In a career that can often be short-lived – curtailed by form, injury and contract instability – A-League players are often surprised when they reach a significant games milestone.

Adelaide United’s Michael Marrone’s initial reaction to reaching his 200th A-League appearance probably summed upmost players’ feelings; the United defender was amazed that despite the “long grind”, his 200th appearance had “crept up” on him.

“I remember being the young one and seeing players like (former Adelaide captain) Eugene Galekovic having these milestones and thinking ‘that’s a lot of games’. I’m getting there slowly, but I’ve had to work hard for it. It’s been a long grind.”

In many respects, the 32-year-old’s summary reflects the nature of a footballer’s career; that it can be an arduous process but fleeting at the same time.

Marrone has made 200 appearances – 170 of which have been starts – since his career kicked off in Adelaide in 2008 and incorporated a period of two seasons at Melbourne Heart.

Marrone was vital to United keeping a clean sheet against the Jets in his 200th game in the competition, showing his versatility with the traditional right back playing a key role in central defence.

Perth Glory’s Dino Đjulbić was another milestone-maker on the weekend, reaching 150 A-League appearances in Perth’s 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers. 

Đjulbić, who has also played club football in Germany, China, the UAE and Malaysia, has had three separate stints at the Glory, as well as two seasons with Gold Coast United and a period at Melbourne Victory.

Đjulbić has featured in 14 of the Glory’s 20 matches this season, helping the A-League pacesetters establish an eight-point lead at the top of the table.

Central Coast Mariners’ Matt Millar has now drawn equal with Melbourne Victory’s James Troisi on seven assists for the season.

Millar (left) has been a revelation for the Mariners,

Millar curled in a perfect cross for teammate Connor Pain to loop a header over Jamie Young for the Mariners’ first goal in their incredible 5-3 loss to Brisbane Roar.

Kosta Barbarouses’ equaliser against Melbourne City in Saturday’s Melbourne Derby was not only important on the evening – considering his team’s numerical disadvantage in terms of the scoreboard and number of players – but also in the context of his A-League career. Barbarouses has now scored eight goals against City in his A-League career – more than he has scored against any other team.

Barbarouses has 11 goals to his name this season after squeezing a second-half strike through the fingertips of Eugene Galekovic – three goals shy of Sydney FC’s Adam Le Fondre.

Le Fondre leads the Golden Boot rankings, with 14 for the campaign.

Meanwhile, milestones loom for Rostyn Griffiths (148 matches), Troisi (99), Larence Thomas (87) and Milos Ninkovic (97).