It was dubbed “Football, but not as you know it”. A brave new world began in August 2005 with eight teams battling for the inaugural Hyundai A-League title.
Here is the story of the season
Dwight Yorke (Sydney FC)
Fernando Rech (Adelaide)
Ned Zelic (Jets)
Brian Deane (Glory)
Archie Thompson (Victory)
GAME OF THE SEASON
Central Coast Mariners 3 Sydney FC 2: the two sides exchanged goals in a pulsating encounter before Noel Spencer netted in the 91st minute to earn Central Coast a thrilling win over the Sky Blues.
The arrival of former Manchester United star “All Night” Dwight Yorke gave the Hyundai A-League instant gravitas and column inches.
The New Zealand Knights won just once all season, but it was a good one – a 2-0 away victory over the Mariners in Gosford.
GOAL OF THE YEAR
The Hyundai A-League started with a bang when Noel Spencer’s long-range howitzer in the final 20 minutes gave Central Coast a 1-0 win away in Perth in the opening round.
GOLDEN BOOT WINNERS
Alex Brosque (Brisbane Roar FC), Bobby Despotovski (Perth Glory), Stewart Petrie (Central Coast Mariners), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Dean Heffernan (Central Coast Mariners) – all on eight goals.
Adelaide United flexed their muscles early on and eventually clinched the Premier’s Plate by a whopping 13 points with the Sky Blues their closest challengers.
STORY OF THE FINALS
The Reds were surprisingly beaten in both the major semi-final and preliminary final, setting up an all-NSW Grand Final between Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners on March 5, 2006. This the Sky Blues won in front of almost 42,000 fans, courtesy of a Stevie Corica goal just after the hour mark.