As we continue to look towards Season Eight of the Hyundai A-League we will count down the top ten midfielders the league has seen.
We kicked off the top ten midfielders yesterday with two players whose work ethic drove them to success, today we take a look at an explosive attacking midfielder and a midfield general, whose legacy is up in the air.
8. Travis Dodd (Adelaide United, Perth Glory)
The first Indigenous Australian to score a goal as a full international Travis Dodd has had quite the career in the Hyundai A-League and has for a long time been one of the most dominant forces around the game in Australia, whether it be with Adelaide United or Perth Glory.
Wherever Dodd has gone he has taken a measure of success with him and though he is yet to lead either the Reds or Glory to Grand Final glory he has had a marked impact on the league.
A dangerous attacking midfielder Dodd has proven to be a regular goal-scorer throughout his career, sometimes up front but most of the time from on the wing, where he frequently makes scything and explosive runs from.
Also explosive is his strike, for Travis Dodd can hit them from any range and isn’t afraid to try his luck, he also provides plenty of assists for other players thanks to his usually neat passing ability and runs down the wing that lead to some quality crosses.
7. Jason Culina (Gold Coast United)
Embroiled in legal drama since the time he left Gold Coast United and joined Newcastle Jets – Culina is quite possibly the forgotten man of Australian football and all eyes will be on just how the one-time Qantas Socceroos’ midfielder plays and how his knee holds up upon his return to action.
Where that return occurs of course is still up in the air, but what can’t be denied is that the holding midfielder is a quality player.
So often he was the man who held things together for the Socceroos and when Miron Bleiberg signed him as Gold Coast United’s inaugural marquee player, the Gold Coast manager was more than happy to have got his man, and to this day believes signing Culina was of major importance to the immediate success the club enjoyed.
He wasn’t wrong, Culina not only scored on his debut for the club in a friendly but also scored in their first ever league match when the club beat Brisbane Roar 3- 1.
His drive through the midfield also helped them to the finals in their first year and would continue to see the club improve in the 2010-11 season, as they fell just one game short of a Grand Final appearance.
Despite the fact that injuries and outside drama rocked the club to its core in 2011/12, the loss of Culina can’t be underestimated either, what the future holds for him will be most interesting to see.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not Football Federation Australia or the Hyundai A-League