Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton Join the A-League


Only real football fans outside of Australia would have ever heard of it but the A-League, Australia’s premier football competition, has claimed the two biggest scalps in it’s short history.

The A-League inaugural season was only in 2005, but the competition is getting bigger and better every season. Dwight Yorke was the first marquee signing for the league and he led Sydney FC to the premiership in the very first year of it’s inception.

The A-League is very similar to America’s MLS. A striving football competition that is attempting to infiltrate a market heavily dominated by other sports but a growing entity that has a strong cult following and is able to attract big names on the odd occasion.

Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton are just that.

If you failed to see the link, both play for Australia’s national team and both are two of the greatest players to come out of the country. Harry Kewell was a wonder kid at Leeds and Liverpool before moving to Galatasaray, whereas Brett Emerton has won Blackburn’s player of the year award and has captained the side on the odd occasion.

Harry Kewell signed for the Melbourne Victory early in the month which was a huge coup for the team and the competition. Brett Emerton made August a month to remember by signing for his home town team Sydney FC just a few days ago.

Whilst it is fair to say both player’s are at the ends of their respective careers, it is still a huge shot in the arm for an ambitious franchise that eventually hopes to reach the level of the MLS and other leagues outside of Europe.

Brett Emerton’s surprising departure from Blackburn is even more shocking when you consider he is still a very talented player who plays a large role in a true Premier League team. He gave all that up to finish his career in the city he grew up in attempting to give back to the country he is from and help build the A-League.

Tim Cahill, a fellow Aussie and a true star of the Premier League, described Emerton as the truest professional he had ever worked with and said he was the greatest signing in the history of the A-League. This came following Melbourne’s deal for Harry Kewell.

Kewell has had a rocky career following his move to Liverpool from Leeds as a young star. He suffered injury after injury which saw him fail to win a place back in Liverpool’s first team rotation and eventually led him to Turkey where he shined when not injured. His national career has emulated his club career, he constantly shines when not limited by constant injuries.

Nonetheless as an Australian and a football fan it is great to see examples of this happening, especially considering the ability of the two players joining and the fact the competition has gotten to a point where established players will consider ending their careers in Australia. Robbie Fowler and Dwight Yorke are just two former stars who have brought their talents down under and it’s great to see some of Australia’s favourite sons returning to home.

Growing up without a major football competition in Australia was frustrating, so I turned to Arsenal in the Premier League. It has been very challenging to turn my attentions from the art that is the Arsenal style of football to the A-League which is still very much a developing league, and at times I have refused to watch games due to the radical opposites of the Premier League, notably Arsenal, and the A-League, but these signings will very much encourage me to regain an interest.