5 NPL Players signed to the A-League: Where are they now?

By Sha Nen

Perth Glory raised a few eyebrows when they announced their Asian Champions League squad, including a huge number of players signed directly from the NPL, while some of the players have shown glimpses of promise so far, its far too early to judge how they will fare in the A-League.

Here is a look back at some players A-League sides signed directly from the NPL and where they are now.

Danny Choi

The calls for an A-League side to sign Danny Choi were almost deafening at times as he put in breath-taking performances, and scored incredible goals for Blacktown City in the NPL and the FFA Cup.

But with Choi being born in Suwon in South Korea, there was a problem, he wasn’t an Australian citizen and for any A-League side to sign him, they would need to use up one of their visa spots.

This proved a roadblock into getting his A-League career started, but in 2016 Adelaide United would make the move, signing Choi on loan as an injury replacement for Marcelo Carrusca.

His A-League career was short and unremarkable, with his only real moment coming when he hit the post on debut.

He now plays alongside Aussie Sammy Silvera for Casa Pia in Portugal’s second division, after bouncing around the lower divisions in Portugal for a few years.

Adam Parkhouse

Parkhouse signed with New Zealand based side Wellington Phoenix in 2016 from Manly United.

He spent two seasons with the Phoenix but really failed to impress in both, he started out playing a role mostly off the bench where he was used as a utility player, plugging the gaps wherever they needed.

But he quickly found himself playing in an unfamiliar position at Left Back and really seemed to struggle.

He returned to Manly in 2018 after leaving the club, and then signed for fellow NSW NPL side Sydney Olympic in 2020.

Dylan Wenzell-Halls

After Scoring an incredible 40 goals in 29 games for Western Pride in the NPL, Brisbane roar snapped Wenzell-Halls up in 2018.

He quickly found himself becoming a fan favorite with his displays off the bench for the roar.

With his pace, willingness to run at defenders and take on shots at goal, he has shown a real X-Factor.

He is still with Brisbane and is looking like a more complete player every season, he still hasn’t been able to lock down a consistent starting role for the roar, but 2020/2021 looks to be the season that the A-League will start to see the very best of Wenzell-Halls and the form he showed in the NPL.

Truly one of the biggest NPL success stories so far.

Jordan Murray

Yet another player with an incredible goal-scoring record at NPL level, Jordan Murray was signed to the Central Coast Mariners from APIA Leichardt in 2018, after winning the golden boot.

Murray’s A-League career got off to a slow start, with him really struggling to find his feet and missing a few easy chances, despite this, the fans and more importantly the club saw signs of promise with Murray with the club offering him a new 2-year deal in 2019. His determination on the pitch and his work off the pitch, often staying back hours to talk to fans really made him adored on the coast.

In October 2020, Murray became one of a large number of players to jump ship to the Indian Super League, where he signed for Kerala Blasters, having recently made his debut for the club.

Some fans have stated that Murray’s slightly underwhelming stint in mariners colours was largely due to his strengths not being played to by manager Alen Stajcic, so a move to new pastures might be the key to unlocking his full potential.

Josh McDonald

Josh Macdonald had a brief stint with Western Sydney Wanderers in 2015, But departed shortly after for hometown club Wollongong Wolves in the NPL.

After a couple of good seasons playing regularly for the wolves in the NPL, Macdonald joined Central Coast Mariners in 2018 along with Jordan Murray.

Sadly for Macdonald though, his opportunities in the league were limited, never able to break in to the side and ultimately only making 2 apps in the 2018-19 season, departing at the end of the season/

He joined up with Sydney United in the NPL afterwards, winning the NSW NPL title in 2020.

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