Melbourne Victory has continued to celebrate its 10th season in the A-League with the announcement of its Team of the Decade in front of almost 900 people at a gala function at Palladium at Crown tonight.
Former club CEO & current director Richard Wilson chaired a selection panel comprising of former Melbourne Victory head coach Ange Postecoglou, former football operations manager Gary Cole, former Socceroo Robbie Slater and Fairfax Media football journalist Michael Lynch, who picked a starting XI in a 4-3-3 formation, five substitutions, a captain and a coach of the decade.
Of the 107 players who have played for Melbourne Victory over the past 10 years, 39 were eligible under the selection criteria of a 30-game minimum and two seasons at the club.
Current head coach and inaugural captain Kevin Muscat was selected at right-back and was also named captain of the prestigious Team of the Decade.
Other currently-listed players selected include club captain Mark Milligan (midfield) and the A-League's top scorer, Archie Thompson (striker), with Leigh Broxham and Nathan Coe among the substitutes.
Ernie Merrick, who led the club to the premiership-championship double in 2006/07 and again 2008/09 was named coach of the Team of the Decade.
In all, the 16 players selected have amassed 1672 A-League appearances and scored 268 goals throughout the club's 256 matches.
“It’s an incredible honour to be selected in Melbourne Victory’s Team of the Decade and I am extremely humbled to also be named captain of this group of players,” Muscat said.
“The club has grown into one of the powers of Australian sport across all codes and for it to have been such an important part of my life and my family’s life for 10 years has been a wonderful experience.
“The club has had so many incredible players, coaches. administrators and staff over the years but it has been the unbelievable support of members and fans that has made the club what it is today and everyone associated with it from day one until now should feel equally as proud as I do to be a part of the Melbourne Victory family.”
Melbourne Victory Team of the Decade is:
Goalkeeper Michael Theo – 71 A-League games, 0 goals
Right-back Kevin Muscat (Capt) – 122, 27
Centre-back Rodrigo Vargas – 140, 7
Centre-back Adrian Leijer – 176, 6
Left-back Adama Traore – 48, 1
Midfielder Carlos Hernandez – 122, 36
Midfielder Mark Milligan – 66, 14
Midfielder Grant Brebner – 119, 6
Striker Archie Thompson – 202, 86
Striker Danny Allsopp – 115, 42
Striker Robbie Kruse – 39, 16
Substitution Nathan Coe (GK) – 71, 0
Substitution Tom Pondeljak – 78, 7
Substitution Marcos Rojas – 49, 15
Substitution Leigh Broxham – 175, 3
Substitution Matthew Kemp – 79, 2
Coach Ernie Merrick
Captain Kevin Muscat