One current Qantas Socceroo and one former one make it into the top four as our countdown to the top midfielder in the history of the league heats up.
4. Matt Mckay (Queensland/Brisbane Roar)
The current Qantas Socceroo was a stalwart of early Roar teams in the Hyundai A-league and was a major star here before he secured what would ultimately be an ill-fated transfer to Scottish giants, Rangers.
McKay played just a handful of games for the club before ultimately pulling up stumps and heading to Korea. Though his transfer to Europe would ultimately be considered a failure his career in the A-League was anything but.
Twice the Player of the Year at the club, he led the Roar to their biggest triumph when they won the 2011 Premiership/Championship double, defeating Central Coast Mariners in the Grand Final after a tense penalty shoot out.
It was here that the steely demeanour McKay displays when controlling the midfield came to the fore, faced with the go-ahead penalty, after Michael Theoklitos had denied Daniel McBreen, McKay calmly slotted it home.
The gifted playmaker now seems to have earned himself a permanent spot in Holger Osieck’s side as the Socceroos move towards Brazil 2014 and given what he was able to do over a large portion of his career in the A-League, that is no surprise.
3. Steve Corica (Sydney FC)
The man they call “Bimbi” wasn’t exactly a profilic goalscorer during his five Hyunda A-League season with Sydney FC, but Steve Corica was always about more than just finding the net.
Small, agile, with great close control and an eye for the killer ball, Corica was a born No.10.
After stints in the UK and Japan, Corica won the inaugural Grand Final in his first season with Sydney, linking up brilliantly throughout the year with striker Dwight Yorke in one of the most skilful attacking pairings the competition has seen.
His time with the Sky Blues was defined by his class on and off the field, and there weren’t many who didn’t enjoy watching Corica exploit the space between the lines to give his strikers the time and the ball they needed to score.
His final season with Sydney ended in frustration, as he limped off in the final game against Melbourne Victory, a torn hamstring keeping out of the finals push and ultimate Grand Final triumph against their rivals in Melbourne. But Corica’s ability on the ball and to bring his teammates into the game means he will always be one of finest midfielders to grace the A-League.
The views in this article are those of the author and not Football Federation Australia or the Hyundai A-League