Wellington Phoenix striker Paul Ifill and captain Andrew Durante have been voted into the Professional Footballers Association’s Hyundai A-League Team of the Season by their fellow pros.
Wellington Phoenix striker Paul Ifill and captain Andrew Durante have been voted into the Professional Footballers Association-s Hyundai A-League Team of the Season by their fellow pros.
Ifill is one of three strikers selected – along with Brisbane Roar-s Besart Berisha and Melbourne Victory-s Archie Thompson – while Durante would be on the substitute-s bench.
Ifill said today that there is nothing better than being selected by your peers.
“It is nice if the media select you in a team, but when your fellow professionals, who you play against week in week out, think you should be in the best XI it is a good feeling,” Ifill said.
It has been a difficult season for Ifill who had a tough start through injuries, but battled through to again show he is one of the best players in the competition.
“Yeh, it was a tough beginning to the season but I was lucky enough to hit the ground running as soon as I got back in the team,” Ifill said.
“I-m delighted to be picked in such a prestigious team but it is more important to produce my best form against Sydney when the playoffs start on Friday.
“We can-t leave anything on the park because this could be our last game of the season. We have to make sure that doesn-t happen.
“Sydney have hit a good patch of form but I don-t think that matters because playoff football is different.
“I-ve been in teams going into playoffs in great form only to be tossed straight out.
“I know we have had two losses, but had we taken our chances on Sunday we could have beaten the Mariners, and they are the champions.
“I always fancy us at home and this game is no different.”
Durante echoed Ifill-s feelings, saying being included in the PFA Team of the Season was “a little reward for all the hard work you put in”.
He also agreed with his team-mate that playoff football was completely different to regular season play.
“It doesn-t matter whether you go in with two wins or two losses,” Durante said.
“Sydney are full of seasoned pros with a lot of experience and I-m sure they will be confident. But so will we.”
The team as selected by PFA members would play with a goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards as well as five players on the bench.
This is the first time that the PFA team of the season has been selected in the 3-4-3 formation. The 3-4-3 formation was chosen, both because it is consistent with the FFA National Curriculum and also to accommodate the two left-sided defenders selected by the players.
The team is:
Goalkeeper: Matt Ryan (Central Coast Mariners)
Defenders: Michael Marrone (Melbourne Heart), Patrick Zwaansijk (Central Coast Mariners), Josh Rose (Central Coast Mariners)
Midfielders: Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar), Fred (Melbourne Heart), Mitch Nicholls (Brisbane Roar), Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart)
Forwards: Paul Ifill (Wellington Phoenix), Besart Berisha (Brisbane Roar), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory).
Subs: Clint Bolton (Melbourne Heart), Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix), Nicky Carle (Sydney FC), Carlos Hernandez (Melbourne Victory), Harry Kewell (Melbourne Victory).