Where are they now? The last seven A-League Young Footballers of the Year

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The A-League Young Footballer of the Year is one of the most sought-after awards on offer at the end of the season – the award often earmarking the recipient for future success internationally and in the national team.

With end of season awards soon to be dished out, we look back at the esteemed company this season’s recipient Chris Ikonomidis will be joining.

Daniel Arzani

The current reigning Young Football of the Year, the hype surrounding Daniel Arzani during his breakout 2018 A-League campaign with Melbourne City was unreal.

Touted by many as a future star for the Socceroos, he was promptly bought by parent club Manchester City prior to the current A-League season, a two-year loan move to Scottish Premier League (SPL) side Celtic following quickly.

Unfortunately for Arzani, he suffered a torn ACL on debut for the Glasgow-based side. He’s expected back for the next SPL season.

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Jamie Maclaren

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One of only two players to be crowned Young Footballer of the Year in consecutive seasons (2015/16, 2016/17), Jamie Maclaren’s two-year stint with Brisbane Roar was phenomenal.

After mixed performances in Europe for SV Darmstadt 98 and Hibernian, Maclaren has returned to the A-League, joining Melbourne City midway through this season.

Hoping to replicate his deadly goal-scoring form from his Brisbane days, he’s set to become City’s marquee player for the 2019/20 A-League season.

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James Jeggo

The 2014/15 Young Footballer of the Year, combative central midfielder James Jeggo leveraged his fantastic form at Adelaide United into a move to the Austrian Bundesliga in 2016.

First signing for Sturm Graz, with whom he made 60 senior appearances over two seasons, he’s currently signed with Austria Wien.

Despite his great form, Jeggo’s been a victim of the Socceroos’ deep midfield stocks – making just one total appearance for the national team.

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Adam Taggart

Adam Taggart looked set to be the Socceroos’ striker of the future after his breakout 2013/14 A-League season.

Taking out both the Young Player of the Year and Golden Boot award in that season (all at just 20), a 2014 move to Fulham had him poised for stardom.

Unfortunately for the Perth-born striker, his jump to Europe was derailed by injury. He’s current playing for Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the K-League, joining midway through a disappointing 2018/19 season with the Roar.

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Marco Rojas

The lone New Zealander to ever win the Young Player of the Year, Marco Rojas was always a premier attacking talent during his time in the A-League.

His absolute peak came in the 2012/13 season, when he won both the Young Player of the Year award, and the Johnny Warren Medal.

He’s currently playing for SønderjyskE in the Danish Superliga.

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Mathew Ryan

Maty Ryan, unarguably the most successful player on this list, was the first ever to win the Young Player of the Year in successive seasons (2010/11, 2011/12).

There’s not much you don’t already know. He capped off a brilliant three-year stint with Central Coat Mariners by moving to Europe with Club Brugge, before joining Valencia in 2015.

Currently playing for Brighton & Hove Albion in the English Premier League, Maty is also the Socceroos’ default first-choice goalkeeper.

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Tommy Oar

Despite the nosedive his career has taken in recent years, Tommy Oar was arguably one of Australia’s best attacking prospects for a good 5-year period since stepping onto the scene with Brisbane Roar.

He won the Young Player of the Year award in the 2009/10 season before jetting off for a successful spell with Eredivise side FC Utrecht.

He’s currently contracted to the Central Coast Mariners, signing with the club after unsuccessful spells with APOEL in Cyprus, Brisbane Roar, and Ipswich Town.

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Feature image credit: Alen Delic

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Ben Paynter
Loves Brisbane. Loves a pint. Loves a 'Kevin Muscat Bad Tackle' YouTube compilation.