From the Premier League to the A-League: A look at Craig Noone’s time Down Under

At his very best, Craig Noone was an opposition’s nightmare on the right-wing. Indeed, when the Kirkby-born midfielder would get the ball and begin to cut in onto his favored and lethal left foot, a sense of panic would rip through the defense, in question. As it would happen, it was normally always too late at this stage given that Noone was moments away from bending a delightful shot into the top corner.

The 33-year-old may not have reached the dizzying heights of European football during his time in the UK, but he did enjoy an exceptionally fruitful spell in the Championship, the first division of English football. Additionally, during his time at Cardiff City, he did get to play in the Premier League and even scored a goal and registered two assists.

Before leaving Bolton Wanderers around two years ago, Noone was as productive as he had ever been and in good form. Therefore, it came as quite a surprise when the Liverpudlian left for Australia in the summer of 2019. The winger then proceeded to put pen to paper on a deal that would keep him at Melbourne City until June 2021, which now, with the benefit of hindsight, turned out to be an astute decision.
The real rewards came last season, however, when Noone won the double with Melbourne City under the management of Patrick Kisnorbo. Those trophies certainly justified Noone’s decision to head Down Under and over the last two seasons, he’s arguably gone on to establish himself as the best player at the club. Incredibly, Noone has scored 14 goals and assisted 17 times in just 52 appearances for Melbourne. Those are elite numbers and when you take into consideration that the Englishman plies his tirade in midfield, albeit an advanced role, they begin to stand out even more.
Interestingly, Noone’s been so successful in Australia that he’s been poached by Melbourne City’s rivals Macarthur Bulls for the upcoming season. It’s an interesting move for him as Melbourne is the team fancied to win the 2021/2022 Grand Final at just +300 in A-League betting whilst Macarthur is at outside odds of +800.

Unsurprisingly, Melbourne now faces the unenviable task of having to find a replacement for the creative Noone and you’d be hard-pressed to say with any degree of certainty that there is a player in the A-League that can do what Noone does.
The feeling is that Kisnorbo will have to look abroad for a player of Noone’s quality just like they did when they convinced him to leave Bolton Wanderers in 2019. Noone’s time in Australia has, however, shown how rewarding a move to the A-League can be, which should inspire others to take the leap.
In many ways, the Englishman’s journey in Australia has given Noone more than what he even expected it would. The 33-year-old has always been the consummate professional and his spell in Australia’s A-League is a fitting way to bring the curtain down on a career that he’s managed to get everything out of.