As 2019 draws to a close, ushering in the end of a decade, Professional Footballers Australia (the PFA) has recognised the achievements of professional players by composing five ‘Teams of the Decade’ across Australia’s domestic competitions and national teams.

The five line-ups recognise the incredible contribution players have made to their clubs and Australian football between 2010-2019 and cover two A-League teams (All-Australian and International) and the W-League, Matildas and Socceroos.

Each team has been selected based on the number of appearances players have accrued for their club and country*, conforming to the dominant formation of the decade (1-4-3-3), while also acknowledging the exploits of the top goal-scorers in the domestic competitions and for the national teams.

The PFA has based the composition of each team on the information provided by the Aussie Footballers web archive, created and maintained by recently appointed Research & Insights Manager, Tony Persoglia. The online player archive tracks player appearances since the inception of the W-League and A-League and also includes the number of appearances of national team players from the modern era.

The teams comprise eleven players with three forwards, three midfielders, four defenders and a goalkeeper, and includes the player with the highest number of goals scored within that decade occupying their respective position within that formation. The bench is comprised of six substitutes, including the second-highest capped goalkeeper and five outfield players.

The first team to be released is the ‘All-Australian’ A-League Team of the Decade, featuring the highest-capped Australian players, with an average of 200 appearances per player.

The player with the highest number of appearances between 2010-2019 is Melbourne Victory’s Leigh Broxham with 254 games, followed by Western United’s Andrew Durante (247) and Newcastle Jets’ Nikolai Topor-Stanley (229).

Durante and Topor-Stanley occupy the two central defensive positions within the A-League team, flanked by left-back Joshua Rose and right-back Michael Marrone, both with 206 A-League appearances.

Joining Broxham in the midfield three is Adelaide United’s Vince Lia (200 appearances) and attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols (187).

The forward line comprises Mark Bridge (162) and Dimi Petratos (185) with Jamie Maclaren earning his position as the central striker due to the fact he tops the goal-scoring list in the A-League during this decade. 

The substitutes bench is, aside from goalkeeper Liam Reddy (197), entirely comprised of defenders with Tarek Elrich (203), Manny Muscat (199), Scott Jamieson (198), Nigel Boogaard (194) and Ivan Franjic (193) shy of the appearances required to make the starting XI.

The PFA will release the W-League, A-League International, Matildas and Socceroos Teams of the Decade in the coming days.

*While two rounds remain in the A-League and W-League before the beginning of New Year, there will likely be no impact on the overall composition of the teams selected.