Top five A-League players who scored on debut

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Making a positive debut for a club is a sure-fire way to get the fans to adore you. It also doesn’t hurt with the manager or staff.

Today, we look at the best club debuts in A-League history.

When compiling this list, I was devastated to learn that Andrew Nabbout’s heroics for the Melbourne Victory off the bench against Sydney FC came in his second game for the club, not his first. There are many stories just like his, too. But here it is, our top five!

5. Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory)

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In January 2014, it was announced that Besart Berisha would follow former Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou to the Melbourne Victory as their international marquee.

Berisha made his debut for the Victory in their first-round clash against the Western Sydney Wanderers, scoring on his debut from the penalty spot.

Berisha went on to score 68 goals in 110 appearances for the Victory. Combine that with his 48 goals in 76 appearances for the Brisbane Roar, and Berisha is one of the most prolific goal scorers in A-League history, and currently sits as the A-League all-time leading goal scorer.

4. Mitchell Duke (Western Sydney Wanderers)

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This one is still very fresh in the memory bank.

The former Central Coast Mariner signed with the Wanderers from Japanese side Shimizu S-Pulse in the January of 2019.

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Mitchell Duke made his A-League debut for the Western Sydney Wanderers in a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of the Newcastle Jets.

The only positive for the Wanderers on this night was the debut of Mitch Duke, scoring with his first touch of the game just 19 seconds after being introduced as a substitute.

He looked hungry and made a huge impact for his side when coming on. Certainly, a debut to remember for his home-town club.

3. Damian Mori (Central Coast Mariners)

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Former Socceroo Damian Mori signed with the Central Coast Mariners on a short-term contract in the September of 2006.

Previously playing for the Perth Glory and Adelaide City, Mori made his Mariners A-League debut across the ditch against the New Zealand Knights in a 2-0 win.

Mori scored on his debut and had great success for the remainder of his short career with the Mariners. At the age of 36, Mori went on to score six goals in eight appearances for the Yellow and Navy.

2. Tim Cahill (Melbourne City)

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We all remember THAT goal.

One of Australia’s greatest ever players signed for Melbourne City in the August of 2016 on a three-year contract.

Making his A-League debut in a Melbourne Derby against the Victory, Cahill scored a stunning volley 35 metres out just 27 minutes into his debut.

Despite only making 28 appearances, Cahill still managed to score 11 goals before leaving the club frustrated due to a lack of game time in the lead up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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 1. Dwight Yorke (Sydney FC)

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Without a doubt the biggest signing for season one of the A-League. Arriving on our shores after previously winning the treble with Manchester United, as well as playing in England with Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City, Yorke had huge expectations thrust upon him, but boy did he deliver.

In his debut for Sydney FC, and indeed the club’s debut in the A-League, Yorke stunned fans with a diving header against the Melbourne Victory.

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He went on to score seven goals in 21 appearances for the Sky Blues and remains one of the best imports the league has seen.

So, there you have it. I’m sure we’ve forgotten a few, so let us know who would make your top five!

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Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
Football writer and radio presenter. Loves everything football (well, except Italian's diving since '06).

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