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Stars' A-League debuts: the best and worst

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Dwight Yorke (2005-2006 Sydney FC - 21 games, seven goals): The Tobagonian striker joined the Sky Blues as a 33-year-old following success in England with Aston Villa and Manchester United. Scored his maiden A-League goal with a diving header from an Andrew Packer cross in the 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory.

Alessandro Del Piero (2012-2014 Sydney FC 48 games, 24 goals): Arguably the A-League's biggest signing, Del Piero was a veteran of more than 500 games and 200 goals with the Italian Serie A giant Juventus. His first A-League outing in wet and windy Wellington ended in a 2-0 defeat, but the former Italian international showed some nice touches as his free kicks and corners provided chances. He ran strongly despite a lack of recent match time.

Robbie Fowler (2009-2010 North Queensland Fury - 26 games, nine goals; 2010-2011 Perth Glory - 28 games, nine goals): A Liverpool legend who earned the nickname 'God' at Anfield, the striker netted from a penalty as the Fury went down 3-2 in their A-League debut against Sydney FC.


Mark Bosnich (2008 Central Coast Mariners - four games): Bosnich had not played professional football in seven years when he strapped on the gloves for Central Coast against Queensland Roar. He helped his side to a 4-2 win, but conceded free kick when one of his players ducked in the wall and was partly to blame for the Roar's second goal when he came off his line to stop a break made by Massimo Murdocca and took his legs out from under him. Lucky to avoid a red card.

Mario Jardel (2007-2008 Newcastle Jets - 11 games): The Brazilian journeyman averaged more than a goal a game in four years at Porto, winning two European golden boots. Entered his first game with the Jets' against Adelaide after 70 minutes but looked out of sorts having battled weight problems and a visa mix-up before his debut.

Emile Heskey (2012-2014 Newcastle Jets 42 games, 10 goals): The former Liverpool and England marksman came to the A-League at 34. Showed glimpses of his class in his debut against Adelaide but appeared sluggish and in need of more match fitness as he struggled to make an impact. The Jets went down 2-0 at Hunter Stadium.


David Villa (2014 Melbourne City - four games, two goals): The prolific Spanish goalscorer with Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid made his mark just 15 minutes into his A-League stint. After coming on as a substitute, his stunning strike from the edge of the area helped City to a 1-1 round one draw with Sydney FC.

Harry Kewell (2011-2012 Melbourne Victory 25 games, eight goals; 2013-2014 Melbourne Heart 16 games, 2 goals) : The Socceroos legend first graced the A-League as a 33-year-old after 12 years in the Premier League with Leeds and Liverpool, the latter with which he won the Champions League. Debuted in Victory's season opener against Sydney FC and was quiet early. He had a chance to score in the 45th minute but his header from a Marco Rojas cross was tipped over the bar by FC keeper Liam Reddy.

Lucas Neill (2013 Sydney FC - three games): A star for Australia at the 2006 World Cup and one of the Premier League's most reliable defenders in his prime at Blackburn. The former Socceroos captain was unable to prevent Melbourne Heart's attack running rampant in FC's 3-1 loss.

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