10. Aaron Mooy
If there’s been one player who has been a consistent shinning light in Melbourne City’s struggle this A-League season, it’s been Aaron Mooy. His consistent hunger for the ball and his ability to create scoring opportunities has been far above and beyond any other we’ve seen in Australia this season.
Mooy’s ending to last A-League season at the Western Sydney Wanderers saw him contribute consistently as an attacking or central midfielder, leading to a birth in the Grand Final which they went down 2-0 to Brisbane Roar. But since jumping on-board the City revolution, Mooy has been utilised in a way that has been vital in Melbourne’s attack.
Plus it should also be mentioned, his impressive set pieces and long shots compliment his expanding skill set and has been un-lucky on a number of occasions not to score this season.
Ange Postecogolu has also recognised the potential of Mooy, handing him his first Socceroos cap against Japan and featuring in the provisional Asian Cup squad. The rumour mill would also suggest Melbourne City’s owners, Manchester City have their eye on young Mooy.
A fantastic last three months has well and truly cement Mooy as one of Australia’s best footballers in 2014.
9. Ivan Franjic
Ivan Franjic really is the perfect Cinderella story. A man who’s dream was only hanging on by a thread at one point in his career, whilst playing in the Victorian Premier League and working full time as a carpenter.
Since working his way into the A-League with Brisbane Roar, Franjic has established himself as one of the most unique right backs the Socceroos has ever seen.
Franjic was also a part of Brisbane Roar’s famous back to back grand final wins in 2011 and 2012.
Ivan’s success at Brisbane Roar caught the attention of his former manager and current Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou. Franjic is an undeniable asset to the Socceroos squad as he is able to play in a diverse number of positions. Franjic’s 2013-14 season with Brisbane Roar saw him finish with five goals, not bad for a defender!
With an international cap already under his belt, Franjic’s form led him to be selected for Postecoglou’s final World Cup squad.
The dream had come true for Franjic who kicked off his World Cup campaign with a bang, whipping a crossing ball onto the head of Super Timmy Cahill to get the Socceroos back into the game against Chile.
The second half of the game became a nightmare for Franjic, after his hamstring gave way leaving him to be substituted and later ruled out for the rest of the competition.
Despite his misfortunes, the form and style of play that Franjic possesses is second to none. He can play an attacking role as a defender and fits perfectly into Postecoglou’s style of- playing the ball out from the back.
His form didn’t go unnoticed as he was quickly swooped up newly promoted Russian Premier League team Torpedo Moscow. He is yet to claim a permanent spot in the team but can certainly push for a spot in next year’s 2015 Asian Cup for the Socceroos.
Franjic is an Australian success story and is an example of why finding players like him is so important. He definitely deserves his number 9 spot in the first 11 of TURF20
Words by Jacob Arnott & Ari Charilaou