Players come and go in the merry-go-round that is the A-League. But there are rare gems who have called their club home for the majority of their playing career.

Here are the five most loyal players in the league.

#5: Jack Hingert, Brisbane Roar – 7 years 7 months

Jack Hingert started his football career on the books of Crystal Palace, playing out of the youth set up for four years. The London born teenager relocated to Victoria at 14 and played for Knox City (then in the Victorian State League Division 2 South-East). For the next three years, stints at Victorian Premier League’s Dandenong Thunder and the now defunct North Queensland Fury saw him bounce about Australia.

In 2011 he settled for good in Queensland, signing a contract with Brisbane Roar. His initial two year contract turned into a seven year affair, re-signing multiple times for the Roar where he still remains today.

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Legacy

Having played 183 league games for the club, Hingert racked up success in the early days with Brisbane, finishing runners-up in the regular season, while being crowned champions in his first year at the club. Two season after, Brisbane did a clean sweep of the premiership and championship. Since then, Hingert and Roar have not experienced much success on the pitch apart from a few memorable run outs in the AFC Champions League.

No-one has come close to dislodging his position at right back since the day he arrived and he looks set to be a mainstay at the club after re-signing again this year. Hingert has put his fan favourite status to good use, taking on the role of an RSPCA Queensland ambassador. Since 2015, Hingert and his partner have fostered over 14 dogs that eventually found suitable homes.

#4: Rhyan Grant, Sydney FC – 10 years 1 month

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The only player on this list of a single nationality, Australian Rhyan Grant has been a Sydney FC boy through and through. Spending only a year each at talent development centres in New South Wales Institute of Sport and Australian Institute of Sport, Grant was picked up by Sydney FC’s National Youth League squad in 2008 at the age of 17.

Just one month later, he made his debut for the senior Sydney FC squad in a 4-1 loss against Perth Glory. The Sky Blues remain Grant’s only professional football team to date.

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Legacy

The youngest player on this list at just 28, Grant has played 160 league games for Sydney FC, mostly at right back, but has stood in on the left when called upon. The two time A-League champion has also picked up three premierships and an FFA Cup title. Just this year, Grant became the first Sky Blue player to clock 10 years with Sydney.

His recent form this season has saw Grant called-up for the Socceroos’ short lived Asian Cup 2019 campaign. Grant’s mullet has done the rounds on social media, from it being granted approval at the AFC Cup, to getting it tugged by Wenzel-Halls in a match. Whatever the case, Sydney fans have been more than happy to keep the man and his hairdo with his newly penned three year contract as many say he has the talent to be playing abroad.

Rhyan Grant receives a yellow card to the music of Wesley Willis from Aleague

#3: Andrew Durante, Wellington Phoenix – 10 years 7 months

At just 36 years young, Andrew Durante has been a familiar sight for National Soccer League (NSL) and A-League fans. The centre back’s football career began at NSL clubs Sydney Olympic and Parramatta Power before moving to Singapore for a stint at Balestier Khalsa.

On his return, Durante had a few run outs for Sydney United 58 before signing for Newcastle Jets in the newly formed A-League in 2005/06. In the 2008/9 A-League season, Durante joined Wellington Phoenix and his legacy with the New Zealand club commenced ever since.

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Legacy

The only player on this list to have played for more than two A-League clubs [having played in an AFC Champions League campaign on loan for Sydney FC], it might warrant the question if Durante is as loyal as it seems but with nearly 300 caps in the black and yellow of Phoenix, there is no doubt.

The incumbent captain of the Phoenix, Durante has paired up with the likes of Tony Lochhead, Jade North, Benjamin Sigmund and more recently, Steven Taylor. Excluding the current season, he has played an average of 23 A-League games every season – talk about being involved!

He’s a dual trophy winner having taken the NSL title with Sydney Olympic back in 2001/01 and the A-League championship when Newcastle Jets won in season three. The first and only A-League player to have crossed the 300 game mark, Durante has hinted that he might just go on and stretch this record a little longer.

After being naturalised as a New Zealander in 2013, Durante has captained the All Whites on a few occasions and has been capped more than 20 times. With his playing days for the national side over, his performances in the Phoenix’s resurgence this season suggest that there is more left in Durante’s tank.

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#2: Ben Kantarovski, Newcastle Jets – 11 years 1 month

Ben Kantarovski has played for only one A-League team, Newcastle Jets. Back in 2008 when he signed his professional contract with the Jets, he was the youngest player in the A-League to do so, and one of the youngest in the world.

He still remains one of the youngest players to have played an A-League game when he made his debut at just 16 years and 6 months.

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Legacy

Al eyes were on the 16-year-old Kantarovski as he was named the Jets player of the year in his debut season. Kantarovski infamously turned down the offer of joining Bayern Munich’s youth set up after obtaining a scholarship to stay with the Jets.

In a way that decision has been justifies as he became the first Jets player to clock more than 150 league games, but Kantarovski is somewhat injury prone and has missed significant portions of his 10 seasons at the club.

Despite that, he enjoyed a stellar season last year. He scored five out of his eight total career goals, played the most minutes in a season throughout all of his career, and helped the Jets reach the Grand Final. Having continuously committed himself to the Jets, the Newcastle icon is on course to be the A-League’s longest serving player.

#1: Leigh Broxham, Melbourne Victory – 12 years 7 months

When the name Leigh Broxham comes up, only one club comes to mind, that is Melbourne Victory. Rightly so. Plucked from the Victorian Institute of Sport, the 31-year-old has served only the dark blue colours of the Melbourne outfit in all of his senior career. Broxham has gone from being the former kit man of Victory, to an immortalised legend, despite still seeing regular minutes on the pitch.

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Legacy

Leigh Broxham has won all there is in Australian football – four premierships, three championships and one FFA Cup. He has ran out for the U17s and U23, but was only called up for a single start in the senior team in a friendly against Singapore in 2008.

Starting out as an attacking midfielder in his youth, Broxham moved deeper down the pitch. But his technical ability did not see him nail down a specific position, rather, he began playing all over the park. Apart from goalkeeper, Broxham has pretty much played every position for the Victory.

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Broxham is probably the league’s greatest utility player and any manager would be hard pressed to find any player that is contented with staying on the sidelines yet will guarantee a performance when called upon. So much so that he has displaced certain mainstay players, signed for a specific role – the latest of such victims is left back Corey Brown.

Good wine comes with age, and Broxham’s playing ability seems to get better and better with every season, and never has he looked like a victim of time. Apart from the current season, Broxy has been involved in an average of 22 league games in every season at Victory. The club’s record holder at 284 league appearances, any other A-League team, let alone Victory, will unlikely come across a more loyal player than Leigh Broxham.

Feature Image Credit : Ngau Kai Yan

Statistics sourced from Ultimate A-League.

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Journalism undergrad at Monash University, Kai is a multimedia journalist covering Melbourne Victory. Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Once "stole" Shinji Kagawa's plane ticket.