Mark Milligan named inaugural Macarthur FC captain

Inaugural captain: Mark Milligan, pictured with coach Ante Milicic, has been named Macarthur FC's first captain. Picture: Jess Layt
Inaugural captain: Mark Milligan, pictured with coach Ante Milicic, has been named Macarthur FC's first captain. Picture: Jess Layt

It's official - Mark Milligan is the inaugural captain of the Macarthur FC Bulls.

The club announced Milligan as the captain before training at Fairfield Showground this morning.

The former Socceroos captain said it was an honour to lead in the club's first ever season.

"It is a great honour, I've known people like Tezza (coach Ante Milicic) and worked with them before, so to be offered a chance to help set up the inaugural team is very good, it hasn't disappointed at all," he said.

Milligan said his past captains had shown him the importance of letting your actions do the talking.

"It's not about advice so much as the way you go about things and do things, that's very important in my goal of helping this team," he said.

"It's always more important to lead by example than to stand in front of everyone and talk a great deal."

The 35-year-old said he'd been impressed with the effort and dedication he'd seen in his squad during preseason training.

"I want our team to be successful and to work hard and train hard, and they've definitely done that to start," he said.

"It's never easy to start a season, especially at a new club, and this preseason their attitude has been amazing.

"I've been in a lot of different teams, and sometimes it can be a bit tough, but so far we've got everyone on the same page and working towards the same goal to build a successful place of business.

"I'm sure Ante would say the same - it hasn't been a difficult job at all, everyone's been very receptive and very willing to learn."

Milligan said he was excited to play his first trial against Camden Tigers on Sunday and finally get in front of some fans. The game is already sold out due to strict'y limited seating availability at the venue.

Milicic said he had a lot of faith in his captain to do the job with aplomb.

"I've been to two World Cups with Mark, I've been to Brazil and Russia, very fortunate," he said.

"When you see a captain you look at not just what they do on the field, but off the field, and that's very important for him to show the squad - especially the young players - what international standards are, and to deliver those every day.

"I've seen him captain the country, and I've been fortunate to be involved in many games with him, so I think it's been a natural decision.

"At the same time, we've got a lot of boys in the dressing room who've captained their club sides or been in two World Cups, Asian Cups, Confederation Cups, so we've got a good core group there of players who will support Mark."

Milicic said Milligan's actions, not his words, were the mark of his leadership.

"He's been to four World Cups and he's sharing the dressing room with players who haven't watched four World Cups on TV," he said.

"You don't get to four World Cups by being lucky.

"The values and respect he demonstrates daily are a testament to him.

"You can already see the way the young boys are like sponges around him. They're in the first steps of their career and get to share their dressing room with someone like Mark Milligan - what an apprenticeship that is."

The 2020/21 A-League season kicks off on December 27. Macarthur FC will play home games out of Campbelltown Sports Stadium and train at Fairfield Showground.