McBreen playing for North Queensland Fury in 2009
|Full name||Daniel James McBreen|
|Date of birth||23 April 1977|
|Place of birth||Burnley, England|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
Newcastle Jets U15 (coach)
|–1999||Toronto Awaba Stags|
|2007||→ York City (loan)||5||(2)|
|2009–2010||North Queensland Fury||21||(3)|
|2010–2014||Central Coast Mariners||95||(28)|
|2013||→ Shanghai East Asia (loan)||13||(3)|
|2014||Shanghai East Asia||28||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 03:12, 26 April 2017 (UTC).
Born in England, McBreen moved to Australia with his family when he was six weeks old and started his career in local football with Toronto Awaba Stags and Edgeworth Eagles. He earned a professional contract with National Soccer League club Newcastle United in 2000, where he played for two seasons before joining Universitatea Craiova of the Romanian Divizia A. He left them amid a dispute over wages in 2004, when he joined Falkirk, where he won the Scottish First Division title and the Scottish Challenge Cup in the 2004–05 season. McBreen spent 2005–06 with them in the Scottish Premier League before being released, when he joined English League One club Scunthorpe United in 2006. He played sporadically in their 2006–07 League One title-winning season, and was loaned to Conference Premier team York City in 2007 before having a short spell with St Johnstone in the Scottish First Division. McBreen rejoined York permanently in 2008 and played 2008–09 for them, with his last match in Europe coming in their defeat in the 2009 FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium.
He returned to Australia to play in the A-League for North Queensland Fury, but mid-season agreed to join division rivals Central Coast Mariners for the next two seasons. McBreen completed 2009–10 with another A-League club, Perth Glory, and his good form with them resulted in a call-up to the Australia national team. He was part of the Mariners team that finished in second place in the 2010–11 A-League but was beaten in the 2011 A-League Grand Final. The Mariners were the Australian Premiers in 2011–12, but were knocked out of the finals series in the preliminary final. McBreen scored one of the Mariners' goals in the 2013 A-League Grand Final as they were crowned A-League Champions, and for his performance he was awarded the Joe Marston Medal. He had already won A-League Golden Boot as the division's top scorer with 17 goals. He then went on loan with Shanghai East Asia, before joining them permanently for the 2014 Chinese Super League and having a spell with South China for the remainder of the 2014–15 Hong Kong Premier League.
Early life and career
McBreen was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England to Jim and Kathy. The family moved to Australia six weeks later after his father took up an offer to play football for Edgeworth Eagles. He was raised in Newcastle, New South Wales and started his career playing local football for Toronto Awaba Stags before joining Edgeworth Eagles in 1999. McBreen scored over 20 goals for them in the 1999 Northern NSW State Football League before being the league's top scorer the following season with 23 goals. However, he was dropped for the grand final, when Edgeworth were beaten 3–0 by Hamilton Olympic.
McBreen earned his first professional contract aged 23 with Newcastle United of the National Soccer League in July 2000, and he later credited Edgeworth coach Bobby Naumov for the move, saying "He set me on the road to a pro career". He made his debut that year, and scored six goals from 23 appearances as Newcastle finished in 14th place in the 2000–01 National Soccer League table. Newcastle turned full-time the following year, and McBreen played 13 matches and scored three goals with Newcastle improving their league position by ranking second in the 2001–02 National Soccer League table. Despite playing less frequently he enjoyed working under new coach Ian Crook, saying "you can speak to him as a human being and he can man manage. He made training enjoyable".
