6. Sergio van Dijk (Queensland Roar/Adelaide United)
The powerful Dutchman took a while to adjust to the Hyundai A-League and was actually panned for his inability to score goals during the first part of his stint at then Queensland Roar, which was a funk he would break out of in dominant fashion, going on a goalscoring tear in the second half of his debut season, and it’s one that hasn’t really stopped since that time.
While he was good at the Roar, van Dijk really came to the fore as a striker once he became a Red and helped propel Adelaide towards their AFC Champions League Grand Final, before joining the club on a permanent basis with a three year contract.
One of the most prolific strikers in the history of the league he scores almost once every two games with 50 goals from 102 starts, but he is also capable of doing the donkey work and holding the ball up for his midfielders.
With natural predatory instincts in front of goal, van Dijk can score a tap in or cannon a screaming shot into the corner, but he is also ice cool from the penalty spot and regularly succeeds from them, in 2010/11 he won the Golden Boot.
5. Robbie Fowler (North Queensland Fury/Perth Glory)
It’s hard to get the image of Robbie Fowler celebrating scoring a goal by ‘snorting’ the goal line out of one’s head, but despite that glaring error of judgement there is also plenty to like about the man Liverpool fans referred to as ‘God’.
A sublimely skilled footballer at his peak, Fowler was a goal-scoring machine, netting an amazing 128 goals in his Premier League career and is one of that league’s all time greats, despite the fact he never lifted the Premiership Cup.
Many regarded that Liverpool side as underachieving and Fowler and some of his teammate’s party boys, so it was no surprise that when he came to Australia the comparisons to the league’s original marquee Dwight Yorke would follow.
And like Yorke, Fowler would find himself in the public eye, but he also produced the goods on the pitch, albeit in a more inconsistent manner than Yorke.
The inaugural captain of the ultimately doomed Fury, Fowler managed to net nine goals in his debut season and some of those showed he still had the flair and finishing skills he was renowned for, but it wasn’t long till controversy struck.
When he was named on the bench for a match against the Roar, Fowler refused to play and trouble set in, though he finished the season he was quick to join Perth Glory, where his talents continued to flourish and he netted a further nine goals.
Despite his best efforts though the Glory had a dismal year and Fowler despite flashes of brilliance failed to find the goalscoring form he once had, but despite that he is still one of the best strikers the A-League has seen, even if he wasn’t the most influential.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Football Federation Australia