Where are they now: The first 11 winners of the Joe Marston Medal

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In the biggest matches, the best of the best rise to the top.

This idea is just as relevant in the A-League Men as it is in any other sport, with some of the best players in the league’s history being awarded the Joe Marston Medal for player of the grand final.

All these years later, what are these all-time great footballers doing with their lives? Are they still playing or associated with football, or have they chosen a life away from the game?

Here are the first 11 winners of the Joe Marston Medal, and where they are now…

Dwight Yorke (Sydney FC 2005/06)

The very first Joe Marston Medal winner, Dwight Yorke’s time in Australia was short but sweet. The treble winning forward played just 22 games for Sydney FC, scoring seven goals.

After transferring to Sunderland from the Sky Blues, he would go on to play in England until 2009 when he was released.

The Trinidad and Tobago national is doing quite well for himself, currently working with various media organisations as well as being a sports ambassador for his home country.

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Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory 2006/07)

The scorer of five goals in the largest grand final win in A-League Men history, Archie Thompson would go on to play for his beloved Melbourne Victory until retiring at the end of the 2016 season.

The striker would continue to play a few years of NPL football for the likes of Heidelberg United and Murray United before finally retiring for good in 2020.

Whilst he may have hung up his boots he has replaced them with a microphone, keeping in touch with the game by covering the A-Leagues and internationals for Channel 10 and Paramount Plus.

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Andrew Durante (Newcastle Jets 2007/08)

Yet another player’s last game for the club, Andrew Durante went out on a high when he secured the Joe Marston Medal after the Jets defeated the Mariners 1-0.

It was by no means the last time we would see him in the A-League Men, playing for the Wellington Phoenix until 2019, before finishing off his professional career with Western United.

His final match in the ALM was against the Central Coast with a 2-0 defeat marking his 416th and final first national league appearance.

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Tom Pondeljak (Melbourne Victory 2008/09)

The only goalscorer in the 2008/09 A-League Men grand final, Tom Pondeljak continued playing for Melbourne Victory until the end of the 2011/12 season.

He would then return to his boyhood club St Albans Saints, playing a season with the team in Victorian State League One before finally hanging up the boots in 2013.

According to Melbourne Victory, as of 2020 Pondeljak was back at his boyhood club, coaching their U12’s NPL squad.

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Simon Colosimo (Sydney FC 2009/10)

Yet another player who capped of his last game for a club in style, Simon Colosimo would leave Sydney FC after scoring the first penalty of their successful grand final shootout.

The centre-back would go on to join expansion team Melbourne Heart, playing there for two seasons before continuing to play in the NPL for various sides.

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Since leaving the field, the Australian certainly has maintained his involvement in the game, currently holding the position of Deputy General Secretary of FIFPRO.

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Mathew Ryan (Central Coast Mariners 2010/11)

The first player to ever win the award on a losing team, Mathew Ryan was just a teenager when his side went down in a penalty shoot-out in one of the best comebacks in grand final history.

After securing an A-League Men grand final win in 2013, the goalkeeper would move to Club Brugge, setting up a successful European career that included suiting up for the likes of Valencia, Brighton and Arsenal.

The current Socceroos captain has, however, struggled to find game time since signing for Real Sociedad, playing just three games.

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Jacob Burns (Perth Glory 2011/12)

The most controversial Joe Marston Medal ever presented, Jacob Burns was eventually given the award after an FA ‘administrative error’ saw Thomas Broich awarded the honour at the presentation.

After finally receiving the award, the midfielder would go on to play for Glory until the end of the 2013/14 season when he decided to hang up the boots.

He would go on to be Perth Glory’s football director, before stepping away from the role in 2020 after the resignation of Tony Popovic.

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Daniel McBreen (Central Coast Mariners 2012/13)

The striker would score the second goal of the 2012/13 ALM grand final, helping Central Coast Mariners to their first and currently only title.

After playing one more season with the club, McBreen would go on to play in the Chinese Super League, as well as the Hong Kong Premier League before ending his football career with NPL side Edgeworth Eagles.

Currently the head coach of the Newcastle Jets youth team, he also works for Channel 10 as an analyst and commentator.

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Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar 2013/14)

One of the best players to ever grace the A-League Men, Thomas Broich would rightfully be named as the co-winner of the Joe Marston medal in 2014.

The midfielder would go on to play for the Roar until 2017, leaving the club as arguably their greatest ever player.

Since his retirement, the German has held many roles in football, working in the media before taking his current job as head of methodology at Hertha Berlin’s football academy.

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Iacopo La Rocca (Western Sydney Wanderers 2013/14)

Playing in defensive midfield that night, La Rocca would find a home in Australia after first signing for the Wanderers in 2012.

The Italian would go on to play for Adelaide United and Melbourne City after leaving the Wanderers at the end of the 2014/15 season, hanging up his boots in 2019.

Since retiring the midfielder has obtained a UEFA B licence, with his most recent role being inside Melbourne City’s coaching ranks.

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Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory 2014/15)

A stalwart of the Socceroos, Mark Milligan won the Joe Marston Medal after a dominant midfield display for Melbourne Victory in their 3-0 win against Sydney FC.

The Australian would leave Melbourne after that match, playing for UAE Pro-League side Baniyas before re-joining Victory, eventually finishing his career for Macarthur last year.

Milligan now works as a football analyst for Paramount Plus and Channel 10, whilst also coaching St George FC’s first grade men’s side.

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Feature Image Credit: Alen Delic

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William Makepeace
William Makepeace
Current Intern covering Canberra United. Sports Media student at University of Canberra who lives and breathes Football

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