Mark Rudan

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Mark Rudan
Mark Rudan.jpg
Personal information
Full name Marko Ante Rudan
Date of birth (1975-08-27) 27 August 1975 (age 44)
Place of birth Sydney
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 3 12 in)
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Western United (manager)
Youth career
Sydney United 58
1992–1993 AIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1998 Sydney United 73 (6)
1998–2000 Northern Spirit 46 (2)
2000–2002 Alemannia Aachen 45 (1)
2002 Nanjing Yoyo 24 (3)
2003–2004 Sydney United 37 (0)
2004 Public Bank 21 (4)
2005–2007 Sydney FC 61 (6)
2008 Avispa Fukuoka 26 (0)
2009 FC Vaduz 17 (1)
2009–2010 Adelaide United 19 (0)
Total 371 (23)
National team
1993–1995 Australia U-20 21 (3)
1995–1996 Australia U-23 14 (2)
Teams managed
2011–2012 Rockdale City Suns
2013–2016 Sydney United 58
2016–2017 Australia under-20 (assistant)
2017–2018 Sydney United 58
2018–2019 Wellington Phoenix
2019– Western United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Mark Rudan (born 27 August 1975) is an Australian former professional footballer, and is the manager of A-League club Western United

Mark was one of the inaugural inductees into the Sydney FC Hall of Fame in 2015. After four successful years as head coach of Sydney United, which included two National Premier Leagues titles, Rudan decided to leave his post to work with the Australian under-20 national team, but returned shortly into the 2017 season.

Club career[edit]

Rudan joined NSL club Sydney United in 1993 at completion of the AIS program. He spent much of his five seasons at United totalling 73 NSL appearances by the end of the 1997–98 season. He was signed to new club Northern Spirit for the 1998–99 NSL season. In the first match of the season he was sent off. After serving a one-match suspension, he made amends in Round 3 scoring twice in a 2–1 win. He went on to start almost all matches that year, although saw red again in Round 16 (also against Olympic). Spirit finished fifth, but were eliminated in the first semi-final stage. Rudan was again a key figure in the 1999–00 season, playing 22 games, a less successful year for the club, slumping to the bottom half of the table.


In mid-2000, unhappy with his situation at Spirit, Rudan bought out the remainder of his contract and moved to German second division club Alemannia Aachen on a free transfer. Eligibility for a Croatian passport ensured he could play in Europe. The move started well on the pitch, working his way into the first team, but he would later become embroiled in a corruption scandal known as the 'suitcase affair'.[1] In 2001, allegations of financial irregularity arose over the transfers of Rudan and fellow Australian Goran Lozanovski. Rudan was arrested by German authorities and later released.[2] Charges were eventually laid on Aachen's treasurer Bernd Krings, who was convicted of financial fraud. It was revealed that persons claiming to represent Rudan and Northern Spirit collected DM290,000 in a suitcase from Aachen as a transfer fee. Documents outlining the transfer fee were shown to be falsified as Spirit neither requested or received any fee for the player. Similar circumstances were revealed surrounding Lozanovski's transfer from South Melbourne, but both players were cleared of any wrongdoing.[3]

Rudan returned to on-field matters but unable to settle in the team, he and the club sought to part ways. After rumoured transfers to other German clubs,[4] he was released by Aachen in January 2002.[5] He continued on to a spell at Nanjing Yoyo in the Chinese first-division,[6] before returning to Australia to link up again with Sydney United. Now a seasoned player with international experience, Rudan appeared regularly for the NSL club throughout the 2002–03 calendar but could not help them reach the finals round. He cemented his place in the team for the next (and ultimately last) NSL season. After missing the first match through injury, Rudan played every remaining game for United that year. With the Australian league collapsing he again sought a move overseas, joining Public Bank in the new Malaysian Super League, where he won the defender of the year award helping his team achieve its best ever finish to a season in 2nd place.

Sydney FC[edit]

Sydney FC's formation as a new club in 2005 for the new A-League included enticing Australians playing abroad to return home. Mark was signed into the inaugural squad and honoured as club captain.[7] It was not until late in the season playing solidly in the last regular season matches and scoring the winner against Adelaide United in the semi-final second-leg, and Sydney went on to win the final and became the inaugural A-League Champions.

Yorke's departure as the 2006–07 season started, saw Rudan reinstated as captain but the year started on a low as Mark was sent off after just 14 minutes against Melbourne Victory in the second match of the new season.[8] He returned from suspension for new coach Terry Butcher. After Sydney were knocked out during the domestic finals competition, the club continued on to the 2007 AFC Champions League. Rudan captained the side through the group matches, playing all six games, and drawing upon his previous experiences in Asian football. With the arrival of Socceroo hero Tony Popovic at the start of the 2007–08 season, Rudan handed him the captaincy.[9]

On 15 December 2007, Rudan farewelled a home crowd of 12,530 following their 4–2 defeat to Perth Glory. Popovic handed his captaincy back to Rudan for this final game. His time at Sydney FC was extremely successful.[citation needed] He is remembered as the club's first Footballing Legend as more than 4000 fans waited outside the stadium singing his name after the game in acknowledgement of his achievements for the club.

