Guest player spot approved for 2016/2017 A-League season

Shinji Ono and Alessandro Del Piero are two of the biggest names to play in the Hyundai A-League.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Staff writer
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today formally approved the introduction of “Full Season Guest Players” for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.

The Full Season Guest Player proposal was approved by the FFA Board today after discussion between FFA Management, Club Chairmen, broadcasters and major stakeholders as part of the evolution of the Hyundai A-League leading into the 2016/17 season.

The Full Season Guest Player spot will be available for all 10 clubs over and above the current two marquee spots on the Player Roster and is part of FFA’s earlier decision to set aside significant financial investment to assist with bringing big-name marquee players to the competition.

“The Full Season Guest Player opens the door for clubs to attract high profile players that not only bring talent and exposure to their market but the entire competition,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.

“This is a sign that we are serious about making the Hyundai A-League an exciting competition for our fans and an attractive proposition for high profile players to play their club football.

“As the Hyundai A-League has grown, the standard of play has dramatically improved and we believe the creation of this extra marquee position will allow for continued growth in performance but also marketability and visibility.

“We have taken input from all stakeholders across the Hyundai A-League landscape and we were unanimous in our belief that this will help grow the competition.”

Hyundai A-League clubs will receive financial assistance as part of a marketing agreement if they attract players who satisfy strict FFA criteria built around broad appeal of the entire competition. The Full Season Guest Player must fit within the maximum Player Roster of 23.

“To satisfy the Full Season Guest Player criteria players must pass stringent marketability tests to ensure the club is not only signing a quality player who can add to on field performance but they will become pivotal to the marketing of the Hyundai A-League,” Gallop said.

“It is no secret that clubs and FFA have been in discussions around this concept and players who may fit the criteria but this change to the competition regulations opens the door for all clubs to have equal opportunity to take advantage of the Full Season Guest Player spot.”

The FFA Board also approved a proposal from Melbourne City Football Club to refresh its brand and primary colours for the 2017/18 season to align with its global strategy under the City Football Group.

The decision was taken as part of the FFA’s united brand refresh for the Hyundai A-League and all 10 clubs, that will see the Hyundai A-League and the clubs start the 2017/18 season with a new look to signify the evolution and strength of the competition.

“The Hyundai A-League will undergo a brand refresh process as part of the 2016/19 strategy and FFA is encouraging clubs to collaborate with that process and consider their own brands,” Gallop said. “As a result, a number of clubs have indicated they will undergo some changes.

“FFA received a submission from Melbourne City and after two seasons of operating with a hybrid brand the change has been approved. The City Football Group has shown they are serious about their long term commitment to the Hyundai A-League and this will allow Melbourne City to grow in line with the global brand strategy of the City Football Group.

“The Board noted previous concerns raised by Sydney FC but felt that things have evolved since that time and with the increasing maturity of the Hyundai A-League, the strength of Sydney FC’s ‘Sky Blue’ brand and the many uses of light blue throughout previous and current Hyundai A-League playing strips it is now appropriate to allow for the full integration of the City Football Group’s playing strip colours. As part of the decision, Sydney FC will retain exclusivity of its ‘Sky Blue’ brand as Melbourne City adopts the ‘City Blue’ colours.”


Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League’s cult heroes-Shinji Ono

Shinji Ono – Not much needs to be said about the Japanese legend. Ono is a club legend at the Wanderers and much-loved by all fans for two memorable years in Sydney’s west.


Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League team of the last 10 seasons – Shinji Ono

Shinji Ono: ‘The Genius’ was a real fan favourite in his two seasons at the Wanderers. Technically superb, Ono’s technique and class will never be forgotten.

Football Federation Australia

Shinji Ono: J-League can learn from Hyundai A-League

Shinji Ono has opened up about his time in the Hyundai A-League, saying the intensity of training and desire of Australian players is something other nations can learn from.

The playmaker scored 11 goals in 57 appearances in all competitions, helping the Wanderers to successive A-League grand finals, plus playing a key role in the team’s run to the AFC Champions League quarter-finals.

