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A-League: Five things we learnt from the 2023/24 season

3 minute read

The 2023/24 A-League campaign came to an end on Saturday night as Central Coast Mariners beat Melbourne Victory in the grand final.

Picture: AAP Image

The A-League is often looked down upon by the some of the top leagues in world football, but there is no shortage of drama and excitement.

Saturday's grand final was no different as the Mariners left it late to come from behind and secure an historic treble.

It capped another memorable season and here are the five things we learnt from the 2023/24 A-League campaign.

Mariners make history

Central Coast Mariners were the stars of the show as they became the first A-League side to complete the treble.

Mark Jackson's side won the minor premiership, AFC Champions League and the grand final to write themselves into the history books.

The Mariners won last season's grand final, but after the departure of head coach Nick Montgomery, many predicted they would fall away this season.

But it has been quite the opposite. Jackson has taken them to the next level and the future looks to be a bright one for the Mariners.

No shortage of talent

There is no shortage of talent in the A-League as the 2023/24 campaign proved once again.

Adam Taggart and Bruno Fornaroli were the top goalscorers with 20 and 18 goals for Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory respectively.

Amazingly Taggart managed to secure the golden boot despite Glory finishing bottom of the A-League ladder.

Mariners playmaker Josh Nisbet was also among the players to shine in the A-League, along with team-mate Ryan Edmondson, who scored a brace in the grand final.

As always, the problem for the competition is managing to keep the top stars in Australia, and many will move on to pastures new once again.

Standards are improving

The A-League may not have the quality of some of the top leagues in Europe, but there is no shortage of entertainment value.

Ryan Edmondson has been impressed with what he has seen since the Mariners brought him to Australia from England.

Speaking after the grand final win, the midfielder suggested that the Mariners would have what it takes to compete in League One in England, possibly the Championship.

The midfielder also spoke highly about the rest of the A-League, and he is not the only one that believes the standard down under is a good one.

The fact that the A-League All Stars beat a Newcastle United side, albeit a very young one, 8-0, adds further weight to the argument that standards are improving.

Phoenix from the flames

Wellington Phoenix may have missed out on the grand final when losing to Melbourne Victory in the semis, but they still had a great season.

Along with the Mariners, Wellington were one of the stand-out teams in the A-League throughout the regular season.

The two sides went toe-to-toe for the minor premiership, and the Mariners came out on top by just two points.

Wellington finished 11 points ahead of third-placed Victory and will look to take that form into next season.

City fail to produce

One of the big surprises of the season was Melbourne City's fall from grace in the 2023/24 season.

The 5-1 grand final defeat against the Mariners was clearly a sign of things to come as they struggled for consistency throughout the season.

Normally dominating at the top of the ladder, they only managed to scrape into finals before going out to arch rivals Victory.

Head coach Aurelio Vidmar has just re-signed for two years and he will be determined to get City back on track next season.

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