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The Roar


Indefensible flaw in the PFA's A-League Team of the Season

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Roar Guru
30th May, 2023

With less than a week to go until the much-anticipated grand final between Melbourne City and the Central Coast Mariners, the end of season team and individual awards are starting to be announced – with the PFA 22/23 team of the year.

For the past 14 seasons the PFA has revealed the side in grand final week and the formation is based on the number of votes for each player in each position, with the substitutes made up of players who finished below those in the starting XI.

The player with the most votes is named captain of the Team of the Season – this honour fell to European-bound Jordan Bos.

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) committee consists of formers Socceroos, football analysts and journalists.

In a change from previous seasons the PFA advised that the 22/23 A-League Team of the Season, will be voted solely by the players and not the previous groups mentioned above.

It will always be interesting having your peers casting votes for who they believe are the best players, but the 18 men chosen and the ones who weren’t – will become somewhat of a debate for fans around the country

The starting XI has four players from the all-conquering regular season champion Melbourne City – the golden boot winner Jamie Maclaren, the likely young player of the year Jordan Bos, one of the competition’s most improved players in an attacking sense Aiden O’Neill and the mercurial Mathew Leckie.


Western Sydney Wanderers are also heavily represented with Brandon Borello who will be fighting for this season’s best player, Calum Nieuwenhof who has been nominated for young player of the year and the erratic lynchpin of a centerback in Marcelo.

Adelaide United has two players in the form of the heavy favourite for player of the season Craig Goodwin and potential the winner of goalkeeper of the season in Joe Gauci.

Grand finalist Central Coast Mariners have the diminutive work horse Josh Nisbet and combative defender in his first season of professional football, Brian Kaltek selected

The Mariners also have 3 players on the 7-man bench including the charismatic Jason Cummins, tricky Brazilian Marco Tullio and the fast-rising Nectar Triantis.

Melbourne City’s reliable centreback Curtis Good and playmaker Marco Tillo also find spots on the bench, as does the wanderers goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas and the heart of Brisbane Roar Jay O’Shea.

Of the 18 players selected, 17 came from the competitions top 4 sides and the starting XI lines up in a 3-4-3 formation.

Noticeably missing were the lack of full backs in this 18-man squad.


The league’s best attacking full back Ryan Kitto, is desperately unlucky not to have been chosen by his peers – with 6 goals and 3 assists, he would be an almost guaranteed pick at left back.

On the opposite side and another player unlucky to not have been selected is the competitions best defensive full back – Josh Risdon.

Honourable mentions deserve to go to Javi Lopez and Gabriel Cleur who were the standout full backs in the first half of the season, before their performance dipped late in the second half.

Wellington Phoenix striker Oscar Zawada had a fantastic campaign with 15 goals, 2 assists and leading his unfancied side to finals football.

Sydney FC who made the semi-final may feel hard done by – especially given that fleet footed left winger Joe Lolley who contributed 6 goals and 5 assists across the season was a non-selection.

While the sheer numbers of quality central midfielders in Melbourne City’s squad, saw votes taken away from the technically sound dutchman – Richard Van Der Venne.


While the exclusions will feel a sense of injustice, the biggest wrongdoing may actually be the fact there’s only two defenders in the line up as well as multiple players shoehorned into positions they don’t play.

The PFA a league team of the year for season 22/23 certainly has some controversial selections designed to get fans talking.