport, with the AFL’s and League’s own CEO’s giving their own take on what it means to be those sports. Funnily Soccer and Union don’t have that. Then there is a good summary of the scoring and positional aspects of the sports and last is talking about the unique aspects and nuances of each sport.

There is one aspect of the book that I did find a bit disappointing. The players of all codes have pretty much been made out to be a bunch of Neanderthals though calling soccer players a bunch of B-grade actors may be a bit of an insult to the B-grade acting community.

Between each  of the sections of sports are a few pages of trivia, with expression and descriptions for all the sports. So I suppose the reader needs to understand, this book is not about proving one sport it better than the other, its only there to provide a guide to understand the games. Having the trivia of all sports mixed in is a good move.

At the end of the book there is a pop quiz of 42 questions and answers about the sports. These are not from the notes as such, but are interesting titbits of knowledge. A couple examples are “What is the name of the Catholic Priest who played and scored a try in the 1970 Rugby League World Cup in which Australia beat Great Britain 12-7?” or this one “Name the club which has been in the Rugby League competition since 1967 but has never won a premiership.”

Overall, Tony Squires sets out and I think succeeds in creating what he wanted, a simple step by step book that gives the uninitiated a recipe to learn and understand the game quickly. They wont be experts, but will know enough to not be lost.

Out of 5 stars, I give it 4.

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