Question One – With a collection of a few thousand cards, stickers, programmes and other miscellaneous items dedicated to the international playing career of Matildas and Socceroos which ones do you list first?
Answer – Lets start with a Top 40 – (Yes i do have an extensive music collection!)
Question Two – How do you choose the Top 40 or more specifically, the first 40 players to be listed on this website?
Answer – Establish a criteria, which is:
- At least one player for each letter of the alphabet (24 – there are not any players in the collection with surnames starting with Q or X)
- Volume and variety of items in the player collection
- Significance of the players career
- Overall diversity of the first 40 in terms of eras, clubs, items etc
- Overriding all the above in some cases is my personal bias
Recognising that it takes a lot work to prepare a player collection for listing I have decided to start with the 13 players I have finished. They are listed in reverse alphabetical order below, together with pictures from the collection and a brief explanation as to why these players are in the First/Top 40.
13. JACKSON IRVINE
The first listing of a current Socceroo. The collection reflects his initial four year professional playing career in Scotland, then four years in England and his return to Scotland, this time playing for Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership.
12. BRETT HOLMAN
The outstanding player at the FIFA 2010 World Cup where he scored a cracking goal. Spent much of his playing career in the Netherlands and was at his peak when winning the Eredivisie title and playing in the champions league with AZ Alkmaar. He then played in England and the UAE before returning to Australia to play for Brisbane Roar.
11. VINCE GRELLA
Like his long time Golden Generation and occasional club teammate Mark Bresciano, Vince had a successful career in Italy but his subsequent playing career in England was hampered by injury. The collection includes many items from his time as a Socceroo and playing in Australia, Italy and England.
10. FRANK FARINA
One the original intakes at the Australian Institute of Sport. He became a leading Socceroo of his generation. The collection includes items from his playing career in Australia, Belgium, Italy and France. In 1999 he published his autobiography titled “My World is Round”.
9. BRETT EMERTON
Another of the Socceroos Golden Generation and is the fourth highest capped Socceroo. Played champions league football with Feyenoord followed by a long and very successful career at Blackburn Rovers. Finished his career at Sydney FC where he was hampered by injury.
8. LISA DE VANNA
Arguably the greatest Matilda. A long and successful professional career over 20 years, playing at 20 different clubs and in 4 world cups. Like Lisa the collection is wide and varied. One of the truely greats of Australian football.
7. STEPH CATLEY
A key member of the Matildas Golden Generation. The collection is one of the most varied of the Matildas with her appearing on the cover of FIFA EA sports, the first official Matilda Autograph card, Orlando Club cards and a Melbourne City membership card. Her recent transfer to English Super League club Arsenal should only enhance her career and the collection.
6. ELLIE CARPENTER
The youngest of the Golden Generation of Matildas. At only 21 and having played for Western Sydney Wanderers, Canberra United and Melbourne City in the W-League, Portland Thorns in the NWSL, her transfer to the French club Olympique Lyonnais has her now playing at one of the biggest and most successful women’s football clubs in the world.
5. TIM CAHILL
Simply the Greatest Socceroo ever and a Millwall and Everton legend. This is the largest and most extensive player collection of cards, stickers, programmes and other related items. His club career had him playing in England, U.S.A, China and Australia.
4. MARK BRESCIANO
One of the few Australians to have a long and successful career playing in Serie A and home of Panini (lots of stickers and cards in this collection!). Played in three World Cups and won the Asian Cup in the twilight of his career. Equal 6th highest capped Socceroo.
3. MARK BOSNICH
Arguably Australia’s most talented Goalkeeper and for a brief period the best in the world. After a long and successful career at Premier League club Aston Villa he transferred to Manchester United and is one of only a few Australians to play for one of the elite world football clubs. He also became the second Socceroo to win a Premier League title.
2. ADRIAN ALSTON
The first Socceroo superstar. Best on ground at Australia’s first two World Cup matches. At the time, only the second Australian to play in England’s top division and the second player to play in the United States top Division.
1. JOHN ALOISI
Will forever be remembered for his penalty kick and subsequent celebration that broke the Socceroos 32 year World Cup drought. Still is the only Australian player that has played in the top European leagues of Italy, England and Spain.