Despite that Western Sydney decided to let the 35-year-old former Japan international go at the end of last season with Ono returning to his homeland to play with Consadole Sapporo in the J.League 2.

Sign up to the official fantasy football game of the Hyundai A-League and select your 15-player squad now!

But Ono doesn’t seem to hold a grudge, describing Australia as the “best place” he has ever lived in this exclusive interview with Japan-based freelancer – and former Goal employee – Cesare Polenghi.

Cesare Polenghi – Since you were young, you were nicknamed “Tensai” (‘Genius’ in Japanese). How do you feel about that?

Shinji Ono – I’m not so sure myself. It is a bit odd but it never bothered me, to be honest. I am of course pleased to be addressed as genius but I don’t necessarily think I am one.

CP – A couple of years ago Wesley Sneijder told me once he really hated to have to play against you when he was at Ajax and you at Feyenoord.

SO – (chuckles)

CP – In Australia as well, both supporters and journalists treated you like a very special player. Seems to me you have some sort of aura…

SO – Well in Australia it wasn’t only me. It was the whole [Western Sydney Wanderers] team and the manager [Tony Popovic]. We did great and look at what’s happening now in the AFC Champions League. It was great.

CP – By the way, I really wanted to ask you, how did you end up in Australia?

SO – Popovic invited me.

CP – You joined the A-League when Alessandro Del Piero and Emily Heskey also did but, seems to me, you were the one who got the highest ratings, in the end…

SO – Again, I don’t think it was about me only but about the team. We did well and that’s why we got rated highly.

CP – Weren’t you at least a bit worried about joining Western Sydney? After all they were brand new team, founded just a few days before they signed you?

SO – My real worry was about myself. I hadn’t played much in the months before joining Western Sydney, so I was concerned about being up to the task. But it was a great environment and great people, so it was really easy to fit in from the beginning.

CP – How was it for an Asian player to be with an Australian team?

SO – I never felt I was looked at as an ‘Asian’. Australia is a mult-iethnic society. I never felt different. I was just one of the players of the team and I knew that doing my best was all I needed to be accepted.

CP – Speaking of differences between Asian leagues, we might agree that in general the J.League is more technical and the A-League is more physical. But is that all?

SO – To begin with the players in Australia are very tough mentally. And compared to Japanese players, they are training much, much harder.

CP  – I believe that in Japan, the whole J.League is as a big family, and there is great harmony between the players, the fans and the whole football environment. Is it the same in Australia?

SO – Well, for sure Western Sydney are like a family. In general, there is rivalry between clubs but it is not extreme, and like in Japan, supporters cheer for their team even if they don’t win.

CP – What I am trying to understand is why Australian teams, especially Western Sydney, fought so much better than the Japanese teams in the AFC Champions League…

SO – I am not sure of what the reason is but as I said Australian teams train very hard, produce  a great effort. When they achieve good results, they then become more confident as well.

CP – I also have the feeling that some Japanese players do not necessarily pay much attention to their diet, their sleeping patterns…of course they train hard but I am not sure they are well-rounded athletes when compared to European players, or even Australians…

SO – Well, I really think that depends on the individual player. Some are working very hard, while some others aren’t. There are many different people, you know… In general I don’t think it is good when everybody acts the same.

CP – In this season’s AFC Champions League you had the chance to play against two Japanese teams.

SO – Personally, I was very happy to play against Kawasaki Frontale and Sanfrecce Hiroshima. It was a good way to measure the level of Western Sydney. In general, people thing that the J.League is superior to the A-League but…

CP – Well, they used to think so (laughs).

SO – (laughs)…right, and it was great that we could win. I am glad we forced everybody to change their minds.

CP – What can the J.League learn from the A-League?

SO – The intensity. Australian players will try to win every 50-50 ball. They have a huge desire to win. Your always get plenty of intensity in the A-League.

CP – Do you believe that comes from the Australian sport culture?

