Points aren’t the only thing up for grabs whenever teams step out onto a PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 pitch.
Votes – as dished out by the league’s reporters – are also on the line to be collected and tallied to earn a spot in the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 Team of the Year.
After every game, our reports give out 3, 2, 1 votes and they are added up to decide the team of the year, which was revealed in our Grand Final program last week.
As usual, these teams prompt endless debate about who should and should not have made the line-up, but one thing is beyond doubt; this team would take some beating.
With that in mind, meet the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 2015 Team of the Year.
Nenad Vekic (Blacktown City)
No matter how good the back four, every defence is only as good as the keeper that protects the goal behind them. Blacktown City goalkeeper Nenad Vekic was in inspired form this season, making a number of crucial saves to help Blacktown City to the Premiership and a second-straight Grand Final, picking up the league’s Golden Gloves in the process.
Chris Tadrosse (Bonnyrigg White Eagles)
Chris Tadrosse signed off a stellar football career in the best way possible in the weekend’s Grand Final, but that should not take away from how brilliantly consistent the Bonnyrigg White Eagles captain has been this season. Will be sorely missed by the White Eagles.
Zach Cairncross (Blacktown City)
Not just one of the league’s best centre-backs but one of the league’s best players. Grand Final heartbreak does not change that. Zach Cairncross has proven a class leader at the back for Blacktown City; he’s hard in the tackle and can distribute freely from the back.
Jacob Tratt (Sutherland Sharks)
The new Sydney FC recruit was outstanding for Sutherland Sharks this season and showed all the class that attracted an A-League deal in the first place. It was hardly a season to remember for the Sharks, but they had a worthy representative in the season of the year in Jacob Tratt.
Brayden Sorge (Sydney Olympic)
The sight of Sydney Olympic’s Brayden Sorge surging up the right flank of Belmore Sports Ground was not an uncommon sight as the full-back married defence and offence beautifully.
Franco Parisi (APIA Leichhardt Tigers)
A truly worthy winner of the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 Player of the Year medal, Franco Parisi turned back the clock this season. The silky APIA Leichhardt midfielder makes it all look a bit effortless at times as he glides around the park and opens up defences for fun.
Brendan Cholakian (Manly United)
Brendan Cholakian’s presence in the team is hardly surprising given his tendency for winning games off his own boot for Manly United. The midfielder has long been recognised as one of the league’s premier midfield talents and he did that reputation no harm this season.
Peter Simonoski (South Coast Wolves)
Moving between midfield and forward positions Peter Simonoski was crucial to South Coast Wolves’ brilliant end of the season which saw the club come from nowhere to qualify for finals. Seven goals represented a solid return for the Wolves’ man.
Blake Powell (APIA Leichhardt Tigers)
No surprise that Blake Powell is the first striker on the team sheet. To be honest, he might have been the first name on the sheet. Missing the season run-in after securing an A-League contract with Wellington Phoenix didn’t stop Powell from comfortably taking out the season’s Golden Boot with 21 goals in 16 appearances for the Tigers.
Shu Sasaki (Blacktown Spartans)
Shu Sasaki was a leading light for a Blacktown Spartans side that struggled to escape from the middle of the table despite a late push for finals. Ten goals in 22 games was a more than decent return for the Spartan.
Danny Choi (Blacktown City)
Blacktown’s Korean sensation enjoyed some amazing form this season, as he dazzled defenders with his electric pace and silky skill. Danny Choi showed a keen eye for goal, too, scoring nine goals over the home-and-away season.
James Chronopoulos (Bonnyrigg White Eagles)
The burly figure of the White Eagles’ number one man was a formidable presence in what was a good season for the club. Taking out the Championship this season, Chronopoulos missed out, only just, from being named the ‘Goalkeeper of the Year.’
Patrick Gatt (Parramatta FC)
One of the key reasons apart from coach Franco Cosentino that the Eagles stayed up also were thanks to the leadership skills and performances by veteran Patrick Gatt. Gatt commanded the back-line and used his experience in steering the club to another year in the top flight.
Ray Miller (Bonnyrigg White Eagles)
The wizard in midfield, Miller featured heavily in Brian Brown’s tactics as one of the go to men in their Championship winning season. His distribution and ability to dazzle defenders with his speed and trickery were a highlight of Miller’s game.
Go Shirai (Sydney Olympic)
The Japanese attacker was once again at the forefront of Sydney Olympic’s attacking raids in his second full season in the Men’s 1 competition. Got his name on a few ‘Goals of the Week’, scoring nine in the process as Shirai sparked the Blues campaign and run to the finals.
Jordan Murray (South Coast Wolves)
The talented youngster broke through the Wolves first team squad last season but it was this year that saw the real Jordan Murray burst into the limelight with 8 goals to his name.
Apart from his trademark goal scoring celebrations, Murray’s no fear approach in attacking at all costs earned him the final spot in this year’s PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 Team of the Year.
Mark Crittenden (Blacktown City)
Blacktown City FC’s Mark Crittenden once again had a sterling season which saw him claim the award for Coach of the Year in PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 competition for the second successive season.
It’s been a good year for Blacktown City where he won the Premiership as well as steering his side to this season’s Grand Final and earning a round of 32 spot in the Westfield FFA Cup along with an NPL Finals finish to boot.
– By Matthew Galea, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Editor