|2001 - 06||Sydney United||84||12||0||0||0||0||0|
|2003 - 04||Varteks||1||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|2005||South Coast United||18||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|2006 - 09||Central Coast Mariners||45||8||2||0||0||0||1|
|2009 - 10||Antalyaspor||28||5||0||0||0||0||1|
|2011 - 16||Crystal Palace||165||10||66||7||7||1||1|
|2016 - 19||Aston Villa||70||2||3||0||3||0||1|
|2008 - 18||Australia||79||20||60||37||2||0||74|
Mile Jedinak is the first Socceroo to Captain Australia at two FIFA World Cups, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and 2018 in Russia.
The first item in the collection is a matchday program from a local derby between Sydney Olympic and his first professional club NSW Premier League, and former NSL club, Sydney United. Mile is listed in the squad along with fellow Socceroos Ante Juric, Ante Millcic and Pablo Cardoza. There is also a Stadium Postcard from former Croatian First Division Club Vartek where he played one game. The first Jedniak item in the collection is a card from the Select’s 2007 Hyundai A-League Premium Cards series with Mile in action playing for Central Coast Mariners. Another Select Jedinak Mariners card was also issued in 2008.
In March 2008 Mile made his debut for the Socceroos in an international friendly against Singapore along with nine other A-League players. There is no ticket or item from this match but there are Socceroo programmes from his next six international matches. With Mile’s regular Socceroo appearances the 2009 Select Card Series included him in the Socceroo set and is the first Jedinak Socceroo card in the collection.
At a club level in 2009 Mile transferred to Turkish club Gençlerbirliği and loaned to Antalyaspor for the 2009-10 season. He then played for Gençlerbirliği the following season. Fortunately for the Jedinak collection Panini issued an official sticker set that includes both club badge stickers, a Gençlerbirliği Jedinak sticker and another sticker where is part of their starting lie-up.
From the 201o South Africa FIFA World Cup there is only Mile Jedinak item being a sticker from the Serbian Schoolshop “Road to World Cup” issue. At that World Cup Mile played in the first Socceroo group match against Germany and the collection includes the game day match ticket. By way of contrast six months later in January 2011 Mile played in all six Australian games at his first Asian Cup in Jordan. The collection includes the official Tournament programme and all six match day tickets. Then in June for the first time he appeared on Socceroo programme in his 25th international in friendly against Serbia. He also played in friendlies against Wales and Germany.
At the club level in 2011 Mile transferred to Crystal Palace in the English Championship. From a collection perspective Miles transfer timing was perfect as for the only two years Topps issued Match Attax cards from the English Championship. There are cards Jedinak from 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons (both pictured right). Mile also appears on cover of four Palace programmes and from the successful Championship Final play-off against Watford there is Media Match Day ticket and a Nikolai card.
2013-14 was Mile’s first season playing and captaining Crystal Palace in the English Premier League. From this season the are six Topps Match Attax Cards including English, Asian and Russian editions of the same base card. Topps also produced their Premier Gold series as well as their sticker collection. There are four Premier Gold Jedinak cards including a printing plate as well as four stickers, two of which are the whole squad. From the Nikolai Palace squad set the Jedinak card has the same image as the Premier Gold cards . The most interesting 2013-14 Jedinak card is by KickerZ, a Norwegian Card Company that has him on the front in his Palace kit and on the back as a Socceroo with his club career history.
From a Socceroo perspective 2013-14 saw Australia qualify for and play in the FIFA 2014 Brasil World Cup. The 2014 World Cup saw a significant increase in the number of cards and stickers produced. There are seven Brasil World Cup Jedinak cards and ten stickers in the collection. In Australia, SE Products produced the 2013 A-League and Socceroo set. Many Australian collectors believe this set is the best ever. Jedinak appears in the Road to Rio sub-set that has a card of every Socceroo that played in qualification matches. The other interesting and rare Australian card comes from a “one-off” FFA 30 Man Squad that was only available at a “Player Meet and Greet” the day after final send off game against South Africa in May 2014. From the World Cup itself there is the Official Programme, a Matchday ticket from the Peru Game and a Spanish “Fan Park” Matchday Programme/Magazine. These items are supplemented by a 2014 Belguim Programme from the international friendly against Australia that included match summaries of all three Australian matches at the 2014 World Cup.
The 2014/15 English Premier League Season saw the first real explosion of trading cards with the concept of ‘Rainbow” cards. The same design is used with a different colour with each variation there are less cards produced usually ending with a “unique” one of one card. While Topps Match Attax continued as usual with a Jedinak base card and Captains card and there are three Tops stickers it was a very different story with the Premier Gold issue. There are six different designs with two of these sets have both standard size and a Postcard (7×5) size versions and five of the six have Printing Plate versions! The collection has 32 Jedinak cards and two of the sets, are the complete Rainbow set. Pictured left are the six card Captains Rainbow sub-set, the One of One of card from the Football Relics Rainbow sub-set, two of the three cards from the Crowning Achievement sub-set and a 7×5 base set design card that has is number 15 of 99 that has been personally signed with a gold pen by Mile. He hadn’t seen the card before but what was of more interest was his disbelief that the then Prime Minister Tony Abbot had recently wished Australian Captain Mike! Jedinak all the best for the 2014 World Cup.