Spells in Europe
After being offered a trial with Universitatea Craiova by an agent, McBreen signed for the Romanian Divizia A club on a three-year contact in July 2002. He made his debut in 3–1 win over Astra Ploiești on 17 August 2002, and scored only once in 13 appearances for a Craiova team that ranked seventh in the 2002–03 Divizia A table. However, the players' wages were continually paid late throughout the season and McBreen came close to a move to Norwegian Tippeligaen club Lillestrøm, only for Craiova to twice raise their asking price for him on transfer deadline day. He played more regularly the next season, making 20 appearances and scoring twice as Craiova finished fourth in the 2003–04 Divizia A table. He finally left Craiova during the summer of 2004 after the club's president Pavel Badea, a former teammate of McBreen's at the club, signed a letter releasing him from his contract. He took his case to FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport with the help of Professional Footballers Australia, and only received the money he was owed after the club was given a three-point deduction and was threatened with automatic relegation.
McBreen was prepared to return to Australia before being offered a trial with Falkirk of the Scottish First Division. He also played for English Conference South club St Albans City in pre-season before Falkirk received international clearance to play him in September 2004. McBreen made his debut as a 73rd-minute substitute for Andy Thomson in a 3–0 home win over Gretna in the Scottish Challenge Cup on 14 September 2004. He came on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Thomson in the 2004 Scottish Challenge Cup Final, in which Falkirk beat Ross County 2–1 at McDiarmid Park on 7 November 2004. His first goal came on his first start for the club, with a shot from eight yards seconds before half-time, as Falkirk beat Raith Rovers 2–0 away on 13 November 2004. This marked the start of a run of nine goals from seven matches, and come the end of the season McBreen and his strike partner Darryl Duffy had scored a combined total of 40 goals. He finished 2004–05 with 13 goals from 26 matches as Falkirk were promoted to the Scottish Premier League as Scottish First Division champions. His 13 league goals saw him ranked as the division's fourth highest scorer.
McBreen signed a new one-year contract with Falkirk in June 2005, and manager John Hughes predicted "With a good pre-season under his belt, I'm sure he'll get even better". He scored his first goal of the 2005–06 season in the 83rd minute of a home match against champions Rangers on 10 September 2005, with a header from Alan Gow's cross that secured Falkirk a 1–1 draw. McBreen scored the only goal in Falkirk's 1–0 win over Livingston on 6 May 2006 with a header from Gow's free kick, which was only the team's second victory at home all season. He appeared more frequently in 2005–06, making 38 appearances but only scoring eight goals, with Falkirk ranking in 10th place in the Scottish Premier League table. Despite taking over the main striking role after Duffy's transfer to Hull City in January 2006, McBreen was released by the club in May.
He went on trial with English League One clubs Northampton Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Scunthorpe United, signing for the latter on a two-year contract on 30 August 2006. He made his debut two days later starting a 2–0 away victory over Gillingham, but due to a hamstring injury that kept him out of action for 10 months his last appearance of 2006–07 came in November 2006. He made 10 appearances for a Scunthorpe team that won promotion to the Championship as 2006–07 League One champions. At the end of the season, McBreen was told by Scunthorpe manager Nigel Adkins that he was free to look for a deal with another club, despite having a year remaining on his contract.
McBreen joined Conference Premier team York City on a one-month loan, with the option of a possible extension, on 5 October 2007. His York debut came in a 4–1 home defeat to Histon a day later and scored his first goal in the following game against Stafford Rangers, with a header from a Martyn Woolford cross in a 2–0 home victory. After making five appearances and scoring two goals he was recalled by Scunthorpe on 5 November 2007 due to the departure of on-loan Millwall striker Ben May. Despite this, York manager Billy McEwan was interested in bringing McBreen back to the club for another loan spell. He bought out the remainder of his Scunthorpe contract to join St Johnstone of the Scottish First Division on 2 January 2008 on a deal until the end of the season. His debut came the same day in a 1–1 home draw with Dundee, which he entered as a 62nd-minute substitute for Liam Craig. He suffered a knee injury during this match, and this hampered his progress at the club. On 20 April 2008, McBreen scored the opening goal with a back-post header from Paul Sheerin's cross in St Johnstone's Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park in extra time, which they eventually lost in a penalty shoot-out. St Johnstone finished in third place in the 2007–08 Scottish First Division table as McBreen made seven appearances and one goal before being released by the club in May 2008.
