Archie Thompson’s impending century of goals in Australian national league matches will put him in elite company.
Archie Thompson-s impending century of goals in Australian national league matches will put him in elite company.
With 99 Australian national league goals to his name after week 20 of the current season, the Melbourne Victory striker is set to become the 18th player to score 100 goals in National Soccer League (NSL) and Hyundai A-League matches combined.
Let-s take a quick look at those who currently make up this exclusive club.
Damian Mori (240 goals, 1989-2007) holds an Australian national league record that is sure to stand for a very long time, as his all-time goals tally is more than 100 in front of the next highest scorer. His associated all-time records include most goals in a season (31 for Adelaide City in 1995/96), fastest fifty goals (scored in just 57 games from February 1995 to January 1998), and most hat-tricks (13). Mori also scored Australia-s quickest national league goal, done 3.7 seconds after kick-off in a match for Adelaide City in December 1995).
Rod Brown (137 goals, 1983-1998) was a major factor behind Brisbane Strikers- one and only NSL Championship success, not only being the club-s top scorer that season, but by netting the clincher in front of over 40,000 people in the Strikers- unforgettable 2-0 grand final victory at Suncorp Stadium in 1997. He also assisted Apia Leichhardt to NSL championship success in 1987, scoring 14 goals that season.
John Kosmina (133 goals, 1977-1989) was the first player to notch up 100 Australian national league goals, which he did by mid-1985, mostly with Sydney City. Significantly he scored the NSL-s very first goal, for West Adelaide on 2 April 1977. The current Adelaide United coach also holds the Socceroos- all-time scoring record, with 42 goals in A and non-A internationals combined.
Pablo Cardozo (127 goals, 1990-2004) was unstoppable when he moved from West Adelaide to Sydney Olympic in 1998, scoring 53 goals in a three year stint at Olympic from 1998/99 to 2000/01. Cardozo was unfortunate in that he is the only one of the top ten all-time scorers who never won a championship or premiership medal.
Francis Awaritefe (124 goals, 1989-2000), until recently the Football Director at Melbourne Victory, was one of the NSL-s most flamboyant goalscorers. He was another one of the unlucky ones, helping take teams to three grand finals (two with Melbourne Croatia, one with Marconi) but not winning any of them.
Bobby Despotovski (123 goals, 1994-2007) led Perth Glory to NSL championship success in 2003 and 2004, scoring almost freely throughout these two seasons alongside strike partner Damian Mori. Despotovski-s 12 goals throughout the 2003 finals series remains as one of the most devastating goalscoring stints ever witnessed in Australian national league history.
Marshall Soper (121 goals, 1981-1995) was a colourful character who amassed 50 goals in only his first four seasons, with Apia Leichhardt (two seasons) and Sydney Olympic (two). His scoring ability took Olympic to two grand finals in the mid-1980s, however the Sydney NSL giants were unable to take out the big one on either occasion.
Paul Trimboli (119 goals, 1987-2004), who spent all but one of his NSL seasons at South Melbourne, inspired the Melbourne superclub to grand final success three times (1991, 1998 and 1999). Trimboli was until recently a Fox Sports commentator, and is currently General Manager of Football at Brisbane Roar.
Ivan Kelic (116 goals, 1989-2000) was unstoppable with Melbourne Croatia in the early 1990s. He holds the all-time record of most goals in an Australian national league game, netting six in an astonishing display against Wollongong Macedonia in March 1991.
Vaughan Coveny (111 goals, 1992-2008) scored for several clubs in both the NSL and A-League, however is most fondly remembered as assisting South Melbourne to championship success in 1998 and 1999. Coveny holds the all-time record for most goals scored for the New Zealand national team.
John Markovski (110 goals, 1986-2002). The remarkable aspect of Jonesy-s career is how much he did as a youngster - he scored 32 national league goals as a teenager, and he still holds the all-time record for youngest player to make 100 Australian national league appearances (19 years 246 days old).
Ante Milicic (109 goals, 1992-2007) is another all-time goalscoring great who is now actively involved in the A-League set-up, as assistant coach at Melbourne Heart. From the prolific Sydney Croatia production line, Milicic won a championship medal with Sydney Olympic, scoring the only goal in Olympic-s grand final victory away to Perth Glory in 2002.
Gary Cole (109 goals, 1977-1986) was the first player to reach 50 Australian national league goals, which he did with Heidelberg by mid-1980. A highlight of this stint was scoring three in the first 11 minutes of a match in early 1980 - still the national league-s fastest hat-trick of all-time. The long-time Melbourne Victory operations chief is now Football Director at Sydney FC.
Con Boutsianis (106 goals, 1989-2004) is another NSL goalscoring great now passing on his knowledge in the A-League, as a specialist coach at Gold Coast United. Boutsi scored many spectacular goals in the national league, including a special if not controversial last-minute winner in the 1998 grand final for South Melbourne.
Warren Spink (104 goals, 1985-1997) generally played with the more unfashionable clubs of the time, and saved the skins of these clubs from relegation on several occasions. He had his best seasons at Newcastle Breakers in 1992 to 1994, scoring 29 goals in just two seasons.
Frank Farina (102 goals, 1983-1999) is another all-time NSL playing great who made the successful transition from player to coach, including for the senior national team. Farina notched up his century of NSL goals in just nine seasons, having spent the rest of his career in Europe.
Andrew Harper (101 goals, 1986-2001), now on the Fox Sports football team, was a red-hot scorer in his day, and netted the winner in Marconi-s 1-0 grand final victory over Adelaide City in 1993. He holds the all-time record for scoring in most consecutive matches, seven, which he did for Marconi in early 1994.