Another season of highly unpredictable Westfield W-League action has almost come to an end with the Grand Final between Sydney FC and Melbourne City primed for the Grand Final this Sunday (Broadcast live at 5pm AEDT on Fox Sports 501 & SBS VICELAND).

This of course means the always controversial W-League Team of the Year from The Football Sack: the original and longest running W-League Team of the Year selection.

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Between ten writers, The Football Sack has watched every single match of the season live with all ten coming together to collectively decide the Team of the Year.

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Some of the Contenders

Goalkeepers
Casey Dumont – Melbourne Victory. Made her presence felt especially in one-on-one situations. Wasn’t shy of plucking the ball from the air either.
Haley Kopmeyer – Canberra United. Making a return to the W-League this season after a loan stint in 2015 saw the American join Brisbane Roar from Seattle Reign. Leading the league with 60 saves the American was a rock between the posts for United this season.
Jada Mathyssen-Whyman – Western Sydney Wanderers. Pulled off countless acrobatic saves this season. At just 19 years of age has already established herself as one of the country’s brightest young goalkeeping prospects.
Lydia Williams – Melbourne City. Another impressive year in the books for the Matildas number one as her City team will look for Grand Final victory number three.
Mackenzie Arnold – Brisbane Roar. Arnold was a rock between the sticks for the competition’s stingiest defence, keeping a league high six clean sheets for a Roar side that conceded the least number of goals in the competition (12).

Defenders
Angela Beard – Melbourne Victory. Provided reliable output from left-back but also a regular on corner taking duties. Can provide a great delivery for those inside the box to attack.
Caitlin Cooper – Sydney FC. Experienced defender who has fit in seamlessly since her arrival from rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.
Carson Pickett – Brisbane Roar. The best left foot in Australian football right now – including A-league according to Fox Sports’ Andy Harper – solid defensively while her set pieces contributed to 23% of the Roar’s goals this season.
Clare Polkinghorne – Brisbane Roar. Arguably the Roar’s most important player, the club legend was at her magnificent best at the heart of Roar’s seemingly impenetrable defence.
Ellie Carpenter – Canberra United. Carpenter joined from Western Sydney Wanderers as the first Millennial to play for the Australian national team (Socceroos and Matildas) at just 15-years-old and the now 17-year old Nowra native just keeps getting better. Utilised in a number of positions the powerful youngster has bloomed and becoming a potent attacking threat driving from the back and earning a nomination for NAB Young Footballer of the Year.
Emily Sonnett – Sydney FC. NWSL champion who transforms the sky blues with her powerful defending. Her gut-busting runs from deep give them a dimension no other team has.
Emma Checker – Adelaide United. Although let down at times by her own feet, the tenacity and leadership displayed by the Adelaide captain was dearly required for the struggling Reds.
Gema Simon – Newcastle Jets. Gave the Jets a much-needed boost towards making the finals when she returned at the end of last year which included scoring a last-minute goal away Sydney to clinch a vital point.
Hannah Brewer – Newcastle Jets. Really benefited from experienced gained after a few seasons away from Newcastle and now looks a more complete defender.

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Katie Naughton – Adelaide United. A powerhouse wherever she played, the American shouldered plenty of Adelaide’s workload in the latter stages of the season.
Laura Alleway – Melbourne Victory. Returned to her inaugural club this season and added quality leadership from centre-back, especially with her Matildas experience.
Lauren Barnes – Melbourne City. Continues to show her strength against bigger forwards and her ability to bring the ball out of defence means she remains a key cog in the City machine.
Sarah Carroll – Perth Glory. The stand-out defender in a side that conceded the equal most goals in the competition, Carroll has made the fullback position her own in her most consistent season to date.
Steph Catley – Melbourne City. Born leader in a side as close as we’ve had to a team of W-League galácticos whilst maintaining the definition of consistency for another season.
Tash Prior – Newcastle Jets. Leads from the back and the Jets defence does not look the same without her organising them.
Toni Pressley – Canberra United. Joining United for her first stint in the W-League, Pressley has been a powerful aerial presence at the back and the American will most definitely be on a number of teams’ radar come next season.

Midfielders
Aivi Luik – Melbourne City. Gunning for championship number four having arrived mid-season and bringing the balance back to City’s dominant midfield.
Chloe Logarzo – Sydney FC. as added goals to her dynamic midfield game whilst her time as a leader at the Jets has seen her willing and able to take real responsibility in this Sydney side.
Danielle Colaprico – Adelaide United. A passing wizard with impressive awareness, it’s a wonder that Adelaide didn’t finish higher with her in the side.
Emily Condon – Adelaide United. Earmarked as a future Matilda at a young age, the 19-year-old came into her own this season, showing just how good she is with the ball at her feet in the attacking third.
Emily van Egmond – Newcastle Jets. Composure and guile on the ball to completely control the game. The entire team is built around her and for good reason.
Jessica Fishlock – Melbourne City. Like the Mississippi River everything City do flows through their Welsh star and her knack of picking up crucial goals could see her side go three in a row.
Katrina Gorry – Brisbane Roar. The pint-sized midfielder was the heartbeat of the premiership-winning Roar side. Gorry’s technical ability makes her untouchable on her day. If Gorry plays well the Roar play well.
Kylie Ledbrook – Sydney FC. The 31-year-old thrived in midfield with five goals to her name.