SO – Well, at Western Sydney it was because of our manager. Popovic is the kind of person who to always wants to win and hates to lose.

CP – And what about everyday life in Australia?

SO – I have lived in Japan and Europe as well but so far Australia is really the best place I have ever lived. I loved the environment, the clean air, the nature. People were very nice as well and I had no problems with food whatsoever.

CP – What about the language?

SO – I think that since I moved there, I have improved quite a bit. I believe that if you relocate to a foreign country you must learn the language and interact with the people. It is good that, for example, that today some Japanese players can even speak Italian and other foreign languages…

CP – So Australia was overall a great experience?

SO – Indeed.

CP – And why did you decide to come back to Japan then?

SO – I am not sure. To be honest I did not get an offer to extend my contract in Australia and the chance to join Consadole Sapporo came at a good time.

CP – How is your impression of Japanese football, upon returning?

SO – Though I play in the second division, I really believe that the level has improved a lot.

CP – How different is from when you started playing in Japan, some 15 years ago?

SO – Very different. Back in the day there were many quality players but football in Japan in general is now much better organised.

CP – When you were a young player at Urawa Red Diamonds in the J.League, there were plenty of big names from overseas. Now just a couple at Cerezo Osaka. What do you think about this?

SO – Well, the past is the past and thougj it was great to have many top foreign players, times have changed and Japanese footballers have improved and are now very popular in Europe as well. I think we are at a point when there are cases of foreign players actually learning something from Japanese players.

CP – So much that all the best Japanese players are emigrating to Europe. This is great for Japanese football in general and for the national team but don’t you feel that this impoverishes the J.League? It has become a ‘feeding-league’ a bit like Brazil and Argentina. All the best leave…

SO – For the league it is of course a huge minus and our local stars are badly missed but, in general, it is a good thing for Japanese football. Anyway, let me add that what matters is not only to go abroad but to be successful there!

CP – What do you think about your former club Urawa Reds?

SO – Petrovic brought over many players from his ex-team Sanfrecce Hiroshima. To tell the truth, I feel a bit as if the ‘true’ Reds are not there anymore. But they are a good team, with several good players, and now they’re on top of the table. Still, if you ask me about playing style, rather than Reds I really like how Kawasaki Frontale play nowadays.

CP – Any player in Japan you really like? Who could be the next Shinji Ono?

SO – (laughs) Never mind the next Ono… I really like FC Tokyo’s (Yoshinori) Muto, he is a very good player.

CP – Genki Haraguchi, just like you, grew up at Reds and this summer he left for Europe. Will he be OK?

SO – He is also a very good player and while he faces a difficult task, he can do very well at Hertha Berlin.

CP – Let’s talk about the Japanese national team. New manager, new players…

SO – Sure, this is the period when everybody feels they have a chance. If you do well, you might get called. This is great for the players. There are also many new faces, though that is no surprise…I really hope they do well.

CP – What did Japan need at the World Cup but could not achieve?

SO – Results.

CP – (laughs) Indeed

SO – With so many good players, they couldn’t produce results.

CP – I feel Japan still lacks world class strikers and center-backs. It might be a size problem as well…

SO – Maybe but I am not sure. In the end, you can score goals anyway, but in general, at that level it is not easy.

CP – Speaking of challenges, how is Stefano Lilipaly doing here at Consadole?

SO – He is a really serious professional and always does very well in friendly games. He still hasn’t got a chance to debut with the top team but he is always very dedicated. This is something even the Japanese players can learn from. And as a person as well, he is really nice, we speak in English, we’re good buddies…

CP – To wrap it up, what are your plans for the future?

SO – I have two years of contract with Consadole Sapporo but I really like it here and I hope to stay longer.

CP – What about after retirement? Any plan to coach…?

SO – Honestly, I have no idea, I haven’t thought about it yet!

Sign up to the official fantasy football game of the Hyundai A-League and select your 15-player squad now! It’s completely free to register and you could win the ultimate Grand Final experience.


