The Hyundai A-League Finals Series begin this week after a gripping climax to the end of the season. But was the rest of the season a success or a flop?

Dugout

Team of the Season

Adelaide United: The Reds had an impressive 2015/16 season, coming back from a rocky start to the season to take the Hyundai A-League Premiership.
Special Mention – Perth Glory: The Western Australian’s made a big comeback to push Sydney out of the Finals Series and settle comfortably into the top six.

Playa’ can play

Every A-League side this season has had players who have performed consistently throughout the year, who have been instrumental in their team’s performance.

Adelaide United: Bruce Djite has been excellent for Adelaide this season, amassing nine goals, the striker has been stellar.

Special Mention: Stefan Mauk was excellent but having only been with Adelaide since January misses out on being his side’s best. Craig Goodwin has also performed brilliantly, proving himself handy in the back line as well as in attack.

Western Sydney Wanderers: Mitch Nichols has been incredibly valuable to Wanderers this season with ten goals and four assists to his name.

Special Mention: Super-sub Brendan Santalab was handy off the bench for Wanderers scoring ten goals from only three starts.

Brisbane Roar: Jamie Maclaren’s 18 goals can’t be overlooked, making him Brisbane’s best attacking force.

Special Mention: Corona had a league high 1729 passes and managed to create 57 chances for Roar over the season, proving his worth in the sunshine state.

Melbourne City: Bruno Fornarolli is far and away City’s MVP with a massive 23 goals which also sees him take out the competition’s Golden Boot.

Special Mention: Aaron Mooy is on Bruno’s tail for his important contribution this season; a massive 11 goals, a league high 20 assists, 96 chances created and 222 crosses makes him an impressive all rounder.

Perth Glory: Perth have a quality squad with a number of players contributing to their success but Diego Castro has to be their standout with 13 goals and 55 chances to help his side’s campaign.

Special Mention: Andy Keogh gets a shout for 10 goals, 3 assists and 26 chances created to his name this season making him quite handy for the Glory.

Melbourne Victory: Victory is another team with many quality players but Besart Berisha has proved valuable. He might not be everyone’s cup of tea but his 17 goals speak for themselves.

Special Mention: Kosta Barbarouses has amassed 48 chances created, along with seven assists and 131 crosses making him a very nifty component of the Victory squad.

Sydney FC: Matthew Jurman has proved valuable to Sydney’s defence with 87 clearances and a huge 108 intercepts over the season.

Special Mention: Filip Holosko has ten goals from 49 shots and has created 22 chances for Sydney FC making the marquee player technically the most potent up front for the Sky Blues.

Newcastle Jets: Mark Birighitti has been the hero of the Jets’ squad this season having saved 71% of shots with an A-League high 98 saves.

Special Mention: Nigel Boogaard has improved his side’s defensive, keeping them in order to a degree, but his reputation precedes himself with four red cards.

Wellington Phoenix: Michael McGlinchey has created 62 chances and 154 crosses and scored three goals to be a handy midfielder for Phoenix

Special Mention: Blake Powell has been surprisingly impressive for Wellington with a few big games earning him eight goals from 13 starts.

Central Coast Mariners: Mitchell Austin managed 146 crosses, five goals, and created 34 chances for a struggling Mariners.

Special Mention: Roy O’Donovan made eight goals for the Mariners and considering their season, this was an impressive performance over the season.

Name and Shame

Some players have become infamous during the season. Here are some of the worst.

Topless Trifunovic: Although Milos Trifunovic learned to keep his shirt on after a few weeks his ability to miss perfect opportunities makes it incredibly surprising that he was the Jets leading goalscorer with only 36.4% shooting accuracy. His ability to get offside is also something to be applauded, not many people have 29 offsides from 22 games.

Nigel Boogard: The red card king, Boogaard has four red cards to his name this season, which is twice as many as anyone else.

Besart Berisha: Berisha is infamous for his attitude and dummy spits, and over the season it been quite entertaining watching his incidents. Berisha took it upon himself to beat Trifunovic in offsides with 38 offsides from 25 games.

The Central Coast Mariners squad: Let’s be honest, the Mariners have been at the butt of many A-League fans’ jokes, despite the addition of ‘Liverpool Legend’ Luis Garcia.

Federico Piovaccari: Piovaccari has a worse shooting accuracy than Trifunovic, with only 31.3% accuracy. At least we can thank Popovic for playing him a lot less than Trifunovic, with only 12 games played.

Dude is a young gun

This season has seen some impressive young players make their mark. Here are the top five young guns of the 2015/16 Hyundai A-League season:

Jamie Maclaren – Brisbane Roar: 22-year-old Maclaren had an incredible season for Brisbane and we’ll be expecting big things from him in the future.

Brandon Borello – Brisbane Roar: At 20-years-old Borello has been working well with Maclaren to make Roar an attacking powerhouse.

Stefan Mauk  – Adelaide United: 20-year-old Mauk was incredible for both City and Adelaide during the season and many will have our eyes on him in years to come.

Nick Cowburn – Newcastle Jets: 21-year-old Cowburn has settled in well to the Jets squad, finding his place in the starting line-up without looking out of place.

Jaushua Sotirio: At 20-years-old Sotirio has been making progress, signing a one-year contract extension with Wanderers and despite not having the best statistics to back up his performance he will be one to watch in the future.

Great expectations for the weekend

Heading into the finals the match-ups will be tight but here’s what we’re in for:

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory: Brisbane have looked more threatening this season but it will be interesting to see if Victory can step up their game coming into the finals in their attempt for a back-to-back win.

Melbourne City v Perth Glory: This should be a great game as both teams have been very impressive over the season. The match up in Round 26 saw Perth come out on top so will it be a repeat or will City put a stop to Perth’s Glory?

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20 year-old Bachelor of Communication student, sports nut and sneakerhead following the Newcastle Jets through the 2015/16 Hyundai A-League season.