After the 2014 World Cup in preparation for the 2015 Asian Cup the Socceroos played five internatoinal friendlies and the collection includes programmes, tickets and teamsheets from four of these matches. In January 2015 Australia hosted the AFC Asian Cup and the collection includes the official tournament program, a Japanese Tournament magazine and tickets from the four games Mile played. He was injured in the first group game and as Australia’s 2104 footballer of the year we all worried that he might not return. Fortunately he did and led the Socceroos to their first and still only major title. Following the win Tap’n Play released a Celebration Pack that was limited to 100. The collection includes the Jedinak card and the cover where he is also featured. There is also a card issued by the Chinese Weekly Soccer that shows the Socceroos including Jedinak celebrating their win
Topps again released a number of different Crystal Palace Jedinak cards in 2015/16. The Topps Match Attax releases include another Captains card and unusually a special Pro11 card that was only made available to competitors of an online football game. From Topps Premier Gold issue there is a complete six card Jedinak rainbow set, three 7×5 cards rainbow cards and a magenta one of one printing plate. In 2016 Topps released a Premier Club series and the collection includes the nicely designed Jedinak Captains card. The collection also includes the official club card, the Nikolai squad card, a Topps Captain foil sticker, Matchday Programme with Mile on the cover and the 2016 F.A. Cup Final programme and pen pic. This was Mile’s last game for Crystal Palace and unfortunately was not able to be the first Australian captain to win an F.A. Cup.
The 2015/16 Tap’nPlay release includes base, silver and gold Jedinak cards plus a Socceroo Team Captains card (pictured right). 2015 also saw the Socceroos commence their long campaign to qualify for the FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup. The collection includes international programmes and a ticket from warm-up friendlies against Germany and Macedonia respectively, the Kyrgyzstan home Match Day programme and a ticket from the return leg played in Canberra.
In May 2016, six days after the F.A. Cup defeat, Mile captained the Socceroos in an international friendly against Australia’s great sporting rivals England (albeit not in football). The 2003 Upton Park victory was not repeated at the Stadium of Light with England winning 2-1. The collection includes a Matchday ticket, VIP pass, teamsheet and programme. Mile Jedinak is featured on the programme cover and more importantly it is first picture of him with what became his trademark “Ned Kelly” or “Hipster’ beard!
The 2016/17 season saw Mile transfer to English Championship club Aston Villa. From his 1st season the collection has the official club card, Nikolai squad card and two match day programmes where he is featured on the cover. One of which is a Rotherham home programme which in my view is a great way to encourage opposition supporters to buy the programme.
In late 2016 Tap’n Play again released another base, silver and gold card set of Jedinak. 2017 then saw the Socceroos play in the 2nd and supposedly final stage of qualification for the FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup. The collection includes the Official Final stage programme and promotional flyers and tickets from home qualifying matches against the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in March and June respectively. Three of the four items feature Jedinak. As champions of Asia, Australia qualified for the 10th and last ever Confederations Cup. Panini issued an official sticker set and there are four Jedinak items in the collection however unfortunately due to injury he did not play. After 20 matches it all came down to a two leg playoff against Honduras. Jedinak returned from injury for these matches and scored a hatrick (inc two penalties) to take the Socceroos to Russia. The collection includes three promotional banners, a match day ticket and a “Time to take on the World” poster from the meet & greet the next day with the Socceroos and Prime Minister Turnball.
Even prior to Qualification for the FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup there had been a number of releases by card and sticker companies. Panini issued both a Road to World Cup card and sticker collections. Schoolshop also produced their usual Road to World Cup sticker series. There is one Jedinak item from each issue. In November 2017 Panini (America) issued in my view probably their best designed set. Thirteen Mezzanine Jedinak cards were released and there are eleven in this collection. Pictured right are the Tie-Dye and Camo parallel cards from this set.
In preparation for the World Cup the Socceroos organised four international friendlies. Mile Jedinak played in three of these against Norway, Colombia and Hungary. The collection has programmes from these matches and the Colombia programme features Mile on the back. The FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup saw a significant increase in stickers particularly from Eastern Europe and Peru which qualified for the World Cup for the first time X years and was drawn in the same group as Australia. There are a total of twenty-two FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup Jedinak stickers in the collection. From a card perspective the variety is not the same with only four companies producing Jedinak cards. Nevertheless primarily due to the 2018 Panini Prizm set there are thirty different cards.
There are three different Panini Adrenalyn XL cards, three cards from a Catlex Socceroos set manufactured by Tap’n’Play and a Fair Play card that was sold as part of the promotion for the Encyclopedia of Socceroos book. As aside this book and its partner Matildas edition is an excellent reference and read for any fan if Australia’s international footballers. The book also includes additional essays on Australia’s World Cup Captains including of course Mile Jedinak. By way of contrast the Panini Prizm set also has three different designs but with 26 different variations. The collection has 16 Jedinak cards.
From the World Cup the collection includes the Official Magazine and Programme, standard tickets from the matches against France and Denmark and a Media ticket for the Chile match. There are also three professionally produced unofficial matchday programmes. The match against Denmark was his 7th and last World Cup match as well as his 79th and last international. Mile then returned to Aston Villa and the collection has both an official club card and the Nikolai card. At the end of the 2018/19 he retired. The final item is a first in the Jedinak collection, a One of One Autographed Futera card (Pictured right)
Mile Jedinak had a long successful career playing in three world cups, captaining the Socceroos at two of them and winning our first Asian Cup. He also established a legendary status at Crystal Palace. It is unlikely all these feats will be ever be surpassed let alone equalled. (Original Post – 18th July 2021)