Source : Football Federation Australia

Western Sydney Wanderers confirm string of player departures

Michael Beauchamp won't be at the Wanderers next season after being released by the club.

Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed a number of the club’s foundation players will not have their contracts renewed for next season.
Foundation captain Michael Beauchamp, Shinji Ono, Youssouf Hersi, Jerome Polenz, Adam D’Apuzzo, Jerrad Tyson, Aaron Mooy, Tahj Minniecon, Dean Heffernan and Josh Barresi have all parted company with the Wanderers following the conclusion of their contracts.
Ono, Mooy and Hersi have already signed with new clubs for next year but the axing of club captain Michael Beauchamp signals Tony Popovic’s intention to overhaul the Wanderers squad for next season.
Despite his disappointment, Beauchamp paid tribute to the Club and the fans for their support   throughout his stint at Parramatta Stadium.
“It has been an honour leading the boys out there every week and it’s been an honour coming to train here with the team week in week out,” said Beauchamp.
“We’ve shown in two years the level that we can take football to here in Australia, not only on the park but off the park with the community work, with the fans, with the RBB.
“For me it’s been an honour to represent this Club and I’d like to thank the fans and thesupporters.”
Consistent performers Adam D’Apuzzo and Jerome Polenz have surprisingly not been offered new contracts but will certainly attract interest from rival A-League clubs.
D’Apuzzo reignited his career at the Wanderers after spending a year out of the game and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity the club afforded him.
“The Wanderers would definitely be the highlight of my career. The way this Club is in terms of the fans, the setup, the group of boys, the staff it just makes everything we did just seem better than anything I’ve ever done in my career,” said D’Apuzzo.
“The fans here are second to none, even growing up watching football overseas I guess you see their crowds, but I don’t think they have the connection that we have with our fans.”
Utility Dean Heffernan announced his retirement, while little used reserves Jerrad Tyson, Tahj Minniecon and Josh Barresi have been told their services are no longer required by the club.
Western Sydney Wanderers Hyundai A-League squad for 2014/15: 1. Ante Covic, 2. Shannon Cole, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 7. Labinot Haliti, 8. Mateo Poljak, 9. Tomi Juric, 11. Brendon Santalab, 13. Matthew Spiranovic, 14. Kwabena Appiah, 15. Yianni Perkatis, 18. Iacopo La Rocca, 19. Mark Bridge, 23. Jason Trifiro, 31. Alusine Fofanah, 32. Daniel Alessi, 33. Daniel Mullen, 34. Golgol Mebrahtu
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Source : Football Federation Australia

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 x 0 Sanfrecce Hiroshima

May 14, 2014 – 9:47PM

Adrian Warren

File:Western Sydney Wanderers FC.png

2 x 0


Shinji Ono gave the Western Sydney Wanderers something special to remember him by as he orchestrated the 2-0 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima that carried the A-League club into the Asian Champions League quarter-finals.

The Japanese playmaker, who is returning home after two seasons with the Wanderers, set up both second half goals, as they got the scoreline they needed following a 3-1 first leg loss last week.

Substitute Shannon Cole lashed the ball home from near the penalty spot in the 55th minute, after Sanfrecce failed to properly clear an Ono cross.

The Japanese maestro and man of the match then supplied an 85th minute cross that was lashed home by Brendon Santalab.

The goal levelled the tie at 3-3, with the Wanderers advancing to the quarter-finals on away goals.

The Wanderers survived a couple of nervy moments near their own goal in the closing minutes, but held out to book their spot in August’s quarter- finals.

Coach Tony Popovic made five changes to the side that started last week’s game with Ono and another departing favourite, winger Youssouf Hersi, among the inclusions

Ono and Hersi did everything they could to try and and prise open the obdurate Sanfrecce defence and were responsible for most of their team’s brightest first half moments.

Ono fired just wide from outside the box, had a free kick blocked and set up Hersi, who scooped the ball over from close range.

