Matt McKay's proposed move to Scottish giants Rangers is recognition of both a fantastic footballer and the standard of the A-League, not the death of the competition as some have been eager to suggest.

Few off seasons have seen as many big names depart the A-League.

Robbie Fowler, Marcos Flores, Mathew Leckie and Robbie Kruse have all left the competition and now there is the impending departure of Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay, subject to a work permit being granted at the time of writing.  

Whilst it is obvious that no one wants the best players to depart, this does not signal the decline of the competition.

In fact it shows the competition is continuing to improve.

If there was no interest in A-League players from overseas clubs this would signal that the competition was in trouble.

Thankfully at the moment this is far from the case with clubs around the world becoming increasingly aware of the quality of many players plying their trade in the national competition.

The unfortunate reality for every competition, with the exception of  La Liga, Serie A, English Premier League and to a lesser degree the Bundesliga, is that they struggle to hang on to their best players.

The important thing is that they continue to produce players who can excite supporters as much as the departed stars were able to, and are able to entice them back when they decide their time in Europe or Asia is up.

This is something the A-League has been able to do.

Former Newcastle Jets playmaker James Holland departed the A-League after season four and fans did not wait long for young stars such as Leckie and Mustafa Amini to emerge.

The competition was also dealt a blow when its one world star, Robbie Fowler, decided against returning.

 However, if either the Victory or Sydney can entice Harry Kewell back to Australia the loss will be offset.

Adelaide United said good bye to last season's Johnny Warren Medallist Flores who brought so much excitement to the league but were able to entice home Socceroo Dario Vidosic.

While Vidosic is a very different player to Flores but he has the sort of attacking ability that Adelaide United fans will no doubt appreciate, and he has the added benefit of being Australian and younger than the South American.

Newcastle Jets lost the controversial but talented Ljubo Milicevic but were able to recruit Brazilian Tiago Calvano who has previously been on the books of Barcelona B and at 30-years-of-age looks likely to be a decent replacement for the former Socceroo.

If clubs from abroad were not showing any interest in A-League players, what would it say about the standard of the competition?

Would our best young players choose to develop in Australia before heading abroad if no one made the progression to Europe or Asia?

Would the A-League be able to attract foreigners of the quality of Flores and Fowler if it was unable to produce players of a quality that interested clubs abroad?

The answers are obvious, and thankfully with Socceroos boss Holger Osieck willing to promote players from the A-League to the Socceroos they are increasingly likely to attract the interest of overseas clubs.

Whilst there are plenty of issues that need to be addressed to improve the A-League the transfer of players to overseas clubs is far from a concern, in fact it should be celebrated as vindication of the high standard of the competition and long shall it continue.   

Note: I am aware that David Meacock beat me to the punch on this story but having already finished the blog  by the time I saw his, and the fact that it is an interesting subject matter I decided to post it anyway.

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