In August 1984, in a suburb in south-western Sydney, Michael John Jedinak was born, quickly to become known by his nickname: Mile. Six years later, and more than 10,000 miles away in Cardiff, a young boy called Joe was about to kick his first football. In Glasgow, two-year-old James was about to do the same.
There are limited sets of consequences and circumstances that would cause these three to meet – but meet they did. On deadline day in September 2014, the foundations of ‘McJedley’ were laid.
The Crystal Palace trio that was to dominate midfield in south London for two years was, of course, formed of Wales’ Joe Ledley, Scotland’s James McArthur and Australia’s Mile Jedinak.
All three were established internationals. Jedinak made his debut for Australia in 2008, and featured in the 2010 World Cup opener against Germany; his leadership skills at club level soon translated to the national side, and as captain he guided his country to the 2014 tournament in Brazil. He completed a hat-trick of World Cup appearances at Russia 2018.