Mark Milligan

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan.jpg
Milligan playing for Melbourne Victory in 2012
Personal information
Full name Mark Daniel Milligan[1]
Date of birth (1985-08-04) 4 August 1985 (age 28)
Place of birth Sydney, Australia
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder / Defender
Club information
Current team
Melbourne Victory
Number 5
Youth career
2002 AIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Northern Spirit 16 (1)
2004 Blacktown City 9 (5)
2005–2008 Sydney FC 42 (1)
2008–2009 Newcastle Jets 11 (1)
2009 Shanghai Shenhua 25 (1)
2010–2012 JEF United Chiba 53 (3)
2012 Melbourne Victory (loan) 10 (1)
2012– Melbourne Victory 43 (12)
National team
2003–2005 Australia U-20 11 (0)
2006–2008 Australia U-23 25 (7)
2006– Australia 30 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 March 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 June 2014

Mark Daniel Milligan (born 4 August 1985 in Sydney, Australia) is an Australian football (soccer) player who plays for Melbourne Victory in the A-League. He is also the incumbent captain of the club. He is a utility defender, originally known as a right-back, but also spent much of his early career playing in central defence and eventually settled in defensive midfield where he has enjoyed most of his success with Melbourne Victory and the Australian National Team.[2]

Club career[edit]

Overseas ambitions[edit]

FourFourTwo magazine revealed on 28 July 2007 that after the Asian Cup Milligan had gone without Sydney FC's permission to trial for teams in Europe.[3] Milligan was linked with French sides FC Metz and RC Lens. The following day Milligan reportedly walked out on Metz just before a scheduled trial game appearance against Standard Liege, allegedly out of frustration at the right-back position he would be trialled in.[4] The following day it was reported that Milligan would return home to play for Sydney FC after all.[5][6]

He was linked with a move to English Premier League clubs Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as RC Lens in France's Ligue 1, and more recently with FC Porto in the Portuguese Liga and Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, during the summer of 2008 despite obvious issues surrounding his eligibility to play in Europe due to his non-EU status.

Back to Australia[edit]

On 21 October 2008, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Milligan signed a guest contract with Newcastle United Jets for seven weeks. He made his debut on 24 October 2008, against Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford, where his team lost 1–0. During this time he was also sent off in a match against the Wellington Phoenix.

Playing in China[edit]

Milligan joined Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua in January 2009, signing a three-year contract.[7]

On 19 May, Milligan scored his first goal for Shanghai Shenhua in their 1–1 draw in the AFC Champions League group stage match against Kashima Antlers.

Playing in Japan[edit]

Milligan finalised his switch from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua to Japanese side JEF United Chiba, who were relegated to the second division.[8]

When the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, Milligan decided to flee the country, fearing for the safety of not only himself, but his wife and child.[9] With the J-League and J. League Division 2 suspended until further notice, JEF United Chiba gave permission for Milligan to train in a bid to keep his fitness up with his former A-League club Sydney FC.[10]

Melbourne Victory[edit]

Mark Milligan training with Melbourne Victory in 2013.

On 23 January 2012 it was reported that Melbourne Victory was to secure Milligan on loan until the end of the regular season.[11] It was confirmed on 24 January that Milligan signed for a loan deal to Melbourne Victory until the end of the 2011–12 A-League season, becoming the first Sydney FC player to switch to Melbourne Victory.[12] He returned to Japan in March.[13] In July 2012, Milligan was released from JEF United Chiba and returned to Melbourne Victory by signing a three-year contract.[14] On 17 September 2013, Milligan was appointed the captain of Melbourne Victory, replacing Adrian Leijer. Mark was also rumoured to be leaving Melbourne Victory to join fellow national team midfielder Mile Jedinak at newly promoted Premier league club Crystal Palace, however Melbourne Victory rejected a rumoured 2,000,000 pound offer for the defensive midfielder.[15][16] Milligan, after a trial at Crystal Palace, stayed on at Melbourne Victory as captain in the 2013/14 season.[17] He sustained an injury halfway through the season[18] and the team suffered for this and other reasons such as losing their coach, an injury to Adrean Leijder (ex-captain and central defender) and 4 players (including 3 defenders) going to the Under 21 World championships (Jason Geria, Conner Pain, Scott Galloway & Nick Ansell). However, Victory improved after this period to finish 4th in the A-League under Milligan. playing every minute of every ACL match, only missing the final away match of the ACL Asian Champions League match through suspension. Victory missed out on the group stage on goal difference and the A-League grand final by one goal.

International career[edit]

Mark Milligan training with the Olyroos.

Milligan represented Australia at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. In May 2006, he was the youngest player selected in the Australian 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, being one of only two players chosen from the A-League – the other being Michael Beauchamp. Milligan had impressed coaches Graham Arnold and Johan Neeskens at a recent camp in Vietnam, while Guus Hiddink also recalled watching Milligan at the World Youth Championship.

Milligan made his senior international debut against Liechtenstein on 7 June 2006, coming off the bench in the 85th minute of Australia's last warm-up game before the World Cup. He did not play in any of Australia's four World Cup games in Germany. His first start came against Kuwait in an Asian Cup qualifier on 16 August 2006. His next appearance was on 7 October 2006 in a friendly against Paraguay as a late substitute.

