The end of the season always calls for reflection and here, tribalfootball.com have come up with their best squad from the 2008/09 A-League season.
The tribalfootball A-League Team of the Year has a 4-3-3 formation with four subs and is as follows:
Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United)
Undoubtedly the best goalkeeper this season and would be chosen in most Team of the Year selections. The most clean sheets and the least amount of goals conceded. A must for this season’s team.
Scott Jamieson (Adelaide United)
Had a stellar season at left-back for the Reds after returning home from England with the Bolton Wanderers. The 20-year old was brilliant balancing defensive duties with attacking runs and was a major reason for Adelaide’s successful season.
Sasa Ognenovski (Adelaide United)
The best ‘big man’ in the league this season. Was a rock in central defence and made Galekovic’s job a little easier. Off to Korea now and will leave a gaping hole in the backline of the runners-up.
Craig Moore (Queensland Roar)
Defied almost everything that could have bought him down to be the leader and stopper the Roar needed. Made a big impression for his country and was probably the second-best defender behind Ognenovski for the season.
Kevin Muscat (Melbourne Victory)
Although he did not play at right-back, he could quite easily. Controlled games at will and led the Victory to their second championship title. Hard as nails and super calm on the big stage, him and Moore would create nightmares for opposing forwards.
Mile Jedinak (Central Coast Mariners)
Jedinak takes up the defensive midfield position in the largely attacking team. Was brilliant for the Mariners and when he moved to Turkey just after New Year’s, the midfield fell away dramatically.
Carlos Hernandez (Melbourne Victory)
The Costa Rican was so important for the Victory in their title winning season. Provides so much for the attackers in his side and 4 goals and 6 assists is a big contribution. Often ‘tagged’ by opposing coaches who saw it fit to provide Hernandez with a minder in most matches.
Charlie Miller (Queensland Roar)
The inaugural Foreign Player of the Year, Miller was a revelation for the Roar. Scored 7 goals despite missing matches due to injury. The Scotsman is staying around the A-League and expect him to be even better next season.
Eugene Dadi (Perth Glory)
Skill, poise, flair and a knack for scoring goals. The Ivorian was a stand-out over in the west and became one half of a dangerous duo with Nikita Rukavytsya. Scored 10 goals in his first A-League season.
Sergio van Dijk (Queensland Roar)
Took a while to get going but once he did he was near unstoppable. The Dutchman was a major factor in the Roar’s fantastic second half of the season. 12 goals and 5 assists made it a straightforward selection for van Dijk.
Shane Smeltz (Wellington Phoenix)
The A-League’s Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner was brilliant. Scored 12 goals for a team that struggled and won himself a lucrative deal with Gold Coast United. Simply superb!
Matt McKay (Queensland Roar)
Was great in midfield this season and finished with 5 goals and 7 assists. Earned himself national selection and formed a formidable partnership with Miller.
The ‘coming out’ season we were all waiting for from Rukavytsya. The Ukrainian-born 21-year old was a class act scoring 10 goals and finally winning a European contract with Dutch club FC Twente. Expect bigger and better in the future.
Danny Allsopp (Melbourne Victory)
The most goals in the league after the finals series, Allsopp was consistent as ever and provided a target for the Victory. Was recalled to the Socceroos squad and was a major contributor in the finals series, scoring in both legs of the semi-final.
Rodrigo Vargas (Melbourne Victory)
The ever-reliable Vargas had another consistent season. Formed a championship-winning defensive partnership with Muscat and was rarely beaten.