Hyundai A-League Team of the Week | round 21
The Scout loves a good, honest plugger. So this week I'm happy to select a team of grafters.
GK Michael Theo: Look, I'mnot saying this was the Roar stopper back to his best but with his side and coach under pressure, he produced a number of important saves that helped Brisbane towards three points and within sniffing distance of the finals.
RB Jerome Polenz: How often does a right back get man of the match award? Especially against Melbourne Victory? But the German was assured, skilful and made plenty of crucial interventions to give his side a massive win.
CB Adam Griffiths: Form and injuries have meant Griffiths-s time with Sydney FC has been something of a stop-start affair but he looked extremely comfortable against Adelaide on Saturday. Sydney? Comfortable? Somehow, those words just don-t seem right together.
CB Nikolai Topor-Stanley: Who ever though the burly centreback could develop so quickly? NTS has always had potential but the words Tony Popovic is having in his ear seem to be finally pushing towards completion. He-s been a rock all season and was outstanding again against Victory.
LB Adam D-Apuzzo: An almost-all Wanderers backline acknowledges again the excellence of Popovic-s side. For a man who gave up the game not that long ago, D-Apuzzo looked right at home at AAMI Park, where he kept Marcos Rojas under close supervision.
MF Ruben Zadkovich: The shiny nut of the Jets skipper-s head shone just that little more brightly against Melbourne Heart. The captain-s armband has given his game some extra zing and he was always running the middle of the park.
MF Rhyan Grant: The 21-year-old has come into his own as the season-s progressed and is turning into a power-packed midfield enforcer. On a day when ever Terry McFlynn had a good game, Grant outdid his captain with his all-round energy and effort.
MF Alessandro Del Piero: Do you really need it explaining again? The man-s a ledge. ‘Nuff said.
AM Travis Dodd: The Perth skipper has found it tough work of late, leading the Glory line with little or no support. But the return of Shane Smeltz gave him someone to play off and he looked all the better for it.
AM Thomas Broich: The German-s form has risen and dipped along with Roar-s this season but we-re starting to see signs of consistency returning. He was always busy against Wellington, and provided that extra level of class and leadership.
F Mark Bridge: The Wanderers forward is our “false 9” this week - and by that we mean a striker who didn-t score. But Bridge-s game has improved so noticeably this season, both through his own personal ambition and Tony Popovic-s management, that it would be churlish not to admit when even his sheer work rate and dedication impressed.