McBreen held talks with A-League team Adelaide United before being handed a trial with their divisional rivals Wellington Phoenix. He returned to former club York City on a one-year contract on 25 June 2008. His first game back at the club was a 1–0 away victory over Crawley Town and in his third appearance he scored his first goal of the 2008–09 season with a left-footed shot from 17 yards in a 1–1 home draw with Histon. McBreen was played primarily as a lone striker in away matches during 2008–09, a decision which York manager Colin Walker defended in September 2008; Dave Flett of The Press commented that he "[led] the line lazily". During February 2009, it was reported in the Australian media that he had agreed join A-League newcomers North Queensland Fury, although York were unaware of any transfer taking place. It was later confirmed that he would join the Fury in August 2009 for the 2009–10 A-League, following the expiry of his York contract in June. He had scored in every round of the 2008–09 FA Trophy leading up to the final, bar the first round when he was an unused substitute, and ahead of the final commented that: "I couldn't ask for anything more than a Wembley final to end my career in Europe and it's also a great finale to a disappointing season for the fans and players". He started in the match at Wembley Stadium on 9 May 2009, which York lost 2–0 to Stevenage Borough. He made 48 appearances and scored 10 goals with York finishing in 17th place in the 2008–09 Conference Premier table.
Return to Australia
McBreen made his debut for North Queensland Fury in a 3–2 home defeat to Sydney FC on 8 August 2009 as an 82nd-minute substitute for Paul Kohler. He soon established himself in the starting line-up, and scored his first goal for the Fury after heading in a Fred Agius cross in the 87th minute of a 3–3 draw with Adelaide United on 28 August 2009. He went on to sign a two-year pre-contract with A-League opponents Central Coast Mariners, for the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons, in December 2009. McBreen was used mostly as a substitute after the move was announced, before signing an interim deal with Perth Glory for the remainder of the 2009–10 season in a swap for Jimmy Downey on 12 January 2010. He had scored three goals in 21 appearances for the Fury.
McBreen's debut for the Glory came when he entered a 6–2 away loss to Melbourne Victory as a 38th-minute substitute for Chris Coyne on 16 January 2010. He started and scored in the next match three days later, a 3–2 away win over Adelaide United, with the winning goal in the 77th minute. This marked the start of a run of five goals from four matches, helping the Glory finish fifth in the 2009–10 A-League table and thus qualify for the finals series. McBreen played in their 4–2 penalty shoot-out defeat to Wellington Phoenix in the fourth v fifth semi-final on 21 February 2010, which followed a 1–1 draw after extra time. He had scored five goals in seven appearances for the Glory, and with eight goals altogether he was the 2009–10 A-League's eighth highest scorer. His good form was rewarded with his first call-up for the Australia national team.
McBreen made his debut for the Mariners in 1–0 away win over Melbourne Heart on 5 August 2010, in which he was substituted for Nik Mrdja in the 90th minute. His first goal came nearly a month later when heading in Matt Simon's cross in the 50th minute of a 2–0 home win over Melbourne Victory on 3 September 2010. McBreen was sent off for the first time since returning to Australia with a second yellow card during the stoppage time of a 5–1 home defeat to Brisbane Roar on 28 November 2010, and returned from suspension as a 52nd-minute substitute for Adam Kwasnik in a 1–1 draw away to Perth Glory on 12 December 2010. With a second-placed finish in the 2010–11 A-League table the Mariners qualified for the finals series, and he started in their 4–2 aggregate defeat to Brisbane Roar in the major semi-final and their 1–0 win over Gold Coast United in the preliminary final. McBreen came on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Simon in the 2011 A-League Grand Final at Lang Park on 13 March 2011, and after a 2–2 extra time draw he missed one of the penalty kicks as the Mariners lost the shoot-out 4–2. He made 31 appearances and scored five goals for the Mariners in 2010–11.
