Top five foreign central defenders in the A-League’s history

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Throughout the A-League’s 15-year existence we have been blessed with top quality central defenders from overseas.

Let us review the best.

Jordy Buijis (2017-18)

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The Dutch delight was a monster during Sydney FC’s most ruthless period of results.

Initially signed on a short-term contract – after the departure of Matt Jurman – Buijis struck up an unbeatable partnership with Alex Wilkinson.

He made his debut in the January Big Blue, quieting Besart Berisha, making him a Cove favourite.

The Sky Blues only conceded 12 goals throughout the regular season in their premiership and championship run in 2016/17.

Buijis guided Sydney to a premiership and an FFA Cup success in his second season.

He was one of the most confident players to ever bless the league.

Matthieu Delpierre (2014-16)

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The Frenchman made defending look easy at Melbourne Victory.

The former VfB Stuttgart player joined the club in 2014/15 and won the premiership and championship double.

Making 53 appearances for the club over two seasons, he won the Victory medal in his first campaign.

He made 91 clearances and won 83 per cent of tackles in his time in Australia.

Bart Schenkeveld (2017-19)

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Schenkeveld would be disappointed not to win more than the singular FFA Cup in Australia, but there has never been a presence like him.

He was in the prime of his career after arriving in the country in his mid-20s.

The Feyenoord academy product was tidy on the ball, strong in tackles and commanding from the back.

After 51 appearances in the league, contract negotiations could not be agreed upon between Schenkeveld and City.

There were whispers he would join Sydney however this faded quickly. It was suggested that his wage demands were too high.

Bas van den Brink (2009-11), (2011-13)

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Signed in Gold Coast United’s inaugural squad, the former FC Utrecht man became instrumental in a positive first season in Queensland.

With four goals in 50 appearances, he quickly became a fan favourite as United finished third.

He moved to South Korea signing with Busan l’Park but did not perform.

This led him back to Australia, this time with Perth Glory under Ian Ferguson.

The Dutchman was back to his best, making 24 appearances in another third placed side.

He came agonisingly close to a grand final victory – but could not stop the dominance of Brisbane Roar under Ange Postecoglou.

Patrick Zwaanswijk (2010-13)

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Arguably the benchmark defender in A-League history.

The championship winner came with a wealth of experience.

The former Ajax academy product enjoyed the Mariners’ best period in history, where he helped them to a premiership and championship under Graham Arnold.

He scored the side’s first goal in a grand final victory over Western Sydney which led the club to their first championship in four attempts.

He was a force at the back and a player no one will forget.

Feature image credit: Melbourne City

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Jordan Warren
Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.

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