After what seems like an eternity, finally, the A-League is back! While the FFA’s marketing has left a bit to be desired most will be more than aware of Round 1’s headline act.

Not only do we have a grand final re-match first up, it is a Big Blue to boot. So, in a toast to the two best teams from last year Football History Fridays are looking at the inaugural meeting between these two heavyweights. Which also funnily enough took place in Round 1 all those years ago.

The Match

Travel back in time to August 2005 and you would find yourself at the opening round of the opening A-League season. Australia’s football community collectively waited with baited breath as to whether the new competition would set the world on fire or be yet another false dawn for the code.

Charged with delivering that desired outcome were the two glamour clubs, the sky blue of Sydney FC and the navy of Melbourne Victory. Light vs dark, state vs state and it could well be argued mate against mate given the raft of Socceroos, both past and present, in the respective line-ups.

Mark Rudan and Kevin Muscat led out the sides in front of a raucous crowd of 25, 208 at what is now Allianz Stadium. The match itself could be seen in later years as a reflection of everything that the A-League is about. Sydney’s glamour signing Dwight Yorke opened the scoring for the Sky Blues, quickly dubbed ‘Bling FC’ before future A-league poster boy Archie Thompson drew the visitors level.

That was how the game finished but the story has gone on. Yorke remains the endearing image for the concept of a marquee (althougth Alessandro Del Piero may have something to say about that) while Thompson is the prime example of how far the A-League can take the local player. Yorke only lasted a year while Thompson played for another decade, but both finished their stints in the A-League as legends.

Despite the introduction of the derbies, the Big Blue remains the league’s ultimate rivalry. The clubs have played out three grand finals with the ledger sitting in Sydney’s favour two to one.

Now in Round 1 of season 2017/18, they meet once again. Few would bet against them being the last two standing come May yet again.

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Third year Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Interests include sports history and stats...you know, all the fun stuff.