• Leigh Broxham is on track to break the record for number of A-League games played, and he has plenty of time to set a high new mark. (Getty)
Only three players have so far reached the 200-game mark in the A-League, but with the competition getting older Leigh Broxham has emerged as one of those players capable of reaching 250 and going even further.
By
Greg Prichard

26 Aug 2014 - 12:55 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2014 - 12:55 PM

Whatever figure he reaches, if Broxham has his way he'll do it all with the one club - Melbourne Victory.

Broxham is only 26, but has already piled up 151 A-League appearances. Matt Thompson, playing in Asia, heads the list with 221, followed by Central Coat's John Hutchinson (202) and Perth's Danny Vukovic (201).

He should be coming into the best years of his football life, but Broxham is determined not to get ahead of himself.

Asked about the number of games he has racked up with plenty of years ahead of him in his career, Broxham: "It comes up in conversation every now and then with my friends and family.

"I've got a couple of years left on my contract with Victory, but it's not something you think about too much. You take it week by week.

"My brother might ring me up and say you've played whatever amount of games, or done whatever."

Asked if his brother calls to criticise him if he has a bad game, Broxham laughed and said: "No, he just doesn't speak to me then.

"It's probably something I'll look back on at the end of my career (how many games he ends up playing), but football changes every week.

"It's turned out that I've stayed at the one club all along so far and at the end of this contract it will be 10 years, so it has worked out well.

"It was quite a while ago now, but I think I signed at 18 and made my debut just after turning 19. A lot of people at the club have been good to me and I'm looking forward to seeing what the future brings."

The potential for a big year from Victory in the new A-League season is great. The club has bought extremely well and results in the pre-season have been good, including a 2-0 win over Perth club Bayswater City in the first round of the FFA Cup last week.

Victory will play its latest pre-season match against Ballarat Red Devils in Ballarat on Tuesday.

"Like every year, it's a long pre-season," Broxham said. "At this point you start to get your head around the tactical stuff and start to feel pretty fit.

"There were a fair few things that came from the FFA Cup game that we identified as things to work on, which was good. It was good to have a genuinely competitive game in the pre-season. Your first genuinely competitive game is usually round one of the A-League.

"We'll have one more FFA Cup game before the season starts, as well, and we'll be playing some A-League opposition in trials in the next few weeks."

Asked how he had enjoyed the FFA Cup experience so far, Broxham said it was a big positive because it brought that extra edge to pre-season preparations.

"It's great. It's not always easy travelling to Perth, but we travelled well and got the result we wanted," he said.

"It was a game of two halves - our first half was a lot better than our second, but it's about getting results in the early stages of a tournament like that.

"It can be a bit dangerous in the FFA Cup. Look at what happened with the Wanderers - one week they lost in the FFA Cup and the next week they beat the Asian champions.

"Obviously, there have been some good stories coming out of the cup. It's creating a lot of interest in the off-season, when there's usually not a lot of interest, so that's good for the game."

Speaking of the ACL, Broxham said watching the Wanderers win through to the quarter-finals and then take their first leg 1-0 against Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande was extra motivation for Victory to get back into the tournament as soon as possible.

The club did not qualify for the next staging of the event.

"When we were playing in the ACL early this year it was a lot of hard work with all of the travel and the games and playing in the finals of the A-League at the same time," Broxham said. "But when you get to next season and you've missed out, you always want to be back there.

"You're motivated to play in it. Western Sydney is doing well and Adelaide has done well in the past. The fact we competed well away from home as well as at home and missed out on getting past the group stage only by one goal, it was disappointing. But we can always aim at getting back there."