Best of the West - Brett Emerton

A Qantas Socceroos stalwart with 97 appearances in the green and gold, Brett Emerton has had quite the career overseas and for the national team.

As Western Sydney Wanderers prepare for their Hyundai A-League debut, over the coming days we will look at some of the finest footballing talent to come out of Sydney-s western suburbs.


Think we-ve got the list wrong? Is there a player you think shouldn-t be mentioned or is there someone we-ve missed? Have your say below...

A Qantas Socceroos stalwart with 97 appearances in the green and gold Brett Emerton began to scale the heights of world football in the early 2000s when, after a solid performance as captain of the Australian U23s at the Sydney Olympics he was spotted by Dutch giants Feyenoord and signed to a deal to join them in 2000.

Highly regarded as a junior, with teams such as Bensley Road Gunners Soccer Club, Macarthur Rams and Sydney Olympic, his pace and work ethic out wide has always been Emerton's biggest asset and it was this power football that earned him immediate success in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Despite only being with the Dutch club for three seasons, Emerton got to be a part of a UEFA Cup victory in 2002, when Feyenoord defeated Borussia Dortmund in the final.

While the Australian played a role in the tournament he missed the final as a result of suspension. However, he also claimed Oceania-s top honour as a reward for a stellar season, being named the region's Footballer of the Year.

From there he secured a dream move to the EPL with one-time winners Blackburn Rovers where Emerton had an immediate impact, scoring on his debut in a 5-1 rout of Wolves and instantly proving a hit with fans at Ewood Park.

The Australian became known for his strength, energy, and ability to make incisive runs from the wings in his time in the EPL, during which the best finish Blackburn achieved was sixth.

Ironically upon his departure from the team to return to Australia, Blackburn played poorly in 2011/12 and have since been relegated to the Championship.

For Emerton the next challenges are making it to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and helping Sydney FC to once again be a true force in the Hyundai A-League.