The incredible rise in quality of the Hyundai A-League has Brett Emerton excited about just how big the competition can be in the next decade.
Now enjoying retirement after calling an end to his glittering 18-year career last season, the ex-Socceroo and Sydney FC winger has enjoyed watching matches every weekend.
And what the still-fit 35-year-old has seen of the competition – celebrating its 10th season in 2014/15 – is incredible progression and genuine excitement about the future of Australian football and the Hyundai A-League.
“I can’t wait to find out [how good the league will be in 10 years]. It does keep surprising me,” Emerton told www.a-league.com.au at the launch of the Asian Cup mascot on Tuesday.
“I’ve been back in the country for three years now and each and every year it’s continuing to get bigger and better.
“In 10 years’ time who knows how big it will be? Let’s just hope we keep moving in that direction.”
It’s been an astonishing start to the 10th season of the Hyundai A-League season, with last year’s grand finalists Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers FC both languishing down the bottom of the competition yet to register a point.
Meanwhile Perth Glory, who missed the finals last season, lead the competition with Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and Adelaide United all unbeaten after five rounds.
“That’s what’s made the A-League such a fantastic competition since it started 10 years ago. It’s very hard to predict who’s going to win this league,” Emerton added.
“Every team is so evenly matched and on any given day anybody can go out there and put on good performances and get three points.
“That’s what’s makes it entertaining for me.”