Favourites for the Johnny Warren Medal

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The Johnny Warren Medal is the most prestigious award in Australian football and there can only be one winner.

We take a look at which player from each club is the most likely to take out the award.

Adelaide United: Craig Goodwin

Setting the world alight in guiding the Reds to their second FFA Cup trophy, big things were expected for Craig Goodwin.

The 27-year-old has contributed with nine league goals, in addition to five FFA Cup goals (not that cup games count towards Johnny Warren votes), so far this season and is one of the league’s dead-ball specialists.

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Alongside captain Isaias, Goodwin has been the standout for the Reds and will poll well in Adelaide’s wins making him a dark horse for the award.

Brisbane Roar: Jamie Young

Jamie Young continues to be a beacon of hope in this disastrous Brisbane Roar season. He may not have kept the most clean-sheets but is one of, if not the only reason Brisbane are not dead last.

It’s rare Young plays a game without showcasing moments of brilliance and while given the amount of goals Brisbane has conceded it is unlikely Young will win the goalkeeper of the season award, he could be a likely recipient of Brisbane’s best-and-fairest.

Central Coast Mariners: Matt Millar

He may not be a fan-favourite after signing for the Newcastle Jets for next season but Millar has impressed since his promotion from the NPL.

18 goals in 69 matches for NPL Victoria’s South Melbourne earned Millar a one-year contract at the Mariners where he scored his first goal early in the side’s 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar. It’s plausible that Millar could become the first player elevated from the NPL to win an A-League individual club award.

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Melbourne City: Ritchie De Laet

City fans would be feeling quite ambivalent about their season so far. While their performances have not met expectations, players like Ritchie De Laet, Luke Brattan and Bart Schenkeveld have given fans hope of a deep final run.

The only position De Laet is yet to undertaken this season is in goals – having been called upon as a striker at times.

The former Leicester City defender has scored the most goals out of any City player with six, impressive when you take into consideration he has played a large part of the season under an injury cloud.

Expect De Laet to be among the top few in the votes count.

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Melbourne Victory: Terry Antonis

Step aside Keisuke Honda and Ola Toivonen. Melbourne Victory’s Mr. Reliable this season has been none other than the player who sunk his former side in last season semi-final.

While the attacking midfielder often goes unnoticed in games his impact in the side, especially during Honda’s absence, has been significant.

An integral part to Victory’s team – Antonis might not be the most glamorous of players on current form is a lock in the team of the season and could sneak a top five finish in the Johnny Warren medal.

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Newcastle Jets: Steve Ugarkovic

There hasn’t been too many stand-outs for the Jets this season. Not having Roy O’Donovan early hurt the Jets but they have set themselves up for a big few weeks and Ugarkovic has been a big player in steadying the ship.

He is rarely beaten in the middle and has often been regarded as the league’s most underrated player. Not only has Ugarkovic been the side’s most consistent player in a difficult season but makes the midfield his own and never fails to step up when his side needs him post.

Perth Glory: Chris Ikonomides

Perth could either have a number of players vying for the award or hardly any given many will most likely steal votes off each other. Ikonomides has re-invented himself at the Glory and was rewarded with a Socceroos call-up for the Asian Cup.

The former Lazio wonderkid has scored seven goals at the Glory – including a number of stoppage time winners – though Ikonomides could be in a tight race for the award with former winner Diego Castro in career best form since returning from injury.

At 23 there is no question Ikonomides will return to Europe at some stage in his career and could leave the A-League with a Johnny Warren medal around his neck.

Sydney FC: Adam Le Fondre

Having to fill Bobo’s record-breaking shoes was never going to be an easy task but Adam Le Fondre has made it look easy. Le Fondre very quickly established himself as the league’s best striker, scoring seven goals in his first six matches for his new club.

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The 32-year-old scored a brace on his league debut and leads the league’s Golden boot award alongside Andy Keogh and Roy Krishna.

Le Fondre has been touted as an early favourite to win the award in his inaugural season.

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Wellington Phoenix: Roy Krishna

Krishna’s career has been reinvigorated under Mark Rudan and it appears the Fijian international could be set to stay at the Phoenix long-term.

In addition to an increase in goals, his defensive work ethic improved significantly and has taken on more of a leadership role at the club.

This has been Krishna’s best season yet at the club and he could be rewarded with a Johnny Warren medal.

Western Sydney Wanderers: Roly Bonevacia

Positives have been few and far between for the Wanderers this season.

Despite often being a scapegoat by coach Markus Babbel, Bonevacia has weathered the storm and has produced moments of brilliance when played in his natural position.

Four goals in his last five games has seen the Wanderers midfielder return to his best and puts him in a favourable position to win Western Sydney’s best-and-fairest award.

Feature image credit: Phil Radoslovich

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Athos Sirianos
Athos Sirianos
RMIT Journalism | Football Nation Radio Like all football fans my general mood for the week is dictated by how my team performs over the weekend.

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