NAB young footballer of the year nominee: Daniel De Silva
STORY OF THE SEASON
Paul Okon coaxed one of Australian football’s brightest talents home to join his Mariners side for the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season and the 20-year-old quickly became one of the most watchable players in the competition.
After a slow start, the Mariners were excellent in November and early December, sitting fourth after round nine with De Silva front and centre.
Blake Powell’s winner against Perth which took the Mariners into the top four was sublimely created by his tenacity and skill, and the week before he’d played a massive role in his side’s 4-1 demolition of Wellington.
Following his return from the AFC U-23 Championship, De Silva continued to be one of the standouts in the Mariners side, even when results turned against them during the back end of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
Daniel De Silva made 734 successful passes in the Hyundai A-League regular season, more than any other under-23 player.
His passing accuracy was 83% and he created 18 chances, while embarking on 30 successful dribbles.
WHY HE SHOULD WIN
Few players got Australian football fans more excited about their A-League return than Daniel De Silva.
His signature was a coup for the Mariners who played an attractive style of football which suited the age-group international perfectly.
After limited chances in Europe, De Silva revitalised his career on home soil and showed the Australian football public that he is a rare and special talent whose best years – and plenty of them – lie ahead.