Milestone man Nikolai Topor-Stanley says whereas the A-League is at present missing star energy, the “overall standard” of the competitors has improved since its inception 17 years in the past.
Topor-Stanley is poised to develop into simply the second participant to make 350 A-League appearances when his Western United facet meets Melbourne City on Saturday evening at AAMI Park.
United is the 37-year-old central defender’s fifth A-League membership in a top-flight profession that began in 2006 with Sydney FC.
He has subsequently seen the very best the competitors has needed to provide when it comes to high quality gamers, huge names reminiscent of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono, and those that have develop into well-known due to their A-League exploits, together with Thomas Broich, Milos Ninkovic and Besart Berisha.
The consensus this season has been the A-League‘s high quality is down from previous years.
However, Topor-Stanley is adamant the competitors nonetheless has loads to supply.
“The overall standard of footballer (in the A-League) has risen dramatically,” he mentioned.
“As a youngster … there was a handful of great players in every team that made the difference week in and week out, like (Sydney FC pair) Dwight Yorke, Steve Corica; these are the type of players I played with that if they weren’t on, our team struggled.
“But the standard from (player) number one to number 20 has dramatically risen, the coaching level has risen, the professionalism has risen, the sports science (is better), which is one of the reasons I’m still able to play.
“Perhaps we (now) don’t have the Thomas Broichs, but maybe there’s one to be uncovered.
“Who knows who’s going to have a breakout year that might be the next superstar of the league?”
While the powerful and dependable Topor-Stanley has by no means been thought to be a celebrity, he has loved a adorned profession that has included 4 Socceroos caps and his spotlight taking part in achievement – successful the 2014 AFC Champions League with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
“That was a huge moment for not only me personally, but also for Australian football; that was a huge moment for us,” he mentioned.
“It put us on the map in an international sense.”
However, Topor-Stanley is extra thrilled about his youngsters having had the possibility to see him play.
“Walking out with my kids (on the field) for the first time, I didn’t think I would experience that emotion,” he mentioned.
“Knowing that they can watch me on TV, and hopefully they have some memories of it, that’s probably the most special thing to me at the moment.
“Hopefully they’ll be there on the weekend. It’ll be a little bit past their bedtime, but it’ll be nice to have some photos and memories.”