The 1974 Socceroos and former Luton Town striker says he is disappointed at the failure of the FFA and past governing bodies to properly honour past Socceroos sides, particularly the World Cup squad of ’74.

“We have experienced it for years, since we first came back from the World Cup where we received so little recognition from the Australian Football Association,” Alston says.

Alston though, appreciates the handing out of caps to past Socceroos in recent years.

“What the FFA have done though is given a cap to every person who has ever represented the country, whether they have played for Australia once or one-hundred times, which is at least something.”

“We need to be better in the field of history.” The former Socceroo added.

Alston says Australia should learn from the example of other nations when dealing with its football past, where the history of the game is incorporated into the present

“If you look at teams from around the world who play in World Cups, you’ll always see before international matches that they’ll have a get together.

“For example, The English FA invited all of the West German team from the ’66 World Cup over during some World Cup Qualifiers a few years ago.

“It are things like that, where everybody is a part of the future: everything’s part of the growth and the structure, the learning curve and I think from our point of view – the 74’ World Cup – that is when it all started, the interest with qualifying for the World Cup, with people realising what exactly it entailed and just the vastness of it all, playing against the best players in the world and I was privileged to be part of that.”

The striker, who might be remembered for the moment in 1974 when he rounded legendary West Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer and came agonisingly close to the most famous goal in Australia’s football history, is disappointed that the entire 74’ squad have not been properly inducted into the Hall of Fame.

He says: “I’m a bit bitter. I was put in the Hall of Fame as an individual but I was annoyed that the whole World Cup team weren’t honoured as a whole.

“And this is what is missing, things like that we’re people can say “Wow, the ’74 team: part-time players who went through hell, Vietnam, the world tours, learning and bonding together, going through three wars around the world.

“We are so different to everybody else and always will be.”

However, he also emphasised the importance of widespread celebration of all past Socceroos sides by the governing body.

“There were teams before the 1974 side as well. I think everybody should be recognised: Every single person who put on the Green and Gold shirt should be remembered.

“We should never forget from where we actually came from. History is a massive thing.”

Alston, who made his debut for Australia against Greece in 1969, says the experience of the 1974 side could have been used by the FFA in preparation for the Socceroos 2007 Asia Cup campaign and for upcoming campaigns.

“Especially during the Vietnam war, we went through shocking times where we lived off bananas and Coca-Cola for days on end.

“We couldn’t eat this and that because of the dysentery and scurvy; having to go to the American army base to eat imported steak.

“All those sorts of little things were all part of the growing up to be something different. We had a bond so strong that we would die for each other.”

He added: “I look at the other teams around the world: you will always see somebody on the coaching or administrative staff from the old school, from a few World Cups before.

“Beckenbauer isn’t a coach anymore, but he’s heavily involved with Bayern Munich.

“You’ve got all these older blokes who have been there and done that at the World Cup, surely they have some advice and can give something back?

“It would give young players confidence as well, having these guys around.”

English-born Alston, who played briefly for Canberra City in the NSL, also says Australia’s domestic football history is part of an experience which must be accepted for both its positives and negatives as a ‘learning curve’ for the future of the game.

“The NSL, that was the start of it all.

“Johnny Warren brought me over from the Tampa Bay Rowdies as a guest player for 8 games and that was quite exciting.

“The national league started off what the A-League has now become.” Alston says.

“Everything is part of the history and either good or bad, it was being learnt from. All of the mistakes we made are part of it all.”

The 1974 striker also criticised the attitude adopted by the new regime of football administrators, who he believes have been untruthful in their representation of the growth of the game in Australia.

“Suddenly people in the 2000s have stepped in and said ‘we have made football what it is’

“Yes, they have to a certain extent, but it would never have happened if not for the people of the past.

“Frank Lowy was involved with [Sydney] Hakoah for years on end. Without that background, that history, he wouldn’t have a clue of what’s going on now.

“It is history, we are all part of it.”

Alston is confident though that Australia’s football history will be given the treatment is deserved but also hopes for widespread respect and inclusion of all involved with football – past and present.

“People won’t forget; the supporters aren’t stupid.

“It would be massive if everybody got respect, there would be such harmony and the game would grow so much if those in charge of the game did the right thing.”