Early into the 2011–12 A-League season he was deployed as the focal of a midfield diamond, and this contributed to the team's improving form. McBreen scored his first goal of the season in a 3–1 home win over Melbourne Heart, with an 82nd-minute penalty kick, and his only A-League goal scored in normal play came after converting Pedj Bojić's cross in a 3–2 home victory over Adelaide United on 21 January 2012. The Mariners became the A-League Premiers after finishing in first place in the 2011–12 table, also qualifying for the finals series. He appeared as a substitute in the first leg of their 5–2 aggregate defeat to Brisbane Roar in the major semi-final, and as a substitute in the preliminary final against Perth Glory, in which the Mariners were beaten 5–3 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 extra time draw. McBreen made five appearances and scored twice in the 2012 AFC Champions League, as they were eliminated from the tournament after finishing third in their group. He scored four goals from 30 matches in 2011–12, and was handed a new contract with the Mariners for the 2012–13 A-League in April 2012.
McBreen's first goal of 2012–13 came seven minutes after entering the Mariners's 1–0 win at home to Perth Glory as a 63rd-minute substitute, in what was his first appearance of the season. He recorded the first hat-trick in the Mariners' history in their 7–2 home win over Sydney FC on 3 November 2012, scoring in the first-half with a penalty kick and in the second half with a close range finish and a header from Joshua Rose's cross. This marked the start of a run of 14 goals from 15 matches, helping the Mariners to second place in the 2012–13 A-League table and thus a place in the finals series. With 17 goals McBreen won the A-League Golden Boot, awarded to the division's top scorer. In the semi-final of the finals series he scored the only goal in the Mariner's 1–0 win over Melbourne Victory on 14 April 2013 with a powerful shot in the 42nd minute. One week later he scored the second goal with a 68th-minute penalty kick as the Mariners beat Western Sydney Wanderers 2–0 at Sydney Football Stadium in the 2013 A-League Grand Final. This was the first time the Mariners had won the A-League Championship, and McBreen was awarded the Joe Marston Medal, given to the man of the match of the Grand Final, before being named as a substitute in the PFA A-League Team of the Season. He made six appearances in the team's run to the round of 16 of the AFC Champions League, when they were beaten 5–1 on aggregate by Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao of the Chinese Super League. McBreen signed a new contract with the Mariners for the 2013–14 A-League in May 2013, having scored 19 goals from 33 appearances in 2012–13.
Spells in Asia
On 8 June 2013, McBreen joined Chinese Super League team Shanghai East Asia on a five-month loan lasting until 31 October, joining his former teammate Bernie Ibini-Isei who completed his transfer four days earlier. His debut came a month later after starting Shanghai's 3–0 home defeat to Beijing Guoan on 7 July 2013, and a week later scored his first goal in the 10th minute of a 3–0 away victory over Guizhou Renhe. He scored three goals in 13 appearances for Shanghai before returning for the Mariners when starting their 1–0 home defeat to the Brisbane Roar on 10 November 2013. McBreen's first goal for the Mariners in the 2013–14 A-League came with a close-range backheel with the only goal in a 1–0 victory at home to Sydney FC on 7 December 2013.
McBreen scored twice in 12 appearances for the Mariners in 2013–14 before signing for Shanghai East Asia permanently on a one-season contract for a fee of $250,000 on 31 January 2014. His second debut came when starting their 1–1 away draw with Liaoning Whowin on 9 March 2014, before scoring his first goal of the 2014 Chinese Super League with a left-footed volley from outside the penalty area in a 1–1 draw at home to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua on 26 April. He went without scoring in the final three months of the season, which he finished with five goals from 28 appearances as Shanghai ranked in fifth place in the 2014 Chinese Super League table. McBreen stated his desire to stay for another season, but admitted he might not be retained after the club was taken over by new owners.
