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The Roar


Why the Alex Tobin Medal doesn’t work

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Roar Guru
1st April, 2019

The Alex Tobin medal is one of, if not the most prestigious award that you can possibly win in Australian football.

It is named after the legendary Australian centre-back Alex Tobin, who won 87 caps during his 11 years with the Socceroos, and thirty as the Socceroos captain. He has played over 552 in the senior Australian teams.

There is no doubt that he is a true great, and has been one of the most consistent centre-backs Australia has ever seen.

The first reason why the system doesn’t work is, ironically, because the defenders rarely, if ever, get the three points. There have been a lot of defenders that have really exceeded expectations this season.

Before Patrick Ziegler got injured, he was one of the best centre-backs in the league and his injury was a massive part of the Wanderers’ defensive problems in recent weeks. He is only twenty-nine, and from what we saw he still has a few good years left in his career.

Two more standout centre-backs who have bossed some of the best attackers in Australia are Harrison Delbridge and Bart Schenkeveld. Not much has gone right for Melbourne City this season, but one thing that has stunned the league is their defence.

They have only conceded twenty-five goals this season, which is only five more than league leaders Perth Glory. Of cause, their recent win against Sydney FC was a big win for the club, but Bart Schenkeveld was the only defender on the list and only picking up 1 point, though in my opinion he should have at least came away with two points.


Alex Wilkinson is another example of a consistent defender that never manages to come away with points. He may not be the most flamboyant player in the league, but he does what needs to be done, which is defend, and he does it really well.

But because he never really seems to save a game in the spotlight, he is never given those points that he deserves. Maybe because he isn’t the standout player or the ‘player to watch’ and usually does his business quietly, but there is no doubt that he is effective and deserves more credit.

The second reason why the Alex Tobin medal doesn’t work is the fact that no goalkeepers are in the top thirteen.

As Jordan Klingsporn said in one of his comments on my article about goalkeepers “The A-League’s goalkeepers don’t get enough credit”, he said Being a goalkeeper is a “pressured job and let’s hope players like Filip Kurto get up high in the Johnny Warren Medal”.

Maybe he or another goalkeeper could still win the Johnny Warren Medal, but unfortunately, at the moment no goalkeeper is going to even come close to winning the Alex Tobin Medal.

Filip Kurto has been one of the standout A-League goalkeepers this season, there is no doubt about it. He leads the league in saves, with an astounding seventy-nine in 20 appearances.

There have been countless times where he has saved Wellington Phoenix, and in my opinion, has been the best goalkeeper so far, this season. Wouldn’t he be deserving of at least a top thirteen places in the Alex Tobin Medal?


The Alex Tobin Medal was a very good idea for an award which is won over the course of the season, but unfortunately the FFA isn’t managing to get the points system right. Let’s hope that in the future they will modify the system to make it a bit fairer for everyone, not just attackers and midfielders.