Revealed: The best player in A-League history at each club

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Since the inception of the A-League in 2005, Australian football fans have been treated to a host of talented footballers whose achievements leave them remembered as club legends.

Here’s my definitive list of the top player in A-League history at every club.

Adelaide United: Isaias

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The Spaniard was a silky central midfielder who could control the tempo of play at his discretion. Isaias spent six years at Adelaide. He won the club’s player of the year award four times. He will forever be remembered by Adelaide fans for scoring a stunning free kick in the 2016 A-League grand final win.

 

Central Coast Mariners: Mile Jedinak

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A future Socceroo captain, Jedinak joined the Mariners on a short-term minimal wage contract in 2007 – while also working for a building company. After finally making his debut late in the 2006/07 season he never looked back, earning a full-time contract. Although Jedinak only played 45 A-League games, he will be forever remembered for his playing style as combative yet highly skilled central midfielder who dominated opposing teams. His performances at the Mariners earned him a dream move to Europe – where he would eventually sign for Crystal Palace. He became a club legend at Palace, captaining the club 89 times in the English Premier League.

 

Gold Coast United: Shane Smeltz

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An A-League journeyman, the striker was a nightmare for defenders at every club he played for. During two lethal spells at the now defunct Gold Coast United, Smeltz scored 28 goals in 38 games A-League games. Although he represented New Zealand, he calls Gold Coast home and still plays for the club in the National Premier League

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Melbourne Heart/Melbourne City: Aaron Mooy

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Mooy is a current Socceroo and arguably the best player in the current Socceroos squad. Over two mesmerising seasons for City, Mooy was voted by the Professional Association  Players as the best player in both seasons. The central midfielder’s A-League legacy will be defined by producing one of the best seasons by a player in A-League history. In the 2015/16 season he recorded an astonishing 21 assists – an A-League record – also scoring 11 times. This secured him a move to Europe, where he played in the English Premier League 96 times.

 

Melbourne Victory: Archie Thompson

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A clinical striker blessed with pace, Thompson played with flair. He was a smiling assassin, and his playing style can be appreciated by any football fan. He is the all-time leading goal scorer for Victory with 90 goals over 224 A-League games. During 11 seasons at the club, Thompson won three A-League championships. He was a big game player who had the uncanny ability of producing special performances when his club needed him. In the 2006/07 A-League grand final he scored five goals – a league record for most goals scored by a player in a single match.

 

Newcastle Jets: Matt Thompson

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Over 121 A-League games for the Jets, Matt Thompson was an ever-reliable box-to-box midfielder. He will not be remembered for goals or flair like some of the other A-League legends on this list. He will instead be known by Jets fans as an extremely consistent and versatile player who could play in a number of positions. He started for the Jets in their maiden and only A-League championship in the 2007/08 season.

 

North Queensland Fury: Robbie Fowler

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Fowler is regarded as an icon in global football and is remembered as a lethal striker who was one of the world’s best players in his prime. Known as ‘god’ by football fans around the world, Fowler was signed by North Queensland in their inaugural season in 2009/10. It was hoped that his status and performances would bring success and crowds to the Townsville. He was successful on the pitch, winning the club’s golden boot, player of the year and player’s player in his one season at the club. Following his departure to Perth Glory in the 2010/11 season, Fury struggled to attract fans and win matches and were removed from the competition.

 

New Zealand Knights: Jeremy Brockie

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As promised it is a complete list, and that includes the New Zealand Knights. Like the Fury, the Knights lasted just two seasons in the A-League and were removed from the competition after the 2006/07 season following low attendance numbers and poor performances. This was the hardest player to choose, as there was no standout player in either season. I have chosen Jeremy Brockie as he scored four goals from nine starts as an 18-year-old in the 2006/06 season. He has gone on to have a successful career, representing New Zealand 50 times so far.

 

Perth Glory: Diego Castro

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Since his arrival in the 2015/16 season, Castro has consistently been one of the leagues most exciting players. The Spaniard brings the flair factor to the glory. Despite being 38 years old he continues to dominate opposition defenders. In five seasons at the club the winger has won the club’s player of the year award three times. He was instrumental in the club’s only ever A-League premiership in the 2018/19 season and will go down as a Glory legend.

 

Queensland/Brisbane Roar: Thomas Broich

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As a youngster Broich was considered as one of the future stars of the German national team. Dubbed ‘Mozart’ due to his love for classical music and literature, Broich struggled with the pressure from the German media and never ended up appearing for Germany. He chose to leave the Bundesliga for the A-League ahead of the 2010/11 season. It was in Australia that he played his best football. The attacking midfielder had the ability to change matches. He was the best player for the Roar during their period of dominance in the A-League, winning three championships. He is also the only player in A-League history to win the Johnny Warren Medal on multiple occasions. He is considered by many as the best player in A-League history.

 

Sydney FC: Alex Brosque

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The name Brosque is synonymous with Sydney FC. He holds the club record for total goals scored in all competitions – with 83 goals in 267 appearances – also a record for total games played for Sydney. From 2007 to 2010 Brosque won three consecutive player of the year awards. He also captained the club during their most successful period in the A-League. In total he has won seven major trophies for Sydney, more than any other player. Already a Sydney legend in 2016, Brosque further cemented his place as Sydney’s fans favourite player by stating that he hated every single Wanderers player and fan – despite hailing from Greater Western Sydney.

 

Wellington Phoenix: Roy Krishna

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The Fijian striker played seven seasons at the Phoenix. During his time at Wellington he developed from a pacey, raw product, into a clinical striker. He holds the record for the most total goals at the club, with 52 goals. At his best he was devastating, and he won the Johnny Warren Medal in the 2018/19 season. Following this he secured a big-money move to India, where he has been similarly successful.

 

Western United: Alessandro Diamanti

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Western United have only played one full season in the A-League and there is no debate regarding their best player. Diamanti signed ahead of the 2019/20 season as the marquee player and has easily justified the status. During the club’s inaugural season, he did the extraordinary on a weekly basis, dazzling the league with his creativity and technical skills. Despite finishing the season as a 37-year-old, Diamanti won the Johnny Warren Medal for Western United – who only finished fifth on the ladder.

 

Western Sydney Wanderers: Nikolai Topor-Stanley

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Mr Reliable, ‘Topor’ was a rock-solid centre back for the Wanderers. During his time at the club, he was instrumental in the sides 2012/13 A-League premiership in which they conceded just 21 goals in 27 games. He also captained the side during the clubs 2014 AFC Championship campaign. The Wanderers defied the odds to win the competition, becoming the first and only ever A-League club to achieve this feet. ‘Topor’s’ leadership was key in this campaign and his defensive performances throughout the tournament earned him a place in the AFC Champions League 2014 Dream Team.

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Adam Sheldon
Adam Sheldon
Full time football addict. Passionate about any sport with balls. Covering Sydney FC A-League and W-League teams for the upcoming season.

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