Almanac Books: ‘The End Of The Game’ – Michael Fiddian




Melbourne high school teacher and playwright tackles racism in sport and footy head-on with his debut young adult novel The End of the Game.


“The End of the Game offers an understanding that may lead us all to heal and deal with the past; something which is of crucial importance to how we educate and inform Australia’s youth.” (Emeritus Professor John Maynard)


Now available online and in bookstores, the debut novel from Melbourne-based playwright and high school teacher, Michael Fiddian, shines a light on the casual and systemic racism experienced by many Indigenous sportsmen and women, getting to grips with a topic all too often overlooked in Australian young adult literature.


The End of the Game, from Popcorn Press, traces a week in the life of Tom, a player in an Under 18 footy team in a fictional country town in Victoria, during the lead-up to the local competition Grand Final – the first time the team has made it to the showpiece event in decades.


Tom sees his friend, Albert, a young Aboriginal man and star player in the team, get racially abused by his own supporters after one of their matches. Tom knows Albert won’t take it.


In what should be a week of celebration in the lead up to the Grand Final, Tom can’t help but feel uneasy; not only with the abuse he’s witnessed, but with the payback that he knows Albert will plan.


The End of the Game exposes contemporary issues of culture and diversity and the impact of racism on the team’s players, of?cials, the local newspaper editor – and the all-important Grand Final game.


Author Michael Fiddian says of the book: “When I started writing this book, I hoped that by the time I’d finished it, no-one would need to read it because the issue of racism in sport – particularly in terms of crowd abuse, hypocrisy and stupidity – might have been a thing of the past. What a fool.


“The book is a coming-of-age story of Tom and his realisation about a world he didn’t know existed, but it’s also a bit about the hope that, if enough people stand up, then maybe insults from over the fence or online might stop being seen as a way of showing strength, and that team sports are for everyone, not just people who have a particular shade of skin.”


Emeritus Professor John Maynard, a Worimi man from the Port Stephens region of New South Wales, and Co-Director of the Purai Global Indigenous History Centre at the University of Newcastle, says of the book: “The End of the Game offers crucial insights into issues that Aboriginal people face in all walks of life in this country, not just on the sporting field. It is an important book for young people, exposing the high levels of racism, prejudice and ignorance that persist in this country, so that we may better tackle them together.


“The End of the Game offers an understanding that may lead us all to heal and deal with the past; something which is of crucial importance to how we educate and inform Australia’s youth.”


The End of the Game, by Michael Fiddian, will be available as a paperback ($24.99) and eBook ($10.99) at Popcorn Press, Amazon, and at all good bookstores.


For further information and interview requests with the author, or copies of the book, please contact:

Lee Robson


Popcorn Press

E: [email protected]

T: +61 (0) 412 024 651


About the author


A high school English and History teacher, Michael Fiddian is passionate about educating young Australians about discrimination and injustices, and is glad to see the rising appreciation of the role that Aboriginal AFL players have on the game. He has written short and full length plays for more than a decade, and his play, The Kids Are Alright, was nominated for the best new play at the 2014 CONDA Awards in Newcastle.


About Professor John Maynard

Professor John Maynard is a Worimi man from the Port Stephens region of New South Wales. Currently co-director of the Purai Global Indigenous and Diaspora Research Centre (Chair of Indigenous History). He has held several major positions and served on numerous prominent organizations and committees. He is the author of several books including The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe (Second Edition published by Fair Play Publishing), and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.


About Popcorn Press


Popcorn Press is the Fiction imprint of Fair Play Publishing which publishes books in the categories of Football, Fiction and Life.

Fair Play Publishing was founded in 2016 by Bonita Mersiades, and is a niche publishing house based in Sydney.

For more information, visit



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  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Sounds a very timely book, I’m sure it will a success at the directed audience, and more.

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