A great striker can be the difference between winning a title and losing one and when you look at the history of the Hyundai A-League there have only been a handful of players that could find the net on a regular basis, while there have been plenty who have promised the world but delivered little.
This week we take a look at those who have indeed delivered the goods in the Hyundai A-League and today it’s two of the most famous Qantas Socceroos to grace the league who make the list.
8. John Aloisi (Central Coast Mariners/Sydney FC/Melbourne Heart)
Best known for netting ‘that penalty’ against Uruguay and sending the Qantas Socceroos to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1974, Aloisi had a career that took him to some of the biggest leagues in the world including the EPL and more notably La Liga where he plied his trade for Osasuna.
This stint was where he excelled the most throughout his career and he even scored for them in a losing Copa Del ray final back in 2004/05, when they lost to Real Betis.
When he eventually landed back on Aussie shores he joined Central Coast Mariners and helped them to a Premiership, before joining one of the two ‘big’ clubs in the league, signing with Sydney FC for what was reported to be the biggest deal in the history of the league at the time.
And Aloisi would prove to be worth every dollar, after a slow start he helped Sydney FC to their first double, claiming the Premier’s Plate and the Championship in 2009/10, but he was unable to be on the field for the Grand Final.
After that he would join up with A-League newcomers Melbourne Heart and continue to plunder goals, scoring eight in his final season as a professional player. Overall his A-League tally stood at 27 goals from 75 appearances.
7. Harry Kewell (Melbourne Victory)
Whether you’re mild or wild about Harry Kewell there is little denying he is the most decorated and most talented player this country has produced over the course of the last 15 years, if not the all-time greatest.
Rated highly from the time he burst on to the scene as a precociously talented 17-year-old in the 1996 World Cup campaign, where he scored away against Iran, Kewell had some big time successes in Europe with Leeds United and then Liverpool, most notably as a winner of the UEFA Champions League and then a winner of the FA Cup, with the now hapless Reds.
A star at international level as well and a a long-time Qantas Socceroo who is still an integral part of the team, Kewell returned home to play for Melbourne Victory after a stint at Turkish club Galatasaray.
Initially it appeared Kewell was struggling with his fitness and the style of the game that is played in the A-League but come the end of the season his partnership with Carlos Hernandez in particular had blossomed and he was pulling the strings in a Victory attack that was beginning to fire.
While they were still a poor side, Kewell was by far and away a game-changer and when he is on-song and fit there are still few better than him in the A-League when it comes to creating or finishing a chance.
If he hangs around next season and stays fit, he may just take the league by storm and that would definitely be a sight to behold.
After all eight goals in 25 matches isn’t a bad return for a debut season, where he took a while to find his feet.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Football Federation Australia