In February 2007, Milligan was named as captain of the Australian U-23 side, the 'Olyroos', for two Olympic qualifying games against Chinese Taipei. He sustained a broken nose in an 'off-the-ball' incident during the second qualifier.

Throughout 2007, Milligan led the Olyroos to Olympic qualification and was the key influential figure in their final games against Iraq and North Korea, scoring in each game and taking the man of the match award in both.

On 3 March 2010, Milligan scored his first international goal for the Socceroos against Indonesia in a 2011 Asian Cup Qualifiers played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. This being the only goal in the match with Australia winning 1–0 and then qualifying for the 2011 competition.

On 11 March 2010, Milligan was named in the 31 man squad named by Pim Verbeek for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. His 2010 FIFA World Cup profile described him as "[a] mobile defender with good ball skills and an ability to play a raking pass."[19]

2007 Asian Cup[edit]

Milligan was selected in the Australian squad for the 2007 Asian Cup. During the tournament, Milligan was selected to play in the starting line-up for Australia against co-host nation Thailand in the final game of the group matches. Australia won 4–0 and advanced to the quarter finals of the competition with Milligan putting in what was widely regarded as a Man of the Match performance in the centre of a three man defence.

On 21 July 2007, in the quarter-final against Japan, Milligan was unfortunate in failing to clear a ball from the penalty area that saw striker Naohiro Takahara pounce and score an equaliser. The game ended 1–1 and Australia was eliminated from the Cup on penalties.

In February 2008, he was selected for the first World Cup Qualifier against Qatar but pulled out of the squad with a broken nose that he accidentally sustained in training.

2014 World Cup[edit]

Milligan was selected alongside 7 other A-League players,for the 30 man preliminary squad.[20] 3 from Melbourne Victory (Milligan, James Troisi & Tom Rogic),himself & Troisi were among the final selection, playing midfield at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.[21] He played alongside James Troisi and captain Mile Jedinak in a 3 man midfield in the Socceroos warm-up match vs Croatia.[22]

Career statistics[edit]

All-Time Club Performance
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App  Goals
Northern Spirit 2002 3 0 - - - - 3 0
2003 13 1 - - - - 13 1
Total 16 1 - - - - 16 1
Blacktown City Demons 2004 9 5 - - - - 9 5
Total 9 5 - - - - 9 5
Sydney FC 05-06 10 1 3 0 - - 13 1
06-07 17 0 3 1 5 0 25 1
07-08 15 0 2 0 - - 17 0
Total 42 1 8 1 5 0 55 2
Newcastle Jets 08-09 11 1 - - - - 11 1
Total 11 1 - - - - 11 1
Shanghai Shenhua 2009 25 1 - - 5 1 30 2
Total 25 1 - - 5 1 30 2
JEF United Chiba 2010 15 0 - - - - 15 0
2011 29 1 2 0 - - 31 1
2012 9 2 - - - - 9 2
Total 53 3 2 0 - - 55 3
Melbourne Victory 11–12 10 1 - - - - 10 1
12–13 20 8 2 1 - - 17 7
Total 32 10 - - - - 32 10
Career Totals 166 13 10 1 10 1 186 15

Honours[edit]

Australia Sydney FC

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 3. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Milligan's Socceroos midfield push", 5 May 2012, SBS "The World Game" website. Retrieved 22 March 2013
  3. ^ "Spike goes AWOL for Metz trial", 28 July 2007
  4. ^ "Milligan Missing – Again", 30 July 2007; SBS The World Game website . Retrieved 30 July 2007
  5. ^ "Milligan set to stay with SFC", 31 July 2007 Four Four Two Magazine. Retrieved 1 August 2007
  6. ^ "One out, one back", 2 August 2007, SBS "The World Game" website. Retrieved 2 August 2007
  7. ^ "Milligan seals Shanghai switch". Canberra Times. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  8. ^ Cockerill, Michael (22 December 2009). "Mariners lure big fish with $20 million HQ". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  9. ^ "Quake refugee Milligan finds silver lining at Sky Blues". The Daily Telegraph. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "JEF United player Mark Milligan cautious about return to Japan". Sydney Morning Herald. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Victory poised for loan deal with Socceroos defender". Herald Sun. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Victory Ink Milligan Deal". FourFourTwo Australia. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mark Milligan exits with pride intact". Herald Sun. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Victory confirm Milligan return". Football Federation Australia. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  15. ^ http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/melbournevictory/news-display/Milligan-to-lead-Victory-forward/75069
  16. ^ "Socceroo Mark Milligan confirmed as Melbourne Victory skipper for 2013-2014 A-League season". Herald Sun. 17 September 2013. 
  17. ^ http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/video/48402499917/Milligan-to-captain-Victory
  18. ^ http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/football/mark-milligan-suffers-knee-injury-during-melbourne-victorys-pre-season-loss-to-adelaide-united/story-fnibbvjo-1226732470192
  19. ^ "Player Profile". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  20. ^ http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/article/socceroos-name-squad-for-2014-fifa-world-cup/6rxogq02asr1dx3aw8hf7ewb
  21. ^ http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/article/2013/06/19/milligan-stands-tall-socceroos
  22. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-07/live-blog-socceroos-v-croatia/5507458

External links[edit]