Mrdja with Central Coast Mariners in 2009
|Full name||Nikola Mrdja|
|Date of birth||30 November 1978|
|Place of birth||Perth, Australia|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2005–2011||Central Coast Mariners||48||(12)|
|2010||→ Melbourne Victory (loan)||3||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Central Coast Mariners
In December 2004, Mrdja signed with Central Coast Mariners to play in the newly formed A-League. In the Mariners first competitive fixture, an F3 Derby against the Newcastle Jets in qualification for the 2005 OFC Club Championship, Mrdja broke opposing defender Andrew Durante's leg with a tackle late in extra time. The incident subsequently gained prominence as a sparking point for the clubs' rivalry. On the field, Mrdja's early form for the Mariners was strong. In the club's next game against Adelaide United, Mrdja scored a hat-trick, sealing progress to the qualification final. He scored another hat-trick in a 2005 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup win over Queensland Roar.
However, soon after Mrdja suffered a knee injury causing him to miss the entire 2005–06 A-League season, eventually returning early in the 2006–07 season. His first goal in the A-League came from a direct free kick in a win over New Zealand Knights on 19 November 2006. Mrdja's knee injury continued to be an issue, and saw him miss much of the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons.
In February 2010, with the Mariners out of contention for the 2009–10 A-League finals, Mrdja was released by the Mariners and signed a short-term deal with Melbourne Victory to play in the final rounds of the A-League and in the 2010 AFC Champions League, as an injury replacement for Billy Celeski. At the same time, he signed a deal to play for the Mariners again in the 2010–11 season. The unusual nature of the move, despite being valid within the rules, created significant controversy, given its lateness in the season and the ban on direct loans between A-League clubs. The issue, and subsequent public controversy, prompted a review of the A-League's transfer rules by Football Federation Australia.
Mrdja made his debut for the Victory on 5 February 2010, coming on as a halftime substitute in a win over North Queensland Fury, in the second-last round of the 2009–10 A-League regular season. He scored his first goal for the club two weeks later, in a win in the first leg of the major semifinal against Sydney FC, before being sent off later in the match for elbowing Shannon Cole. Mrdja received a two-game suspension for the incident, which eventually saw him miss the 2010 A-League Grand Final.
Mrdja retired from professional football at the end of the 2010–11 season.
Mrdja was called up to the Australian national team for the first time in September 2007 for a friendly against Argentina, after an injury ruled out Scott McDonald and following Mrdja's good form in the A-League. In the game, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Mrdja made his debut as a substitute in the 82nd minute, coming on for Joshua Kennedy in a 1–0 defeat.
- National Soccer League Championship: 2002–03, 2003–04
- National Soccer League Premiership: 2001–02, 2003–04
- List of Central Coast Mariners FC players
- List of foreign Allsvenskan players
- List of Perth Glory FC players
- "Mrjda wins it for Glory". The World Game. 4 April 2004. Retrieved 18 April 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Lynch, Michael (15 December 2004). "Player drain as Victory delays". The Age. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
- Cockerill, Michael (9 May 2005). "A-League's new order hits the spot, but fans take time to catch on". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Danvers, Greg (15 August 2008). "Siblings face off in epic A-league opener". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- Cockerill, Michael (12 May 2005). "It's Mrdja as Mariners sink Adelaide". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- "Mrdja hat-trick seals win". The World Game. 24 July 2005. Retrieved 17 April 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- "Mrdja back for Mariners". The World Game. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- "Mariners on the move after downing Knights". ABC News. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- "Mrdja and Osman return to the fold". Football NSW. 12 May 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "Mrdja makes Melbourne move". 5 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- Airs, Kevin (8 February 2010). "Mrdja's Odyssey is a move too far". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "Mrdja switch backlash prompts FFA review". ABC News. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "El Zorro the hero for Victory". FourFourTwo. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "Victory don't get away with Mrdja". FourFourTwo. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- Hand, Guy (23 February 2010). "Mrdja's ban may include Grand Final". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "Mariners sign Baird from Glory". ABC News. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- Chiarelli, Simon (7 September 2007). "Mrdja gets the Socceroos nod". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "Argentina get home against gallant Australia". Football Federation Australia. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2017.