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tribalfootball's 'Could have been' players for A-League 2008/09

tribalfootball has pinpointed those players who promised to deliver in 2008/09 but could not quite live up to expectations. Whether it was injuries, form, a new environment or off-field misdemeanours, these players were not at their usual level of performance or did not make any impact for their club throughout season 208/09 in the A-League.

Angelo Costanzo (Adelaide United)

The key defender experienced a tough season with the emergence of Robert Cornthwaite and the improvement of Sasa Ognenovski in central defence for the Reds.

Costanzo was ever present in his first two seasons at Hindmarsh Stadium and was in good form last season although he missed some matches through injury.

The 32-year old could not break into Aurelio Vidmar's side as the coach began to rotate his squad as the Reds took on many challenges including the Asian Champions League.

The end result of Costanzo's season was that he was released by the Reds and signed a deal with wooden spooners Newcastle Jets for next season.

Kaz Patafta (Newcastle Jets)

Patafta has promised so much since joining Melbourne Victory on loan from Portuguese giants Benfica in 2007.

He managed 13 matches in his debut A-League season but many were off the subs bench and when he signed for Newcastle Jets in 2008 it seemed his career would take off.

A disappointing season with the Jets where he could not get a regular first team for the competition's worst-performed team would have many critics wondering what happened.

At just 20 years of age, Patafta has the scope for natural improvement but his involvement in national U17 and U20 sides and the inclusion in the 'train on' squad at the 2006 World Cup have so far amounted to very little.

Edmundo Zura (Newcastle Jets)

Perhaps it was the change of environment and culture that did not allow Edmundo Zura to succeed in the A-League.

The 26-year old came to Newcastle with enormous wraps on his skill, flair and goal scoring ability but he managed just 9 matches and failed to score.

The Ecuador international could not adapt to the Australian game and decided to return home just four months into the season.

Robbie Kruse (Queensland Roar)

Kruse was one of the finds of the 2007/08 season and had the footballing world at his feet.

At just 19, he was given a chance by Roar coach Frank Farina and delivered in a big way, playing 17 matches and scoring on four occasions in his debut season playing as an attacking winger.

Fast forward 12 months and after a string of off-field indiscretions, Kruse's future unfortunately does not look as bright as it did.

His future at the Roar still remains uncertain.

John Aloisi (Sydney FC)

One of the biggest names in the league did not live up to expectations in season 2008/09.

The former Socceroos hero was unsighted in many of the matches he appeared in for the Sky Blues after a decent season with Central Coast Mariners in 2007/08 where he scored 7 times in 15 matches.

After becoming the highest paid footballer in the A-League, Aloisi failed by only managing to score twice in Sydney's poor season.

Possibly a victim of circumstances as he lobbed at the Harbour City in a year when things did not go as planned, Aloisi decided not to join Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on a loan deal, instead remaining in Sydney to undertake pre-season with his teammates.

Leilei Gao (Wellington Phoenix)

The Chinese midfielder came to the Phoenix after playing under Ricki Herbert at the New Zealand Knights with big wraps.

With plenty of tricks and speed, Gao could have taken the A-League by storm but instead managed mediocre performances and eventually had his contract terminated after several feuds with Phoenix officials.

Simon Colosimo (Sydney FC)

Once a powerhouse of Australian football, Colosimo's form in recent years has dipped dramatically.

He was voted Perth Glory's MVP in 2006/07 but since then he has struggled.

Much of this season was spent injured after signing with Sydney FC and a big improvement will be relied upon next season to lift the Sky Blues up the ladder.

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