Avispa Fukuoka[edit]

In December 2007, Rudan signed a deal with J2 League side Avispa Fukuoka, linking up with his former coach of Sydney FC Pierre Littbarski and replacing former teammate Alvin Ceccoli.[10]

FC Vaduz[edit]

On 6 January 2009, Rudan signed for Axpo Super League (Switzerland 1st division) team FC Vaduz, based in Liechtenstein on a free transfer. The contract ran until 30 June 2010. He again linked up with his former manager at Avispa Fukuoka.[11]

Adelaide United[edit]

On 6 August 2009, before the start of the 2009–10 A-League season, Rudan joined Adelaide United on a one-year contract. Despite this, United announced he would not play against Perth Glory on 7 August in the Reds' first game of the new season. He left Adelaide after their final group game in the AFC Champions League as he announced his retirement as a player, and intends to move into coaching.[12]

International career[edit]

Rudan's footballing talent was first recognised in 1992 as he was granted a place in the AIS program, aimed at developing players for national youth teams. He joined the Young Socceroos squad for a South American tour in 1993, including a youth tournament mostly including club sides. Rudan was made vice captain to Mark Viduka in Australia's undefeated Youth World Cup qualifying campaign and scored the only goal of the Oceania final against New Zealand. As part of the squad for the 1995 Youth World Cup, Rudan played three of Australia's four matches including their second round exit in extra time at the hands of Portugal. He progressed his way into the national under-23 team and played most matches qualifying for the Olympics in Atlanta.

Coaching career[edit]

After his short stint at Adelaide United and the announcement of his professional retirement as a player, Rudan moved into coaching, becoming the first grade coach for first division NSW club, Rockdale City Suns in 2011.[13]

In 2013, Rudan departed from Rockdale City Suns and was appointed head coach of Sydney United 58.[14] In his first season, Rudan helped win the NSW Premier League Premiership and then go on to win the inaugural season of the National Premier Leagues with his old club, which also saw him pick up the 2013 Coach of the Year. After 4 successful years coaching Sydney United 58 which included 2 NSW premierships and 2 Australian championships, Mark decided to leave his post as head coach to work with the Australian U/20 team.

Wellington Phoenix[edit]

On 30 May 2018, it was announced that Rudan has signed a two-year deal as head coach of Wellington Phoenix who play in the Australian A-League.[15] Mark Rudan became the first ever Wellington Phoenix coach to win his first game in charge when the Wellington Phoenix were 2-1 victors over Newcastle Jets in the opening round of the 2018-19 season. He was announced as Coach of Round 1 following the victory.[16] Following Round 2 clash with Brisbane Roar which ended in a 0-0 draw, it was the best start the team has had since the 2012/13 season.[17] They suffered their first defeat of the season in Round 3 going down 3-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers.[18] After disappointing results from Rounds 3 to 5, Wellington Phoenix drew 1-1 with league leaders Perth Glory in which he criticized the referee and the VAR for biased decisions, but no actions were taken.[19] Wellington then shocked Sydney FC by winning 3-1 followed by another 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners the following week. This marked Phoenix's first back-to-back wins since April 2017. He was again named Coach of the Round.[20] It was announced on 15 April 2019 that Rudan would not see out the second year of his contract.[21]

Western United[edit]

On 23 May 2019, Rudan was announced as the inaugural head coach for expansion A-League club Western United.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Rudan's elder sister Mariana is a presenter on Australian football program The World Game.[23]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 4 June 2019[24]
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Wellington Phoenix New Zealand May 2018 May 2019 29 11 7 11 037.93
Total 29 11 7 11 037.93


  1. ^ Schumacher, Wolfgang (6 November 2002). "Anklage gegen Ex-Alemannen Rudan" (in German). Aachener Nachrichten. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  2. ^ McDermott, Quentin (27 May 2002). "Final Whistle?". ABC TV. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Geldkoffer-Prozess: Frano Zelic entlastet Bernd Krings" (in German). Alemannia Aachen. 21 October 2003. Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "January 2002 transfer rumours". Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Released players in quarter I/2002". Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  6. ^ Wilson, Cameron (6 March 2007). "The Aussies are Coming: Shenhua v Sydney FC". Archived from the original on 23 March 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. ^ "Long time coming for Rudan". The World Game. SBS. 2 March 2006.
  8. ^ "Butcher blows stack after star floored, Rudan sent off". Sydney Morning Herald. 3 September 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2007.
  9. ^ Davutovic, David (27 May 2007). "Sydney FC taking time out". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "Rudan leaves Sydney FC for Japan". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  11. ^ "Australier Rudan verpflichtet" (in German). Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "Rudan exits from Adelaide". 3 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Mark Rudan to lead Rockdale City Suns". the real game. 6 May 2012. Archived from the original on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ "2014 Coaching Staff". Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ Lewis, Brad (30 May 2018). "A-League: Australian Mark Rudan appointed Wellington Phoenix head coach". Newshub.
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  21. ^ "A-League news: Mark Rudan to leave Wellington Phoenix, Western United". Fox Sports. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  22. ^ "A-League news: Mark Rudan finally revealed as Western United's first coach |". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Mariana Rudan". SBS Sport. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  24. ^ "Mark Rudan". ALeagueStats. Retrieved 4 June 2019.

External links[edit]