He signed for Hong Kong Premier League club South China for the remainder of the 2014–15 Hong Kong Premier League on 21 January 2015. McBreen debuted four days later as a 77th-minute substitute for Yuto Nakamura in a 4–2 away win over Sun Pegasus, before scoring twice in their 6–1 away victory against Global in the 2015 AFC Cup group stage on 25 February 2015. He started for South China in their 4–0 defeat to Kitchee in the 2014–15 Hong Kong League Cup Final at Mong Kok Stadium on 22 April 2015. McBreen scored both of the team's goals in their 2–0 victory over Eastern Sports Club in the AFC Cup play-off semi-final, and started their 1–1 extra time draw with YFCMD in the final, but was substituted before the 4–2 penalty shoot-out win. South China finished fourth in the 2014–15 Hong Kong Premier League table, and McBreen scored 11 goals from 17 appearances before his contract expired in May 2015.
Australia national team coach Pim Verbeek selected McBreen in an extended squad of 25 players for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia in Brisbane on 3 March 2010. He was an unused substitute as Australia beat Indonesia 1–0.
Style of play
McBreen was good in the air, and adept at holding the ball up and bringing teammates into play. At 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) he provided a threat at set pieces. North Queensland Fury coach Ian Ferguson commented on his physicality, describing him as "an aggressive player ... who will give centre halves a hard time".
McBreen was appointed the head coach of the Newcastle Jets U15 team in October 2015, and remained playing on a semi-professional basis with former club Edgeworth in the National Premier Leagues Northern NSW for the 2016 season.
Before turning professional McBreen worked a number of jobs along with playing football, saying "I did everything – too many jobs to mention – and I know I would rather be on the training ground than sat in an office or hauling concrete all day". He married Gabrielle Stockton in Sydney, New South Wales during December 2014 and the couple have two sons, Noah and Leo.
- As of match played 22 April 2017
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|Newcastle United||2000–01||National Soccer League||23||6||—||—||—||—||23||6|
|2001–02||National Soccer League||13||3||—||—||—||—||13||3|
|Universitatea Craiova||2002–03||Divizia A||13||1||—||—||—||13||1|
|Falkirk||2004–05||Scottish First Division||23||13||1||0||0||0||—||2[a]||0||26||13|
|2005–06||Scottish Premier League||32||6||4||2||2||0||—||—||38||8|
|Scunthorpe United||2006–07||League One||7||0||1||0||0||0||—||2[b]||0||10||0|
|York City (loan)||2007–08||Conference Premier||5||2||—||—||—||—||5||2|
|St Johnstone||2007–08||Scottish First Division||6||0||1||1||—||—||—||7||1|
|York City||2008–09||Conference Premier||38||5||2||0||—||—||8[c]||5||48||10|
|North Queensland Fury||2009–10||A-League||21||3||—||—||—||—||21||3|
|Central Coast Mariners||2010–11||A-League||31||5||—||—||—||—||31||5|
|Shanghai East Asia (loan)||2013||Chinese Super League||13||3||—||—||—||—||13||3|
|Shanghai East Asia||2014||Chinese Super League||28||5||—||—||—||—||28||5|
|South China||2014–15||Hong Kong Premier League||4||0||2||1||2||0||7[e]||8||2[f]||2||17||11|
|Edgeworth||2016||National Premier Leagues Northern NSW||18||9||5[g]||10||—||—||3[h]||1||26||20|
|2017||National Premier Leagues Northern NSW||5||0||—||—||—||—||5||0|
- Appearances in Scottish Challenge Cup
- Appearances in Football League Trophy
- Seven appearances and five goals in FA Trophy, one appearance in Conference League Cup
- Appearances in AFC Champions League
- Appearances in AFC Cup
- Appearances in AFC Cup play-offs
- Appearances in FFA Cup
- Appearances in National Premier Leagues Finals
Central Coast Mariners
- A-League Golden Boot: 2012–13
- Joe Marston Medal: 2013
- PFA A-League Team of the Season: 2012–13
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