Emerton notches game 450

Sydney FC star Brett Emerton is set for a personal milestone when he makes the 450th appearance of his club career in Sunday's Hyundai A-League match against Gold Coast United.

Sydney FC star Brett Emerton is set for a personal milestone when he makes the 450th appearance of his club career in Sunday's Hyundai A-League match against Gold Coast United.

Emerton, 32, will reach the landmark at a relatively young age thanks to his early start in the game, making his professional debut with National Soccer League side Sydney Olympic in 1996.

The Bankstown-born midfielder made 94 appearances for Sydney and captained the Olyroos at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, earning a move to Eredivise club Feyenoord in August that year.

Three successful seasons in the Netherlands followed, as Emerton racked up 92 outings for the Rotterdam-based outfit, and lifted the UEFA Cup in the club's own stadium in 2001/02.

In 2003 Emerton secured a move to the team where he would earn global recognition, signing a four-year contract with English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers.

A goal on debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers was an auspicious start, and the beginning of what would prove to be an eight-year stay at Ewood Park.

Emerton netted 13 times in 247 appearances for Blackburn, reaching the semi-finals of the FA and Carling Cups, while also helping the club reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup.

He suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in January 2009, but returned to action in September that year, playing out two more seasons before being tempted back to Australia by the lure of his home town.

Club career aside, Emerton has excelled for the Socceroos, winning 91 caps since making his full international debut in 1998.

He played in the team that defeated England 3-1 in February 2003, before featuring in the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.

With 16 appearances and three goals already under his belt at Sydney, one of Australia's best players of the modern era looks set to add to his career tally for some years to come.

Emerton will become the 14th Australian player to reach 450 national league appearances.

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer leads the way with 565 appearances, followed by Melbourne Victory assistant coach Kevin Muscat (530) and Alex Tobin (522).

There will be another milestone in this week's round of Hyundai A-League matches, when Central Coast Mariners favourite Patrick Zwaanswijk makes his 50th Hyundai A-League appearance in the match against Adelaide United.