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Laura Bassett – Canberra United. Bassett was brought in to sure up the United defence and the incredibly experienced Englishwoman did just that, sitting in front of the defence and providing the spark for Canberra’s speedy counter attack. The former Arsenal and Chelsea defender can also be credited for a rocket of a goal from long range against Perth Glory in Round 3.
Lisa De Vanna – Sydney FC. The veteran striker was clinical in front of goal with five goals in ten appearances for the Sky Blues.
Lo’eau LaBonta – Western Sydney Wanderers. A skilful dribbler with flashy footwork, the Wanderers’ American signing was pulling strings in the midfield all season and was creative when pressing in attack.
Susan Phonsongkham – Western Sydney Wanderers. Scored a very memorable 25-yard screamer against Victory in Round 12, the exciting teenage talent received a Young Matildas call up during the season.
Teresa Polias – Sydney FC. Steady and dependable, the skipper bossed the middle of the park.
Tori Huster – Newcastle Jets. Her tireless defensive work in midfield allows the likes of van Egmond more freedom to create in midfield. Very underrated player.

Forwards
Arin Gilliland – Newcastle Jets. Has proven she can play just about anywhere but has been most effective at winger. Arguably the Jets’ best this season.
Elise Thorsnes – Canberra United. Norwegian international Thorsnes turned out to be one of the signings of the season bagging six goals and two assists in just nine games for the club. The forward’s best performance coming in the form of a hat-trick in a 6-1 romping of Adelaide United in Round 10.
Erica Halloway – Western Sydney Wanderers. The veteran forward stepped up to the captaincy role this season, leading by example during a tough season for the Red and Black with her explosive runs down the right wing.
Hayley Raso – Brisbane Roar. The wingers pace and direct style of play have been a major factor in the Roar’s turnaround this season. Raso has shown herself to be a big game player, scoring in each of the Roar’s crucial final two matches to seal the premiership.
Katie Stengel – Newcastle Jets. Holds the ball up brilliantly and has the knack of being in the right place at the right time to score goals.

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Kyah Simon – Melbourne City. Enjoyed a profitable season in front of goal following an extended injury lay-off.
Makenzy Doniak – Adelaide United. Having scored half of Adelaide’s goals for the entire season the American can rest easy knowing she put in a bloody good shift up front.
Melina Eyres – Melbourne Victory. An emerging talent who showed her potential as a striker with a couple of stunners over two rounds against Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City.
Rachael Hill – Perth Glory. The 22-year-old American was a constant threat to opposition defences with her pace and poise guiding her to an impressive nine goals from 12 appearances.
Sam Kerr – Perth Glory. Another season of sparkling performances helped the Fremantle local has win a plethora of awards in the last 12 months including Asian Women’s Footballer of the Year, Australia’s Sportswoman of the Year and the Young Australian of the Year.

Coaches
Ante Juric – Sydney FC. After a difficult start to the campaign, he guided his side to a nine-match unbeaten record in his first season in charge.
Craig Deans – Newcastle Jets. Persistence and consistency has finally paid off as he has pushed this Jets squad over the line and into a previously elusive finals berth.
Mel Andreatta – Brisbane Roar. With a first full pre-season under her belt ‘Andreatta’s Roar’ stormed to the title dropping just seven points along the way, the fact that the title race went down to the final day probably flatters a few opposition clubs.

W-League Team of the Year 2017/18

Goalkeeper: Mackenzie Arnold
Centre Backs: Clare Polkinghorne & Hannah Brewer
Full Backs: Ellie Carpenter & Carson Pickett
Defensive Midfielder: Aivi Luik
Attacking Midfielders: Emily van Egmond & Katrina Gorry
Wingers: Hayley Raso & Arin Gilliland
Centre Forward: Sam Kerr
Coach: Mel Andreatta
Assistant Coach: Craig Deans
Bench: Hayley Kopmeyer, Steph Catley, Lisa De Vanna, Katie Stengel

Awards

Defender of the Year: Clare Polkinghorne
Midfielder of the Year: Emily van Egmond
Forward of the Year: Sam Kerr
Player of the Year: Sam Kerr
Young Player of the Year: Ellie Carpenter

Feature Image Credit: Sproule Sports Focus

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