Fans are being given the opportunity to pick their Hyundai A-League Team of the Season and today it’s the defenders in the spotlight!
We’ve chosen 10 defenders (five fullbacks and five central defenders) who impressed throughout the 2015/16 campaign but it’s up to you to decide who earns a spot in the 'Hyundai A-League Fans Team of the Year'.
And with our 4-3-3 formation – only two central-defenders and two fullbacks can be selected in the starting XI.
To ensure your selection is counted - simply vote in the poll at the bottom of the article!
Dylan McGowan (Adelaide United)
McGowan was very much an unsung hero of the Reds’ double-winning season, but a huge part of the competition’s most miserly defence. The 24-year-old started every game for Guillermo Amor’s men and was immense, making 82 clearances and winning more than 70 percent of duels in the air. He also popped up with a couple of important goals, including the match-sealing third in the Semi Final win over Melbourne City.
Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United)
The versatile Goodwin played both at left-back and further forward this season but it was in defence where we saw his best football. Not only was he a strong contributor going forward (with four goals and four assists) from his deeper role, the defensive side of the 24-year-old’s game went to another level. It’s no surprise Goodwin has been snapped up by Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam and will be playing in the Eredivisie next season.
Josh Risdon (Perth Glory)
The dependable right back had another excellent campaign in the west. At just 23 has matured into a brilliant all-round player and one in which Kenny Lowe has great faith in, handing him the captaincy when Richie Garcia was absent. His ripper season included 121 tackles, 46 crosses, 32 successful dribbles and five assists, earning him a call-up to Ange Postecoglou’s Caltex Socceroos squad for their most recent FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Matthieu Delpierre (Melbourne Victory)
What a shame the classy Frenchman has decided to retire. But he went out still at the top of his game after a stellar campaign for Kevin Muscat’s outfit. The 35-year-old featured in all but two matches, making 91 clearances, 114 interceptions and winning more than 83 percent of tackles contested. His influence on youngsters like Nick Ansell, Jason Geria and Scott Galloway is sure to benefit Victory in years to come as well.
Matt Jurman (Sydney FC)
In a disappointing season for the Sky Blues, Jurman was an undoubted shining light. The no-nonsense centre-back maintained exceptional high standards, even when things weren’t going well for Sydney. The 26-year-old not only developed into a real leader but he led the way in both clearances and interceptions. No surprise he swept the prize pool at the recent Sydney FC awards night too.
Scott Jamieson (Western Sydney Wanderers)
“Jamo’s” decision to re-boot his career in Sydney’s west proved a masterstroke as he enjoyed arguably his best season in the Hyundai A-League. The 27-year-old played almost every minute this season (he was substituted late in the grand final loss to Adelaide) and provided great balance to the Wanderers’ style of play. His stats also make for good reading with four assists, 92 crosses, 38 successful dribbles and 190 ball recoveries.
Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory)
Another youngster that came of age in season 2015/16. The supremely athletic right-back has always had the tools to be a major weapon and he’s now consistently living up to his potential. Geria played 18 games for Victory showing great energy to get up and down the right flank, while his distribution was also impressive with a passing accuracy of more than 80 percent. Also earned his first call-up to the senior national team for March’s World Cup qualifiers.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Western Sydney Wanderers)
The Wanderers skipper was again at his reliable best as the side went within a whisker of winning a maiden A-League title. A captain who leads more so by his actions than words, “Topor’s” performances spoke loudly in 2015/16 as a member of a defence which kept nine clean sheets from 27 regular season games. Individually he made 83 interceptions, 86 clearances and his passing accuracy was 83 percent. At 31, he’s getting better with age.
Alex Grant (Perth Glory)
Kenny Lowe has certainly unearthed a gem in the Manchester born 22-year-old. Not many A-League fans had heard of Grant before he came to Glory but they certainly do now after an eye-catching season in the heart of defence. Showing excellent composure and just the right amount of aggression for someone so young, Grant’s season included 86 clearances, 83 interceptions and one goal in the 6-1 rout of the Jets. By the end of the season he formed a water-tight combination with Shane Lowry which helped Glory make the finals.
Jack Hingert (Brisbane Roar)
In and out of the Roar XI in recent seasons, Hingert was an ever-present under new boss John Aloisi. And the 25-year-old repaid the faith with easily his best season in the A-League. Blessed with scorching speed and endurance, Hingert is the kind of right-back every good side needs and he was a key contributor to Roar’s success in 2015/16. He provided one assist, had 20 successful dribbles but also made 56 tackles to demonstrate his well-rounded game.
Which four defenders would be in your Hyundai A-League team of the season?