Mark Miligan life and biography

Mark Miligan picture, image, poster

Mark Miligan biography

Date of birth : 1985-08-04
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Sydney, Australia
Nationality : Australian
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-06-17
Credited as : Football defender Australian team, JEF United Ichihara Chiba soccer club, FIFA World Cup

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Mark Daniel Milligan (born 4 August 1985 in Sydney, Australia) is an Australian football (soccer) player who is currently playing for JEF United Ichihara Chiba. He was also the regular captain of the Australian Under 23 football team and has been capped for the junior Australian National team. He is a utility defender, originally known as a right-back, but more recently playing in both central defence and central midfield.

Australia's move into the Asian football family has seen a few of their star names making the move to Japanese league football and that is route Milligan has followed since making the switch from Newcastle Jets to Shanghai Shenhua last year. He has subsequently signed for JEF United and heads to the World Cup finals after a season of solid performances at club level.

His versatility makes him a useful component of this Socceroos squad, with his ability to play across the back line useful for Aussie boss Pim Verbeek who believes Milligan had earned his spot in his final World Cup squad. "Mark has worked hard and I'm certain he can do a great job for us if a chance comes his way," says the Dutch coach.

Milligan admits that he would relish the chance to play his club football in Europe, but he failed to make his mark during trial spells in France with FC Metz and RC Lens in the summer of 2007.

Sydney FC
After being schooled in the fullback trade by Niall Smith while on a loan spell with Castle Villa, Milligan played for Northern Spirit FC in the National Soccer League. He joined Sydney FC prior to the commencement of the inaugural A-League season in 2005–06, but due to injury did not debut until the round 14 match away to Perth Glory. He was one of Sydney FC's best performers of the season. He played consistently until being suspended after the major semi final victory over Adelaide United and missed the Grand Final victory over Central Coast.

Overseas ambitions
FourFourTwo magazine revealed on July 28, 2007 that after the Asian Cup Milligan had gone without his club's permission to trial for teams in Europe. Milligan was linked with French sides FC Metz and RC Lens. The following day Milligan reportedly walked out on Metz just before a scheduled trial game appearance against Standard Liege, allegedly out of frustration at the right-back position he would be trialled in.The following day it was reported that Milligan would return home to play for Sydney FC after all.He has since been linked with a move to English Premier League clubs Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as RC Lens in France's Ligue 1, and more recently with FC Porto in the Portuguese Liga and Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, during the summer of 2008 despite obvious issues of his eligibility to play in Europe due to his non-EU status.

Back to Australia
On 21 October 2008, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Milligan signed a guest contract with Newcastle United Jets for seven weeks. He made his debut on 24 October 2008, against Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford, where his team lost 1–0.

Playing in China
Milligan joined Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenhua in January 2009, signing a three-year contract.

On May 19, Milligan scored his first goal for Shanghai Shenhua in their 1–1 draw in the AFC Champions League group stage match against Kashima Antlers.

Playing in Japan
Milligan finalised his switch from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua to Japanese side JEF United Chiba, who were relegated to the second division.

Milligan represented Australia at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. In May 2006, he was the youngest player selected in the Australian 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, being one of only two players chosen from the A-League - the other being Michael Beauchamp. Milligan had impressed coaches Graham Arnold and Johan Neeskens at a recent camp in Vietnam, while Guus Hiddink also recalled watching Milligan at the World Youth Championship.

Milligan made his senior international debut against Liechtenstein on 7 June 2006, coming off the bench in the 85th minute of Australia's last warm-up game before the World Cup. He did not play in any of Australia's four World Cup games in Germany. His first start came against Kuwait in an Asian Cup qualifier on 16 August 2006. His next appearance was on 7 October 2006 in a friendly against Paraguay as a late substitute.

In February 2007, Milligan was named as captain of the Australian U23 side, the 'Olyroos', for two Olympic qualifying games against Chinese Taipei. He sustained a broken nose in an 'off-the-ball' incident during the second qualifier.

Throughout 2007, Milligan led the Olyroos to Olympic qualification and was the key influential figure in their final games against Iraq and North Korea, scoring in each game and taking the man of the match award in both.

On 3 March 2010, Milligan scored his first international goal for the Socceroos against Indonesia in a 2011 Asian Cup Qualifier played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. This being the only goal in the match with Australia winning 1-0 and then qualifying for the 2011 competition.

On the 11 March 2010, Milligan was named in the 31 man squad named by Pim Verbeek for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

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