Sanfrecce occasionally looked threatening on the counter attack, though they didn’t create many clear cut chances.

The Wanderers started the second half with urgency, with Labinot Haliti having two shots blocked and Iacopo La Rocca another, in just a handful of seconds, while an unmarked La Rocca headed over from an Ono corner.

Cole scored within three minutes of replacing Antony Golec.

Fellow substitute Tomi Juric shot just over the bar in the 76th minute and his acrobatic cross was somehow headed wide by Hersi from just a couple of metres out, as Wanderers pied the deep lying Sanfrecce back in their own half for much of the last 35 minutes.

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Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

Shinji Ono’s dream for a perfect finish

April 25, 2014 – 9:20PM

Sebastian Hassett

Football reporter

Once more from the top: Shinji Ono wants to sign off from the Wanderers with an A-League championship.

Once more from the top: Shinji Ono wants to sign off from the Wanderers with an A-League championshipPhoto: Getty Images

While the muddied status of Alessandro Del Piero makes it impossible to know whether to say goodbye or hello, the Shinji Ono farewell tour is making for a story with a much happier ending.

It is also a tour that keeps getting extended, playing to sell-out houses at Parramatta Stadium where the fans delight in calling for an encore.

Three weeks ago, Ono was given a beautiful send-off against Brisbane Roar, with fireworks, face masks and an enormous banner written in Japanese.

A top-two finish meant Saturday night’s match against Central Coast would allow him a semi-final at Parramatta Stadium before the adoring throng; now the Wanderers’ progress in the Asian Champions League means they get to keep him a little longer.

Ono’s final farewell will actually be on May 14, the second leg of the round of 16 clash against, quite fittingly, the Japanese champions, Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Even though Ono is set to join a second division side, Consadole Sapporo, few could question his ability to still cut it with the continent’s very best, which he demonstrated in grand style on Tuesday, scoring a long-range bullet against Guizhou Renhe.

“It was a big goal but I think I was really lucky,” Ono says with customary Japanese modesty. “There were many players around the box, inside the box, and none of them touched it before it came to me. Then I just hit it.”

That goal sent the crowd more than a little crazy as they savour every last drop of his brilliance.

It is unsurprising to learn that, more than anything else, Ono will miss those fans most of all.

“The noise and the fans, it is something amazing,” he gestures, pointing around Parramatta Stadium. “I will miss this place so much. It has been one of the best moments of my career.”

That’s not a bad rap considering Ono’s status in Asian football is close to the summit, within touching distance of the likes of Hidetoshi Nakata, Hong Myung-bo and Ali Daei.

But Ono admits that when he came to the Wanderers, things looked grim. He’d just turned 33, had been dumped by his hometown club, Shimizu S-Pulse, and was coming to a club which had never kicked a competitive ball. He arrived barely five days before their first-ever match.

“If I didn’t come here for the Wanderers’ first season, my football career would be almost finished,” he said. “But when I came here, my career began to ‘live’ again. I learned so much. Not just about football, but about life, about culture, about friends, about teammates. I am very happy to have this.”

Now Ono wouldn’t hesitate to suggest other Japanese players make the trip to the A-League, especially if they want to use it as a stepping stone for bigger things.

“I would say to any player, yes, you should come, definitely,” he said. “There’s many Japanese players who want to play overseas and I can say this league has enough quality. Australia is a great first step for players who want to then go to another country.”

Ono’s first season in particular was littered with highlights, none better than the outrageous chip over Brisbane goalkeeper Michael Theo, a feat he’d like to repeat at the same stage of the finals this season.

“Well, I like to play in big games,” he grins, joyfully recalling the moment. “And that was a really big game. That night I wanted to show everyone my qualities, my potential, by doing something special.”

But are there any lingering scars about losing to the Mariners a week later, ones that could haunt the Wanderers this weekend?

“Actually, I forget about last season and I don’t want to think about the past,” Ono said. “We finished first last season, which was an achievement, but didn’t win. This season, we’re second, so we’ve achieved nothing. Now I want to achieve in the grand final.”

