Australian football players in the English Premier League

Over 40 professional football players have starred in the English Premier League since it was created. This is a relatively small number, but bear in mind that it’s a long way from Australia to England, especially for football players playing in the Australian Premier League where the quality is significantly lower.

At present it seems that Australian football players are a dying race in the EPL. But, several years ago there played the last big generation of Aussie players called “The Golden Generation”, consisted of players such as Mark Viduka, Lucas Neill, Mark Bosnich, Harry Kewell, Bret Emerton, Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer and couple of others. Viduka is the Aussie with the most Premier League goals, 92. He was a player that had a clever finish and sweet touch, but it seems that his biggest attribute was his searing price.
Schwarzer still plays in the EPL for Leicester City even though he is 42 years old. He holds the record for the Aussie with the most league appearances in the EPL, 549. He is considered one of Premier League’s better keepers. Other active players that ply their trade in the English Premier League currently are Adam Federici (Bournemouth), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough), Brad Smith (Liverpool), and Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).

The first ever Aussie player that played in the EPL was Mark Bosnich on 5 December 1992 for Aston Villa, a player that could have a bright future, but traded it all for his $5,000-a-week cocaine addiction. Sir Alex Ferguson described him in his autobiography as a terrible professional that didn’t have the strength to stay in shape. Strangely, he had no gambling habits considering Aussies love to play. His cocaine addiction was enough.
The first Aussie player to score in the English Premier League was Robbie Slater scoring for West Ham in 1995 against his former club, Blackburn. These players are the only two to have won the Premier League title with their teams, Bosnich with Manchester United and Slater with Blackburn.

However, the biggest bargain for English Premier League teams must have been Tim Cahill without a doubt. He was signed by Everton for only £1.45 million, but he was an invaluable member of the team with driving performances and steady stream of goals making himself the key player for then David Moyes’ side. If it wasn’t for Cahill, Kewell could have been the best Aussie player that has made it in the EPL however he was constantly troubled by injuries. But, when he played, he played, he really played!