Where are they now? The A-League’s forgotten men

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Whether through their own admission or the decision of others there can be a variety of reasons players leave their national league. We take a look at some former players who no longer grace the A-League.

James Brown (Gold Coast United, Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City)

Like a multitude of young talent James Brown burst onto the footballing scene with an exciting Gold Coast United side guided by eccentric coach Miron Bleiberg. When the club folded in 2013 Brown was one of Australian footballs hottest prospects with various clubs fighting for his signature. Eventually signing for Newcastle Jets, Brown was only able to show sporadic moments of class before being sold to Melbourne City for similar results. Now 28, the once attacking midfielder now resides for NPL Victoria 2 Club Nunawading City as a defender.

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Nick Kalmar (Melbourne City, Western Sydney Wanderers)

Former Melbourne Heart coach John Van’t Schip thought he struck gold when a tall, young, composed local broke into his first team in 2010. The elegant midfielder was deployed further forward even as a second striker on occasion, a position his eventual goal tally didn’t reflect. Kalmar netted just six times in his four years in Melbourne before departing  to Western Sydney Wanderers but failed to impress throughout his injury replacement contract. After stints in Thailand and Java the 30-year-old now plays in the same Victorian league as Brown for Dandenong City.

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Jeremy Brockie (New Zealand Knights, Sydney FC, North Queensland Fury, Newcastle Jets, Wellington Phoenix)

Somewhat of an A-League stalwart Jeremy Brockie graced five different A-League clubs including spells with two now defunct sides in New Zealand Knights and North Queensland Fury. The 49-cap All-White international has since enjoyed a spell in Canada with Toronto FC before joining SuperSport United in South Africa where he was briefly teammates with Usain Bolt. Currently 30, Brockie recently moved to Mamelodi Sundows were his potent finishing is well appreciated.

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Zac Anderson (Gold Coast United, Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC)

Another product of Gold Coast United, Zac Anderson emerged as a tall, imposing central defender in 2009 and impressed many with his attack on the ball and decision making. These traits earned him a move to Central Coast Mariners where a relationship with coach Graham Arnold blossomed so much that they reconnected at Sydney FC in 2015. Anderson struggled for game time at the Sky Blues and after just four appearances he moved abroad in search of regular football and has since appeared in UAE and more recently Malaysia.

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David Williams (Brisbane Roar, North Queensland Fury, Sydney FC, Melbourne City)

Born in Brisbane explosive winger turned striker David Williams appeared for both Queensland clubs before a brief spell with Sydney FC was preceded by four years at Melbourne City which saw the two cap Socceroo net twelve times. Williams switched the A-League for Hungary’s Nemzeti Bajnoksag I in 2016 and has since made almost 50 appearances for Szombatheyli Haladas VSE. Having scored seventeen times for his Hungarian club there have been calls for the 30-year-old to be recalled to the national team and with Bert van Marwijk ringing the changes in his first Socceroo squad Williams will no doubt be eyeing off a spot in Russia.

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Connor Gibbons
Football fan and digital communications officer following Perth Glory during the 2017/2018 A-League season.