Mark Bridge brings up 250 games in the Hyundai A-League


It was written in the stars that Mark Bridge, in his 250th appearance in the Hyundai A-League, would find a way onto the scoresheet.

Despite his Western Sydney Wanderers side suffering an unexpected 3-1 loss to Central Coast Mariners, Bridge converted a penalty late on to make his mark in his milestone match.

The Wanderers legend wasn’t planning to take the penalty until his fellow teammates convinced him otherwise. 

“I wasn’t going to take the penalty at all, but Alex (Baumjohann) has been telling me a story for maybe the last two weeks about a guy in Germany that never scored a goal in his whole career,” said Bridge.

“Then on his last game he got a penalty and he missed it, and then so, this popped into my head straight away.

 “I’m like “I don’t want to miss this”, but the boys wouldn’t let me have an option and I had no choice so I took it and luckily for me it went in. 

“My son was running around hyped up on Easter Eggs and there’s bigger things in life but to have him at an age to experience all this as well, coming in the change rooms with the boys after and high-fiving everyone and things like that.

“It’s something that not only I will cherish after football and I hope that when he grows up he’ll realise how cool that was.”

Bridge will forever be synonymous with Hyundai A-League fans for his time in Red and Black, but he had forged a successful career well before linking up with the Wanderers in 2012.

Having made his senior debut with Parramatta Power in the National Soccer League, Bridge joined Newcastle Jets for the inaugural Hyundai A-League season in 2005/06.

His time at the Jets culminated with the Blacktown-born striker scoring the only goal in the 2008 Grand Final, gifting the Jets victory over near-neighbours the Mariners.

Bridge moved to Sydney FC in March 2008, where he enjoyed similar levels of success, becoming the first player to score in separate Hyundai A-League Grand Finals when he netted in the 2009/10 decider.

After three seasons Bridge was on the move again, this time joining start-up club Western Sydney.

The rest is history, with the now 33-year-old going on to become one of the most popular players ever to pull on the Red and Black hoops.

In another one for the highlights reel, Bridge scored the club’s first ever competitive goal, during their maiden win, against Brisbane Roar in the 2012/13 campaign.

Soon after, he netted the club’s inaugural hat-trick in a 6-1 thumping of Adelaide United to cap a bright start to life in the west that culminated in helping Wanderers win the 2012/13 Premiership followed by AFC Champions League success the following year.