Melbourne City winger Craig Noone has gone from playing in the sixth-tier of English football to rubbing shoulders with Copa America and Champions League winners.
After being signed from Burscough FC for £110,000 by Plymouth Argyle, Noone worked his way up the English football pyramid before earning promotion to the Premier League with Cardiff City in 2013.
It was in South Wales that he enjoyed playing at the highest level, scoring his first top flight goal against Manchester City and even working under current Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Noone arrived in the A-League in 2019 after two years at Bolton Wanderers, where he has played an influential part in Melbourne City’s devastating attack, leading the club with eight assists in their run to the Premiership title this year.
His best XI of players he has shared a field with includes big names from the Premier League, stalwarts from the English Football League and even two from the A-League…
Goalkeeper: DAVID MARSHALL
CN: “I played with David at Cardiff, he’s a fantastic goalkeeper.”
Right back: LEE PELTIER
CN: “He was a friend of mine as well. I played against him before I signed for Cardiff, and he was always a great one-versus-one defender. He was one of them ones you didn’t want to come up against and also in training everyday you realised how good a defender he was.”
Centre backs: MARK HUDSON and SEAN MORRISON
CN: “[Hudson] was Cardiff captain at the time but I also played alongside some really great centre-backs in my time so this is a really tough question. Let’s put Sean Morrison in as well. They’re both very similar, both leaders. That’ll keep them both happy!”
Left back: SCOTT JAMIESON
CN: “It’s a toss up between Fabio and Scott Jamieson. Fabio played for Manchester United for quite a long time and played in the Champions League, but I’d have to go with my current captain at Melbourne City Jamo. Good friend of mine. Great leader. Up there with the best captain I’ve ever had. Always going above and beyond for his teammates.”
Defensive midfielder: GARY MEDEL
CN: “He’s a Chilean international and he’s played for a number of teams around the world. I think he was even at Inter Milan.”
Central midfielders: PETER WHITTINGHAM and RAVEL MORRISON
CN: “On the left side will be Peter Whittingham. He was a friend of mine and I played with him at Cardiff. Hands down the best player I ever played with and he had the best left foot I have ever seen. Sadly, he passed away in March last year. God rest his soul. He will always be a Cardiff legend.
“On the right side I would say Ravel Morrison who was obviously talked about when he was younger. In terms of talent, he was unbelievable.”
Right winger: CRAIG BELLAMY
CN: “He had a great career. Speaks for himself when you look at the clubs he’s played at.”
Left winger: CRAIG NOONE
Striker: JAMIE MACLAREN
CN: “It’s a tough one, I played with some good strikers. It’s a toss-up between Jamie Maclaren and Ashley Barnes who I played with at Brighton. I’ll go with Jamie Maclaren based on his record and his goals since I have been playing with him. He’s probably one of the best I’ve played with.”
Manager: Gus Poyet
CN: “I had Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Cardiff but in terms of managers, Gus Poyet was really the first one I saw go into detail about his coaching and his methods of playing his style of football and passing out from the back.”