They told us the Hyundai A-League was football, “but not as we know it”. And they were right. It’s exciting, it’s different, it’s “New Football”. So, perhaps it was no surprise that the FFA chose a trophy for the Grand Final winner that was, well, all of that and more. And in doing so the trophy has generated boundless publicity for itself and the league.

Whatever the debate over the design the Hyundai A-League trophy is a funky twist on traditional trophies such as the English FA Cup, with a base, centrepiece and handles. But it’s the one trophy every Hyundai A-Leaguer has been dreaming about since the finals kicked off.

Last season, FFA ran a competition in conjunction with the Design Institute to find the best trophy. A “Trophy Idol” if you will, with Fox Sports’ Robbie Slater amongst others as a judge.

Five leading edge design houses from around the country made it to the final five. Three designs appeared to be influenced by the World Cup while one looked like a lightsaber from Star Wars with a football on the end. But D3 Design triumphed. The Sydney-based company was looking for something innovative yet historically contextual. “We wanted our trophy concept to embody the historical significance of sport in a contemporary design,” says Clive Solari, principal of D3 Design.

He added that the winning trophy had been based on a modern translation of the traditional Olympic winner’s laurel wreath. “We used the shape and form of the laurel wreath as a basis for a unique, cutting-edge design that differentiates it from conventional trophies in the sport.”

The Full90 recently checked out the trophy at the Hyundai A-League Finals Series launch. There, we took a sneaky hold of it and we can report, it’s one of the heaviest we’ve ever lifted. And up close, the design is quite striking.

The trophy has had its detractors. But like anything different, it was always going to have its critics. However, the trophy design seems to be winning the public over. According to FFA, the winning D3 design “broke the mould with their concept and best captured the ‘New Football’ spirit of the sport in Australia.”

Sydney FC’s Dwight Yorke got his hands on it last year. Which Hyundai A-League captain will be holding aloft this distinctive piece of Aussie sporting history on 18 February this year?

Reproduced from TheFull90 – the official matchday magazine of the Hyundai A-League Get it at the game!