While the Wanderers are established as a domestic power, their Asian success has been achieved in spite of massive rotations from coach Tony Popovic. Ono says it was foolish of anyone to doubt his boss.

“I knew we were a good team so I’m not surprised we made it past the group stage. I’ve been here two seasons and played with these players and everyone improved so much,” Ono said. “I believe in them, every one of them. We all follow the coach and he believes in us. There is so much trust in our group.”

It’s difficult not to cast an eye to the future, however, with Ono’s next stop at Sapporo likely to be his last in a spectacular career.

“I have a 2½-year contract, which for me is very good deal,” he says, hinting it will secure his financial future. “But I’m not thinking about leaving this club. To be honest, I still love playing for the Wanderers and I want to give 100 per cent for this club.

“For them, I’ll never cheat. I’ll never be lazy. And when I’m gone, I will never forget about the Wanderers.”

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

Western Sydney Wanderers will pay tribute to Shinji Ono at final home game

April 4, 2014

Dominic Bossi

Sports reporter

Premiers: Western Sydney Wanderers' Shinji Ono celebrates.

Hugely popular: Western Sydney Wanderers’ Shinji Ono. Photo: Getty Images

Shinji Ono will play his final home game for Western Sydney Wanderers in the regular A-League season on Saturday night against Brisbane Roar and will be honoured with a stadium-wide tribute in the 21st minute of the match.

A giant visual display combined with more than 5000 Shinji Ono masks have been distributed to attendees at the game to bid the Wanderers inaugural marquee a fond farewell before he returns to his native Japan to join J-League 2 side Consadole Sapporo next season.

The attacking midfielder started in the Wanderers 2-1 midweek loss to Kawasaki Frontale in the Asian Champions League but has a chance to retain his position in the starting line-up to combat the congested schedule.

“He’s a special player and has been for us since he’s been here. He’s looking forward to this game as we all are, it’s a big game, they’ve wrapped up the Premiers Plate and deservingly so,” coach Tony Popovic said. “I’m sure he will be received very well, he’s looking forward to a big crowd here at home. He’s regularly acknowledged at our crowd and I’m sure they’ll acknowledge him tomorrow night and hopefully we get the three points as well.”

The Roar will be without their main striker Besart Berisha who is suspended after receiving his third dismissal of the season last week and will likely be replaced by Brazilian forward Henrique at the pointy end of their attack. Despite the absence of the Albanian forward, Popovic doesn’t expect Brisbane‘s attack to suffer as a result.

“They’ve obviously shown that when he hasn’t played, they can still win games because they have a very good squad. I’m sure that whoever they will put in there will do a good job,” Popovic said.

The Wanderers are yet to beat Brisbane Roar this season, but midfielder Mateo Poljak says their main motivation is securing second spot rather than making a statement at the expense of the newly-crowned premiers. Given the midweek games as part of the Asian ChampionsLeague, the week’s rest awarded to second spot will be a welcome respite for the travel weary Wanderers.

“We want to show that last year’s success was not coincidence and we want to stay in the top in the A-League and play regularly in the ACL,” Poljak said.


Source : Football Federation Australia

Team of the Week | Round 22

Monday, 10 March 2014 6:11 PM

Team of the Week | Round 22

The Sky Blues won an epic Sydney derby, while Adam Taggart shot ahead in the Golden Boot race. Here’s our strongest XI from the weekend’s ME Bank Fairer Play Round.

Goalkeeper and Player of the Week:

Vedran Janjetovic (Sydney FC): The Sky Blues gloveman was the hero in the Sydney derby with his penalty save proving to be the turning point of this epic encounter. Janjetovic baited former teammate Mark Bridge as to where his spot kick was going and his prediction proved correct as he parried the shot. The goalkeeper was kept busy all night making six further saves at a sold-out Allianz Stadium to see his side move to within one win of their cross-town rivals.


