Mark Milligan

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Mark Milligan
2017 Confederation Cup - CHIAUS - Mark Milligan.jpg
Milligan playing for Australia at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup
Personal information
Full name Mark Daniel Milligan[1]
Date of birth (1985-08-04) 4 August 1985 (age 32)[1]
Place of birth Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Central Midfielder / Defensive Midfielder /
Centre Back / Right Back
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)
2012–2015 Melbourne Victory 73 (14)
2015–2017 Baniyas SC 43 (5)
2017– Melbourne Victory 7 (1)
National team
2003–2005 Australia U-20 11 (0)
2006–2008 Australia U-23 25 (7)
2006– Australia 67 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 December 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 November 2017

Mark Daniel Milligan (born 4 August 1985) is an Australian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Melbourne Victory in the A-League and the Australia national team.

Starting his career originally as a right back, Milligan has spent much of his career playing as a central defender.[3]


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.[4] 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.[5] The following day it was reported that Milligan would return home to play for Sydney FC after all.[6][7]

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.

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.


Milligan joined Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua in January 2009, signing a three-year contract.[8]

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.

Milligan finalised his switch from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua to Japanese side JEF United Chiba, who were relegated to the second division.[9]

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.[10] With the J2 League 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.[11]

Melbourne Victory[edit]

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.[12] 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.[13] He returned to Japan in March.[14] In July 2012, Milligan was released from JEF United Chiba and returned to Melbourne Victory by signing a three-year contract.[15]

Milligan starred for Melbourne Victory during their 2012–13 season, moving from centre-back to play as a defensive midfielder, and quickly established himself as one of the best players in the league. Although he has never been a prolific goal scorer, Milligan scored 8 goals in this season, a number of them being clutch goals in important games, including a penalty equaliser in an elimination final against Perth Glory that Melbourne Victory went on to win in extra time. To cap off his season, Milligan won the Victory Medal, awarded to the club's player of the season.

On 17 September 2013, Milligan was rewarded for his performances by being appointed the captain of Melbourne Victory, replacing Adrian Leijer. He 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 £2m offer for the defensive midfielder.[16][17]

Milligan, after a trial at Crystal Palace, stayed on at Melbourne Victory as captain in the 2013–14 season.[18] He sustained an injury halfway through the season,[19] and the team suffered for this and other reasons such as losing their coach, an injury to Adrian Leijer (ex-captain and central defender) and four players (including three defenders) going to the Under 21 World championships (Jason Geria, Connor Pain, Scott Galloway and Nick Ansell). However, Victory improved after this period to finish fourth in the A-League. Milligan played every minute of all but one ACL match, only missing the final away match of the ACL Asian Champions League match through suspension.

On 17 May 2015, Milligan captained his side during their 3–0 defeat of Sydney FC in the 2014–15 A-League Grand Final, held at AAMI Park, Melbourne, and was awarded the Joe Marston Medal as the best player in the match.

Baniyas SC[edit]

At the end of the 2015-16 season it was announced that UAE Arabian Gulf League side Baniyas SC had triggered the release clause of Milligan's contract with a $1 million transfer fee, and he signed with them on a two-year contract.[20]

Return to the Victory[edit]

On July 31, 2017, it was announced Miligan would return to the Victory on a one-year deal as a marquee player.[21]

International career[edit]

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.

He 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. He 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.

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.

He 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."[22]

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.

Milligan was selected alongside seven other A-League players,for the 30 man preliminary squad.[23] three from Melbourne Victory (Milligan, James Troisi & Tom Rogic) were among the final selection, playing midfield at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.[24] He played alongside James Troisi and captain Mile Jedinak in a three-man midfield in the Socceroos warm-up match vs Croatia.[25]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Australia's goal tally first.[26]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 3 March 2010 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia  Indonesia 1–0 1–0 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification
2. 7 December 2012 Mong Kok Stadium, Mong Kok, Hong Kong  Guam 8–0 9–0 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup
3. 13 January 2015 Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia  Oman 3–0 4–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
4. 8 September 2015 Pamir Stadium, Dushanbe, Tajikistan  Tajikistan 1–0 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 24 March 2016 Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia  Tajikistan 3–0 7–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 22 June 2017 Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia  Cameroon 1–1 1–1 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup


As of 17 May 2015
All-Time Club Performance
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App  Goals
Northern Spirit 2002–03 3 0 3 0
2003–04 13 1 13 1
Total 16 1 16 1
Blacktown City 2004 9 5 9 5
Total 9 5 9 5
Sydney FC 2005–06 10 1 3 0 13 1
2006–07 17 0 3 1 5 0 25 1
2007–08 15 0 2 0 17 0
Total 42 1 8 1 5 0 55 2
Newcastle Jets 2008–09 11 1 11 1
Total 11 1 0 0 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 2011–12 10 1 10 1
2012–13 22 8 22 8
2013–14 21 4 5 1 26 5
2014–15 20 1 2 0 22 1
Total 73 14 2 0 5 1 80 15
Career total 229 26 12 1 15 2 256 29



Sydney FC:

Melbourne Victory:





  1. ^ a b "FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017: List of players: Australia" (PDF). FIFA. 2 July 2017. p. 1. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "Mark Milligan". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Milligan's Socceroos midfield push", 5 May 2012, SBS "The World Game" website. Retrieved 22 March 2013
  4. ^ "Spike goes AWOL for Metz trial", 28 July 2007
  5. ^ "Milligan Missing – Again", 30 July 2007; SBS The World Game website Archived 9 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine. . Retrieved 30 July 2007
  6. ^ "Milligan set to stay with SFC", 31 July 2007 Four Four Two Magazine. Retrieved 1 August 2007
  7. ^ "One out, one back", 2 August 2007, SBS "The World Game" website Archived 9 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2 August 2007
  8. ^ "Milligan seals Shanghai switch". Canberra Times. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009. 
  9. ^ Cockerill, Michael (22 December 2009). "Mariners lure big fish with $20 million HQ". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  10. ^ "Quake refugee Milligan finds silver lining at Sky Blues". The Daily Telegraph. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "JEF United player Mark Milligan cautious about return to Japan". Sydney Morning Herald. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Victory poised for loan deal with Socceroos defender". Herald Sun. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Victory Ink Milligan Deal". FourFourTwo Australia. 24 January 2012. Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Mark Milligan exits with pride intact". Herald Sun. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Victory confirm Milligan return". Football Federation Australia. 11 July 2012. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Socceroo Mark Milligan confirmed as Melbourne Victory skipper for 2013–2014 A-League season". Herald Sun. 17 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Milligan's Baniyas move a done deal SBS, 23 JUN 2015
  21. ^ "Melbourne Victory confirm Milligan return on marquee deal". The World Game. Retrieved 31 July 2017. 
  22. ^ "Player Profile". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Milligan, Mark". National Football Teams. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 

External links[edit]