Team of the Week | Round 20
This week's team is domnated by Mariners' players, and how could it not be? Their performance was inspiring, but they have some other New South Welshman breathing down their neck.
GK Mark Birighitti: It took him forever to get a first team start but now that he has it he isn-t giving it up anytime soon. The Jets may have lost 2-1 to the Wanderers but Birighitti almost kept them in the game with several great saves. When he denied Mark Bridge with his legs in the first half it was top class.
LB Josh Rose: How long until this guy gets a crack at a Socceroos jersey? For years the national team have struggled in his position and for years he has been one of the best wingbacks in the league. Against the Phoenix he was scintillating. His runs up the ground were blistering and he cut the Nix defence to pieces time and time again.
CB Trent Sainsbury: Welcome back to the Team of the Week Trent, you're our favourite reliable centre-back! You should be a chance at a green and gold jersey too. C'mon Holger you need some youth and just because he plays in Australia doesn't mean this young kid from WA shouldn't be considered, he's simply too good. His headed clearance off his own line at 1-0 up might just have been crucial in the wash-up.
CB Nikolai Topor-Stanley: You just can-t break down the wall. Topor had the job on Emile Heskey and did it very well, beating arguably the best aerial player in the league several times throughout a tightly contested match. Tony Popovic take a bow, you-ve seen Topor realise his potential.
RB Jeremy Walker: The kid from Tassie is fast becoming a fixture in Team of the Week calculations and might just have Heart fans asking Michael who? When Marrone left there was a fear their right side would weaken. Not so, with a maturity beyond his years, Walker yet again produced a measured performance
DM Peter Triantis: This kid just continues to grow into his role every week and in addition to doing the hard yards in defence and being a best he scored an absolute screamer to put the Sky Blues in front of Brisbane. We all knew he could lace them but he deserved his moment more than most. Brilliant performance.
CM Nick Kalmar: It was one of the best individual performances of the season from any player and his free-kick though early on was the icing on the cake. Kalmar just got better from there showing off all his party tricks throughout the win over Perth.
CM Alessandro Del Piero: You know you-ve still got it when the man defending you is watching you and not the ball! And while Ivan Franjic will be kicking himself for being turned around more times than an Olympic diver, Del Piero was all class again for the Sky Blues. There were moments of true brilliance from the Italian throughout but it was also a consistent performance throughout the entire match.
RM Youssouf Hersi: Every week the diminutive midfielder grows in stature and when teams give him too much space and not enough respect he routinely makes them pay. Newcastle felt that wrath, exciting to watch.
F Bernie Ibini: Showed his speed, bagged a brace and created plenty of other opportunities for the Mariners. Had he of scored with the back-heel flick he tried for it might have been a contender for goal of the season
F Daniel McBreen: Is there anything McBreen can-t do this season? Even when it seems there isn-t much doing for his side he finds a way to score. His header really came out of nowhere and the only reason he scored it is because he has that much confidence right now that when he attacks a ball he-s sure it will go in. He teed up Bernie Ibini beautifully for one of his goals as well.