A-Leagues icon joins NPL side & immediately helps pull off huge upset

It was a big week for new signing Leigh Broxham as the Melbourne Victory and A-Leagues legend helped St Albans Saints pull off a shock result in NPLM Victoria over the weekend.

Broxham announced his retirement from football at the end of the 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League season after 18 record-breaking seasons at Victory, where he won nine trophies and became the most-capped player in the competition.

But the 36-year-old has put on the boots again, linking up with former A-Leagues pair Cam Watson and Billy Celeski at NPLM VIC strugglers St Albans.

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On Friday, the ex-Victory captain was unveiled by the club and on Sunday afternoon, he helped take down title aspirants Heidelberg United 1-0 on debut at Churchill Reserve – a result that helped the Saints climb off the foot of the standings through 21 rounds.

“Add the fact he has played at the highest level, that can only raise the standards of everyone else within the playing group,” said head coach Watson when Broxham’s arrival was announced.

“Hopefully that will give us the something that we need right now, along with the other signings that we’ve brought in, to get us over the line in the remaining six games and to get us out of the bottom two.”

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Broxham played the full 90 minutes for St Albans against a Heidelberg side led by former Western United assistant John Anastasiadis and who lost for just the third time in 2024. The Bergers also boast ex-Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Yaren Sozer and former Western United defender Ben Collins.

With the win set up by an 84th-minute strike, St Albans remain in the bottom two but they are only a point adrift of 12th-placed Manningham United following Watson’s second victory in charge.

Watson and his assistant Celeski – Broxham’s former Melbourne Victory teammate – have arrived to help steer the ship at St Albans.

Watson previously played for Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets in the A-Leagues, while one-time Socceroo Celeski called Perth Glory, Victory and the Jets home before retiring in 2016.