Long-serving retirees to be honoured at Hyundai A-League Grand Final
A number of long-serving Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League players are set to be recognised for their contribution to the game at today's Hyundai A-League 2018 Grand Final.
The following retirees will receive acknowledgment at McDonald Jones Stadium, where Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory meet at 7:50pm (AEST).
The popular Albanian-born striker spent ten seasons in the Hyundai A-League, seven of those with Newcastle, scoring 22 goals in 164 appearances.
The former Central Coast captain was a driving force in the Mariners' midfield for five seasons and was included in the Hyundai A-League All-Star team in 2013/14.
While he played most of his career overseas, the ex-Caltex Socceroo spent five seasons in the Hyundai A-League, chalking up 105 games across spells with Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and Perth Glory.
The Hyundai A-League's second most prolific scorer was a lethal finisher, netting 92 times in 190 matches spread across stints with Wellington Phoenix (twice), Gold Coast United, Perth Glory and Sydney FC.
In the eyes of many, the German is the best import ever to grace the Hyundai A-League. He played 181 games across seven seasons at Brisbane Roar, twice claiming the Johnny Warren Medal and winning three Grand Finals.
Aside from brief stints with the New Zealand Knights and Melbourne City, the Mariners favourite spent the rest of his nine Hyundai A-League seasons in Gosford, playing a total of 218 matches.
A former Westfield Matildas defender, Spence won two Grand Finals with Brisbane Roar and made over 80 appearances.
The former Julian Dolan Medal Winner and FIFA Women's World Cup squad member gave 10 terrific seasons of service to Canberra United, winning two Grand Finals and two Premiers Plates.
D'Ovidio, an attacking midfielder, was a foundation squad member at Perth Glory and remained there until 2015, racking up over 75 matches.
Nicole Begg (nee Sykes)
The determined defender played a key part in helping to establish Canberra United as a force in the Westfield W-League, captaining them to Grand Final glory in 2014.
The former Westfield Matildas midfielder was a foundation player at Central Coast Mariners and later became a much-loved figure at Sydney FC.
In addition to representing her country at both the 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cups, the versatile Aussie played for both Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers during her decade in the domestic competition.