Association football in Australia has served a multiplicity of changing purposes for migrant minorities since the mid-nineteenth century. Some individuals and groups embraced the game as an important element of cultural identification and distinction; others used it as one of a number of means of finding a way into some areas of Australian society; and yet others have shunned the game as being un Australian. Some migrants played the game, but had no further involvement, while others used the game as a means of entry into 'mainstream' Australian society. A few used the code for political purposes. By examining the experience of three migrant groups in Victoria, some of the common generalizations about migrants and football can be shown to be less than firmly grounded.