Friday, 12 May 2017 –
We’ve chosen 10 defenders (five fullbacks and five central defenders) who impressed throughout the 2016/17 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!
You can submit your vote at the bottom of the page
Alex Wilkinson (Sydney FC)
The ultra-consistent stopper was a rock at the back for the Sky Blues all season and was a big reason why Graham Arnold’s side conceded a league-low 12 goals for the campaign. The 32-year-old Socceroo played all 29 matches for Sydney this season and led the way with a staggering 145 clearances. He won almost 90% of his tackles and 75% of duels in the air, while his passing percentage was an impressive 83%.
Alan Baro (Melbourne Victory)
Charged with the task of replacing the classy Mathieu Delpierre, Baro took a while to adjust to the A-League before establishing himself as one of the most reliable defenders in the competition. A no-nonsense centre-back, Baro played 26 matches for Victory throughout the season and ranked third in the competition for clearances (148) behind only Dino Djulbic (149) and Jade North (150).
Michael Jakobsen (Melbourne City)
While injury restricted him to just 17 games for the campaign, Jakobsen oozed class when he was on the field and quite simply City were a different team when he was involved. The Dane’s composure on the ball and ability to shut down attacks were a real asset for City, with an impressive 86.3% passing accuracy highlighting his quality. He topped City’s clearance count with 78 and he won almost 77% of his tackles.
Luke DeVere (Brisbane Roar)
After missing much of last season through injury, DeVere enjoyed a fabulous 2016/17 season with the Roar and guided them to within a game of the Grand Final. He made 25 appearances in total, winning almost 80% of his tackles and enjoyed a passing accuracy of 84.4%. His stoppage time equaliser to snatch a point against Victory in the opening round was one of the highlights of the season.
Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix)
In a team which disappointed throughout the campaign, Durante was one of the few Phoenix players to perform throughout the season. The experienced defender was a real leader for the Kiwi outfit at the back and developed a solid partnership with Italian import Marco Rossi. Made 22 appearances for the Nix throughout the campaign and topped the club’s clearance chart with 123.
Michael Zullo (Sydney FC)
A superb athlete, Zullo flourished under Graham Arnold this season with his ability to bomb forward and deliver balls into the area a real feature of his play. The fullback made 28 appearances throughout the season and led the way with a team high 116 crosses, including 4 assists.
Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC)
Took his game to another level this season at Sydney FC with his incredible aerobic capacity making him a huge asset in both attack and defence. The 26-year-old contributed an impressive 3 goals and five assists for the campaign, and he won nearly 78% of his tackles. Was rewarded for his impressive form with a call-up for the Socceroos’ World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and UAE in March.
Jack Clisby (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Moved to Sydney from City in the off-season and the switch proved fruitful, with the fullback flourishing at Spotless Stadium under Tony Popovic. A vastly improved engine helped Clisby develop his attacking output with the 25-year-old notching three assists for the Red and Black. The defender led the way for his team with 79 crosses and ranked third in clearances in his 25 matches.
Josh Risdon (Perth Glory)
In a defence which was continually changed throughout the season due to injury, Risdon was a constant on the right flank for Kenny Lowe’s men. The 24-year-old played 26 matches for the campaign and recorded more than 1000 passes, more than any other Glory player. His five assists were second to only Chris Harold (8) and Diego Castro (7) while he was second in clearances (95) behind Dino Djulbic.
Jack Hingert (Brisbane Roar)
The energetic fullback played 25 matches throughout the campaign and was one of the Roar’s most consistent players. The 26-year-old’s tackle efficiency of 84.2% was the best of any Brisbane player with his ability to get forward and overlap a real weapon. A vastly underrated player.
Source : Football Federation Australia