The ‘experts’ have picked their Hyundai A-League Team of the Season – now it’s your turn!
We’re giving fans the chance to have their say on which players they believe were the standouts from an enthralling Season 12.
First up, the men between the sticks – the goalkeepers.
We’ve chosen six shot-stoppers who impressed throughout the 2016/17 campaign but it’s completely up to you to decide who earns a spot in the ‘Hyundai A-League Fans Team of the Year’.
You can submit your vote at the bottom of the page
Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United)
You could go back nearly a decade and Adelaide United’s talismanic goalkeeper would be on this shortlist every season. At 35 years old he remains one of the best in the business and despite a difficult campaign for the Reds, his standards remained high every time he pulled on his beloved Adelaide United #1 jersey. Among his season highlights were two penalty saves and if 2016/17 is to be his last in South Australia, he can leave safe in the knowledge he’s done everything in his power to keep their goal intact in every one of his 227 Hyundai A-League games for the club.
Paul Izzo (Central Coast Mariners)
The latest goalkeeper to emerge from the Central Coast region, Izzo took the first steps along the path travelled by Danny Vukovic and Mat Ryan, earning justified plaudits for his excellent performances for an under-pressure Mariners side this season. The 22-year old looked every inch a future international, making 92 saves in total and repelling three-quarters of the shots he faced. Another illustration of his proficiency is that when he didn’t play, the Mariners leaked more than three goals a game, while Izzo conceded just 1.5 goals per match.
Michael Theo (Brisbane Roar)
After two injury-ravaged seasons, Theo reclaimed Roar’s number one jersey and was as impressive as ever in his eleventh Hyundai A-League season. He conceded just 34 goals in 24 games and despite making fewer saves than some of his contemporaries, his penalty area management was a major strength as he collected (or punched) crosses effectively and confidently. Injury struck again in week one of the finals, but not before Theo had again proven himself to be one of the best stoppers in the competition.
Lawrence Thomas (Melbourne Victory)
No-one made more saves in 2016/17 than the Melbourne Victory goalkeeper. His other stats were impressive too, with a 74.8% save percentage and eight clean sheets, both second only to Sydney FC’s Danny Vukovic. His distribution was among the best in the Hyundai A-League, engendering confidence in his defenders who had no hesitation in playing the ball back to their goalkeeper in tight situations. Thomas revelled in the chance to finally be the club’s first-choice number one, playing all but one game this season, having featured just 21 times in the previous five years.
Liam Reddy (Perth Glory)
Life with Liam Reddy between the sticks is never boring! One of the enduring images of the 2016/17 season will be the Perth custodian dribbling the ball towards the halfway line in Glory’s last home game, before suffering the ignominy of being dispossessed and allowing Melbourne City to score. That one moment of madness shouldn’t mask the consistently high standard of goalkeeping Reddy brought to his seventh A-League club, with the unquestionable highlight his two penalty saves from Melbourne City skipper Bruno Fornaroli in the 3-3 draw at AAMI Park in round 12.
Danny Vukovic (Sydney FC)
By sheer weight of numbers, ‘Vuka’ presents a fairly compelling case. He conceded just 13 goals in 28 games, keeping an astonishing 16 clean sheets. While he was undoubtedly assisted by the best defence in the competition, he also had the highest save percentage in the Hyundai A-League, stopping 85.2% of the efforts fired his way. It was a wonderful season for the competition’s all-time leading appearance maker, who finally got his very safe pair of hands on a championship medal at the fourth attempt.