Josh Brillante (Newcastle Jets): The Jets defender has been deployed in a more attacking role in recent weeks and the move certainly paid dividends against the Heart, with Brillante setting up what proved to be the decisive goal. While his long locks might have been missing his first touch certainly wasn’t when he was able to get the better of his defender and fire in a pin-point cross for Taggart to fire home. The 20-year-old has been a standout for the Jets in recent weeks which has seen his nominated for the Young Footballer of the Year award.

William Gallas (Perth Glory): The Glory marquee turned back the clock when he opened the scoring at Westpac Stadium. The former French international intercepted possession near halfway before playing the ball forward and making an incisive run down field. The ball came back to Gallas who was able to bend a left-footed shot into the far corner from outside the box. The former Premier League may yet to be part of a Glory win but this contribution demonstrated his quality and was a far-cry from last week’s gaffe.

Sasa Ognenovski (Sydney FC): The Og-monster was a standout in a heated Sydney derby and his cool head helped turn the tide in the Sky Blues favour, particularly when he assumed the captaincy. It’s no coincidence that Sydney have turned around their defensive frailties since Ognenovski has joined the club. If he is able to consistently turn out performances like this, he will surely put himself in the Socceroos reckoning for the World Cup and be a chance to add to his 22 international caps.

Michael Boxall (Wellingon Phoenix): The Phoenix defender was at his industrious best in the draw against the Glory to help his side stay in touching distance of a congested finals race. Boxall produced eight clearances, blocked a goal-bound shot and had a 100 per cent tackle efficiency. The defensive effort from Wellington as a collective was a vast improvement on the debacle they experienced against the Reds but they need to carry this form on the road with 3 of their next four games away from the Cake Tin.



Jimmy Jeggo (Melbourne Victory): The Victory wideman was handed a rare start by Kevin Muscat and certainly made the most of his opportunity, netting the opening goal of the round just after the half hour mark against the Mariners. Jeggo received the ball on the edge of the box, then took a touch to beat his man and fired through a crowded penalty area into the far corner of the net. The goal was just his second for the club and with Victory having a busy schedule coming up is no doubt one that will be hopeful of more game time.

Ruben Zadkovich (Newcastle Jets): While you could’ve been forgiven for thinking the Jets had ten Zadkovich’s running around Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon, it was not entirely from the huge work rate of the Jets skipper. The Newcastle squad had all shaved their heads in the name of cancer and while he may have had a few look-a-likes Zadkovich was still a standout. He man-marked Heart linchpin Orlando Engeelar out of the game and had some tidy contributions of his own in attack to help his side arrest their poor home form this season.

Shinji Ono (Western Sydney Wanderers): Possibly playing in his last Sydney derby if the two sides do not meet in the finals, Ono put in a performance he can be proud of, even if the result didn’t go his side’s way. The Wanderers marquee got the Red and Black half of Allianz Stadium on their feet early in the second half when he was able to volley home from close range after Sydney were unable to deal with a Mark Bridge cross. The Japanese veteran had Western Sydney on top for much of the opening hour but not even his wizardry could combat a couple of bad defensive errors from his teammates.


Besart Berisha (Brisbane Roar): The Roar frontman helped fire Brisbane to a ten-point lead at the league’s summit with a goal in each half ensuring his side picked up maximum points against Adelaide. While the Reds dominated early possession at the Albanian showed his worth when he finished off a well-worked team goal on 21 minutes to give his team the ascendency. He took his tally to ten for the season when he cracked a sensational goal from distance to snuff out Adelaide’s resistance.

Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets): The Jets frontman skipped ahead of the chasing pack in the race for the golden boot when he notched his eleventh of the season to give Newcastle a much-needed home win. The 20-year-old was able to get goal side of his defender and latched onto a Brillante cross to fire in what turned out to be the solitary goal of the game against the Heart. Taggart’s efforts had coach Clayton Zane spruiking his World Cup chances and if he continues to find the back of the net he may very well find himself on the plane to Brazil at season’s end.


Source : Football Federation Australia

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