With A-League 2020/21 set to kick off on December 27, we look back at some of the competition’s big names and ask, ‘where are they now?’
And guess what?
Some have moved into some intriguing industries post-A-League.
"One is a Google certified partner.Another is a rising star in German youth coaching.And there’s an agent, based in Europe.One defender even joined the Army"
One is a Google certified partner.
Another is a rising star in German youth coaching.
And there’s an agent, based in Europe.
One defender even joined the Army.
So, we start with one of the A-League’s greatest strikers.
They love him in Brisbane, Adelaide, and in Indonesia.
And if you watch the videos below, you’ll understand why the fans loved him.
Sergio van Dijk
Clubs: Adelaide, Brisbane
Position: central striker
A decade ago, Sergio van Dijk ripped up the A-League.
The Dutchman with Indonesian heritage was unstoppable.
Pens? No problem.
Bangers from distance?
So many for the former A-League Golden Boot (enjoy below).
He left for the Indonesian league in 2013.
And didn’t the fans love him there, too.
Van Dijk became a cult hero in Indonesia.
The striker returned to Adelaide briefly in 2016.
The Reds were trying to beef up their ACL stocks.
These days, the now 38-year-old has retired.
His last club was semi-pro outfit VV Pelikan-S in Holland.
He has moved into the business of football over the last year.
Van Dijk is the founder at sports agency SGM Global in Groningen.
He has also begun working this year as a player agent with management company Tevreden Group.
Club: Melbourne Victory
Position: central striker
When the A-League began, it was the "Danny and Archie show”.
Livewire Archie Thompson and big Danny Allsopp.
The Victory front two, with Brazilian Fred providing exquisite service, were unstoppable.
Allsopp was the powerful target man who worked incredibly hard off the ball.
And he could finish
And Thompson was the pacy option who could get in behind.
What a combination.
Power, pace, and laser-like finishing.
Victory fans, do you remember how good those days were?
Best front two in the A-League?
This video shows why Danny was the man.
Season two of the A-League was when the duo and side dominated all comers.
And the Victory fans loved Allsopp’s understated aggression.
Allsopp parlayed his A-League success internationally.
The Socceroo had subsequent stints in the MLS and Qatar’s top league.
The former Hull City and Man City forward returned to Victory in 2012 but it wasn’t quite the same.
He had a very brief stint in Tassie NPL football but retired in his mid-30s.
Now 42, the former A-League striker is in the workforce.
Since 2015, he has worked for Hospeco and Orora.
What's he doing now?
Allsopp is now Territory Account Manager at Opal WRS, an Australasian packaging and paper company, part of the Nippon Paper Group.
Clubs: Brisbane Roar, Melbourne City
Position: Central midfielder
At his peak, Murdocca was one of the fittest and most effective A-League central midfielders.
Little wonder he’s now working in the strength and conditioning industry in the A-League.
Murdocca, a former Aussie youth international, took the academic route after finishing his professional career.
The pint-sized mid gained experience in the sports industry by interning at AFL clubs Essendon and North Melbourne as a performance analyst.
With qualifications - a BA in exercise and sports science and a Masters in Sports Science - the now 36-year-old is an assistant strength and conditioning coach at A-League club Western United.
He joined A-League new boys Western ahead of its first season.
The A-League championship winner was a key cog in Brisbane Roar’s championship era under Ange Postecoglou.
And the cheeky Murdocca was always up for some media fun in Brizvegas over his eight years in the Sunshine state.
And wouldn’t you know?
"Mass” is still as fit as ever.
Click the next page for one of Australia's three Griffiths brothers to find out what he's been up to lately...
Clubs: Newcastle Jets, WSW, Adelaide United
One of the three Griffiths brothers (Joel and Adam Griffiths have also played in the A-League and overseas).
Ryan was a top-class forward.
Here’s a reminder of his finishing quality.
Although he played at Newcastle in both the NSL and A-League, he’s also known in China.
At Beijing Guoan, he was adored by the fans in green.
Now 39, Griffiths is immersed in the digital and financial world.
He’s been a director of Geek Media.
And the former Olyroo has picked up skills in SEO & PPC Strategy and Digital Marketing Project Management.
He is also a Google Certified Partner.
Clubs: Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar
Sky Blue and Roar fans, remember Andy Packer?
Solid, tough, and uncompromising.
Sydney fans will recall it was Packer who set up Dwight Yorke for the club’s first-ever A-League goal.
See the goal below.
That was in the 1-1 draw against Victory in the inaugural Big Blue.
Packer left to join Roar after that glorious first season in Sydney.
Yet his career post-A-League (he retired at 30) has been quite remarkable.
Packer left the A-League and joined the Army.
And he was there for four years.
Perhaps no surprise given His great-grandfather was a Rat of Tobruk who also served in Guinea.
His grandfather was in the Royal British Navy during World War II.
Packer was in the Reconnaissance Platoon, 6 RAR. He was a Commando candidate in 2011 and won a Land Force Operations Award two years later.
He has dipped his toes back into football at the strength and conditioning level, most noticeably at Newcastle Jets.
Packer is currently a Paramedic (trainee) at NSW Ambulance.
Oh and he’s also a firefighter with NSW fire and rescue.
What a legend.
Andrew Packer, we salute you.
Clubs: Western Sydney Wanderers, Brisbane Roar
Wanderers fans will recall fondly their pony-tailed, attacking full-back.
The glory days of Wanderers were the Polenz era.
See below his best moments in the red and black.
Since retiring, Polenz now 33 has teamed up with another A-League favorite.
Polenz and fellow German Thomas Broich returned to their homeland after their respective A-League careers ended.
Latterly, the duo began a show on streaming service DAZN.
The show was focused on coaching ideas and analysis.
It was an instant success.
It turned heads in Germany.
After all, the pair are respected but aren’t huge names in their homeland.
They parlayed this video work into coaching work.
Impressed, Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt enlisted the pair to work at its academy.
What a pity the A-League is not using these two sharp minds in Australia's academy structure.
Perhaps one day?
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