THE Hyundai A-League has seen its share of big-names.
A reel of internationally recognised stars, including Dwight Yorke, Harry Kewell and Robbie Fowler, have graced the nation's pitches during the competition's eight-year history, while the arrival of Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey this season has only added to the prestige of the nation's top league.
But one of the main attractions has been there from the very beginning.
Striker Archie Thompson has played in 149 out of a possible 196 league games for Melbourne Victory, his 65 A-League goals representing 25 per cent of his team's scoring over 7 1/2 seasons.
At 34, Thompson is the oldest player in the Victory squad, and though he would not say it, he can genuinely lay claim to being the most prominent player in the history of the A-League.
"Yeah, I'm one of the old guys," Thompson said.
"I've been here from day dot and watched this league grow.
"We have a great future ahead of us - the football has gotten better, the support has gotten better, and now we're starting to get bums on seats."
Optimism was scarce during Thompson's last official match in Tasmania.
A 1-1 stalemate with the now defunct Gold Coast United last January epitomised the club's lowly 2011-12 season.
Despite boasting a strike force that contained Harry Kewell, the Victory finished eighth and failed to qualify for the finals for the first time since 2007-08.
This year, however, former Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou has taken Victory to third on the ladder.
An excellent run of holiday form saw the Victory win three from four, keeping the pressure on leaders Central Coast and Adelaide United.
"Ange has been great for us," Thompson said.
"Obviously he brings a lot of quality with him, and it has been very easy for our players to jump on board with him and adapt to how he wants us to play.
"We're not quite (at out peak) yet, but we are starting to reap the benefits."
Despite being overshadowed by New Zealand rising star Marcos Rojas, Thompson has managed five goals and three assists in 11 games for the Victory so far this season.
He has also been in impressive form with the Socceroos, scoring seven goals since September including strikes in World Cup qualifiers against Jordan and Iraq and four goals at the 2013 EAFF East Asia Cup.