With the decade coming to an end, we take a look back at the best moments and the key figures of a memorable, highlight-packed golden era in Australian football history.
2010 – MATILDAS ASIAN CUP CHAMPIONS
The Matildas kicked the decade off in style at the 2010 Asian Cup. Australia played out a 1-1 draw in the final against North Korea. A 15-year-old Sam Kerr scored, before the game went to penalties, where Kyah Simon earned her place in history, scoring the winning spot-kick.
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2010-2012 – BRISBANE ROAR GO BACK-TO-BACK
Ange Postecoglou’s Brisbane Roar revolutionised the A-League with a style of play that led to them being dubbed ‘Roarcelona’.
The Roar did the premiership-championship double in 2010-11, then in 2011-12 became the first team to win back-to-back championships, including a record 36-game undefeated run.
2014 – WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WINNERS Tony Popovic’s side delivered against the odds in their debut ACL. Facing Al-Hilal in the final, Tomi Juric scored in a 1-0 home win, before the Wanderers played out a 0-0 away draw to secure the trophy. No A-League team has gotten close since.
2015 – SOCCEROOS ASIAN CUP CHAMPIONS
The crowning achievement of Postecoglou’s tenure, the Socceroos beat South Korea 2-1 in extra-time in the final to secure breakthrough silverware. The Asian Cup itself was a highlight on home soil.
2015-2018 – MELBOURNE CITY’S W-LEAGUE THREE-PEAT
Melbourne City changed the W-League forever when they entered in 2015-16, winning every regular season game, the premiership, and semi-final on penalties before thumping Sydney FC in the grand final for a near-perfect season. They went on to win the next two grand finals, forcing the rest of the league to step up.
THE INDIVIDUALS WHO LED US TO GLORY:
The Socceroos’ all-time leading goalscorer scored at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, bagged three goals in the 2015 Asian Cup and played a crucial role in qualifying for Russia 2018 – his fourth World Cup.
Club-wise, Cahill started the decade at Everton and played in the USA, China, and the A-League, then at Millwall before finishing his career in India.
SAM KERR At the start of the decade, Sam Kerr was a prodigiously talented teenager. By its end, she was a superstar.
Kerr won the 2010 Asian Cup and played three World Cups, and in 2017 exploded to superstardom.
Kerr became Matildas captain in 2019 and scored five goals at the World Cup. She became the all-time leading goalscorer in the W-League and the NWSL before securing a high-profile move to Chelsea.
ANGE POSTECOGLOU Australian coaching’s brightest star, Postecoglou revolutionised the A-League with Brisbane Roar, moved to Melbourne Victory then took over the Socceroos in 2014.
His Socceroos took it up to the Netherlands and faced Chile and Spain at the 2014 World Cup, before winning the 2015 Asian Cup.
After qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Postecoglou resigned, then joined Yokohama F.Marinos. In 2019, he became the first Australian coach to win the J.League.
GRAHAM ARNOLD, TONY POPOVIC AND KEVIN MUSCAT
Three ex-Socceroos helped shape the decade of A-League – and by the end of it, one was national team boss.
Arnold won an A-League premiership and championship with Central Coast, and later won two premierships, a championship and an FFA Cup with Sydney FC before taking over as Socceroos coach in 2018.
Muscat’s Melbourne Victory tenure delivered two A-League championships, a premiership and an FFA Cup, while Popovic led the Wanderers to an A-League premiership and three grand finals, along with ACL glory. After a stint in Turkey, Popovic joined Perth Glory and led them to a premiership and a grand final.
Montemurro joined Melbourne City ahead of their inaugural W-League season and led the side to an unbeaten premiership-championship double in 2015-16. He joined Arsenal Women in 2017 – then won the 2018-19 FAWSL and the 2018 League Cup.