Australian football came of age 10 years ago on a sweat-drenched night in Hanoi. It was the Socceroos first match as an 'Asian' nation – the exotic region was beckoning us into a new era – and we followed under the pretence that football down under could grow to bountiful new heights.
Kisnorbo was one of the European-dwelling fringe Socceroos that everyone knew, but few knew much about, until he returned to the A-league. The 2007 Asian Cup was one of the rare tournaments that Paddy featured in for the Socceroos, starting against Oman and Iraq, where a poor performance saw Arnold replace him.
Although he only gained 18 caps, at the time Kisnorbo was one of the Socceroos’ best defenders, as well as a Leicester City stalwart and fan favourite. Shortly following the Asian Cup, Kisnorbo moved to Leeds United, where he won the Player of the Season and Player’s Player before injuries derailed his career.
Kisnorbo eventually returned to Melbourne in 2013, where he’d started his professional career 13 years before, joining Melbourne City to become a key player in the re-branded clubs successful new era.
Following his retirement last year, Kisnorbo joined Melbourne City’s youth side as an assistant coach, before moving onto the assistant role at their W-League side. A future A-League coach in the making, Kisnorbo’s influence on Australian football is far from over.
While we’re on the subject of fringe Socceroos, who could forget Beauchamp? It’s hard to believe his only 36, given even back in 2007 he looked in his 30’s, but Beauchamp was another hardy Australian centre-half who never quite cemented a place within the Socceroos lineup.
The best part about fringe ex-Socceroos isn’t what they did after their careers, but before they were fully professional. For instance, while Beauchamp was playing for Marconi Stallions, he made a living laying vinyl flooring. Great practice for his future career steamrolling forwards in the A-League.
A veteran of a very respectable 22 caps, Beauchamp had a decent, if not exceptional European career, playing for FC Nurnberg in the Bundesliga – alongside Dan Heffernan of all people – and FC Aalborg in Denmark.
Upon his return to the A-League, Beauchamp’s spell as Western Sydney Wanderer’s captain finished painfully short of the ultimate triumph, with Beauchamp released by the club a few months before its 2014 Asian Champions League victory.
Not to be discouraged however, Beauchamp’s career now has the perfect symmetry. The 36-year-old currently represents Marconi Stallions, the club he started his career with 17 years ago.