Sometimes the best things are worth waiting for, and that’s the case for this belated TOTW for Round 21. In a weekend that produced some stellar individual and team performances, it was a tough gig narrowing it down to only eleven.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
It could have gone to a number of deserved recipients but dynamic Adelaide United winger Fabio Ferreira ended up getting the nod. Known as ‘Flecha’ (which means arrow in Spanish) by his team mates, the Portuguese flyer was in everything as the Reds routed the Phoenix 5-1.
He provided the pass that led to Jeronimo’s stunning opener, put the ball on a plate for Sergio Cirio to double the advantage before showing he could score them as well as set them up with a superb strike of his own. Minutes later he sent in a pinpoint cross for Jeronimo to make it 4-0 inside 62 minutes and it was a case of game, set, match as Ferreira showed why he spent time at EPL giants Chelsea.
Andrew Redmayne (Melbourne Heart)
The Melbourne Heart shot stopper was one of the standouts between the posts in Round 22, producing a string of fine saves to help his side to their biggest ever derby win. While the Heart’s ability to put it together at the pointy end has been a big part of their resurgence, the 25-year-old is holding up his end of the bargain as he recorded his third clean sheet in succession.
Osama Malik (Adelaide United)
The unassuming man with the ‘fro’ continues to go from strength to strength this season, and his performance against the Phoenix demonstrated why there are murmurs of him being in consideration for a Socceroos call up. Needed to step into the heart of defence in the absence of the suspended Jon McKain, Malik’s composure and confidence on the ball was again a feature.
Jade North (Brisbane Roar)
In a season that has been somewhat hampered by injury, Jade North put in a vintage display in Friday night’s 3-1 win over Perth Glory. The Roar did not have it all their own way, North required to pull out all of the stops, his resilience at the back allowing Brisbane’s front half to make their late charge.
Josh Brillante (Newcastle Jets)
Kudos to the Jets defence, who in the space of three weeks has kept the top two teams on the ladder scoreless, both times away from home. After preventing the Wanderers from breaking through on Sunday, any of the Jets’ backline could have made the cut but Josh Brillante can be the one to make the TOTW. Brillante’s approach to the contest is just what the Jets need if they are to make a charge for the top six. Apologies to Melbourne Heart’s Patrick Kisnorbo.
Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar)
Franjic warmed up for his trip over to London to join the Socceroos by being a key instigator in the Roar’s win over Perth. Could technically be named in defence but after netting his fifth goal of the season, he can take up a place on the right side of midfield in this week’s TOTW.
Orlando Engelaar (Melbourne Heart)
Marquee man Orlando Engelaar was one of the standouts for John van’t Schip’s men against the Victory. Referred to by one expert as the ‘Patrick Vieira’ of the A-League, the Dutch international was a colossus in midfield and set the tone for the Heart for the night as he opened the scoring in the 9th minute.
Zenon Caravella (Newcastle Jets)
He could almost fit in the ‘veteran’ category, but Zenon Caravella has still got what it takes to mix it with the best in competition. His renowned work rate and ferocity for the contest in the centre of the park saw him nullify Shinji Ono’s influence and help the Jets’ midfield brigade take bragging rights. The fact he had 18 recoveries of balls in dispute isn’t bad going either.
Jeronimo Neumann (Adelaide United)
The Argentine was in sensational form against the Phoenix, putting in arguably his best display of the season. A goal either side of half time, including a nomination for goal of the season, only the post prevented him from a hat-trick as he ran the Wellington defence ragged.
Mitchell Duke (Central Coast Mariners)
Pacey attacker Mitchell Duke returned to red-hot form and helped the Mariners get back on the winners list as he scored the winner against Sydney FC. The 23-year-old missed a one-on-one chance early on but made no mistake in the 75th minute as he finished off a well-executed Mariners counter attack for his third goal the season.
Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets)
He has scored some cracking goals in some excellent displays at home this season and on Sunday he proved why he has been regarded as one of the league’s most lethal marksman with an excellent shift as the Jets’ rattled the Wanderers 2-0 in Parramatta. Taggart’s intent to get forward and willingness to pull the trigger paid off in spades again as his deflected shot ensured the Jets took all three points back to the Hunter.