With the Hyundai A-League season fast approaching, we take a look at some contenders for the competition’s highest individual honour, the Johnny Warren Medal.
Can Diego Castro claim back-to-back honours or will another player break out and produce the goods to join the likes of Broich, Carle, Flores and Griffiths as winners of the award?
Diego Castro (Perth Glory)
Castro produced an incredible run of form to claim last year’s medal after a stellar debut campaign in the west which included 13 goals, four assists and so many magical moments.
And the Spaniard should be even better this season which is not only a scary thought for opposition defences but gives him a shot at being the first Hyundai A-League player to go back-to-back to win this award.
Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City)
When you’re as good as this guy is and score as many goals as he can, it’s no surprise the Uruguayan is a genuine contender for the Johnny Warren Medal.
Fornaroli took the league by storm last season, scoring a record 25 goals in just 29 games. With no Aaron Mooy and Harry Novillo at City this season to possibly steal some of his votes, ‘El Tuna’ could be the man – especially if City can go all the way.
Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory)
Rojas took out the award in his last stint with Victory back in 2012/13 and is one of only three players left in the Hyundai A-League who has won it before.
The Kiwi international has everything, pace, trickery and the ability to find the back of the net regularly. If he can immediately settle back into Victory’s set up, he could join Thomas Broich as the only player in the Hyundai A-League to claim the award twice.
Bobo (Sydney FC)
A proven goal-scorer in both Turkey and Brazil, the Sky Blues’ marquee striker could be a smash hit in the Hyundai A-League.
No Brazilian has ever won the medal in the A-League but if Bobo can score a stack of goals and help Sydney FC secure some silverware, then maybe this will be the year.
Mitch Nichols (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Nichols is coming off arguably had his best season in the Hyundai League in 2015/16, showing remarkable consistency and quality in his first year under Tony Popovic at Wanderland.
If the 27-year-old can continue on that upward trajectory this campaign, the Wanderers won’t only be fighting for the title again but Nichols will be well in the mix for the top individual gong as well.
Brett Holman (Brisbane Roar)
After 14 years playing in Holland, England and the Middle East, it will be interesting to see just what kind of impact the 32-year-old will have in the Hyundai A-League.
Holman is a goal-scoring midfielder who is a genuine match-winner on his day, and in Roar’s free-flowing attacking style he might just prove to be the signing of the season a big shot at the medal.
Kosta Barbarouses (Wellington Phoenix)
If his pre-season form is anything to go by, Barbarouses is in for a bumper campaign for the Phoenix.
His smart runs, lightning speed and crossing ability makes him a nightmare for defenders and if he can add a few more goals to his artillery under Ernie Merrick, Barbarouses picking up the medal isn’t out of the question.