The best A-League turnarounds of all time

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With the 2020/21 A-League season kicking off, it’s time to have a look at some of the most unexpected turnarounds from teams.

These are the five best season performances from teams after a failed previous campaign.

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5. Central Coast Mariners 2007/08

Previous season: Sixth

Season finish: Runners-up

The 2007/08 was the most successful season under coach Lawrie McKinna. The team managed to finish Premier’s but unfortunately could not finish the season off with the plate.

Having got Mile Jedinak on a free transfer in the summer, Jedinak managed to have one of his most successful seasons. Jedinak was mister reliable appearing in more games than any other player (19).

Mariners took out the fifth spot, with a consistent midfield and reliable defence managing ten clean sheets. Finishing runners-up does not hurt either.

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4. Western Sydney Wanderers  2015/16

Previous season: Ninth

Season finish: Runners-up

Next up are the Wanderers. Having been second from the bottom in the 2014/15 A-League season, they came runners-up the next.

The Wanderers and Tony Popovic managed to up their defence and finish runners-up in the regular season and make it to the finals.

Sadly, for them, they were not able to cap it off with a Premier’s Plate.

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They managed to secure this turn around with an improved defence after only three clean sheets in the 14/15 season. They held on to the nine clean sheets.

An improved goal-scoring tally also helped; having scored only 29 goals the season prior, they scored 50 the following season.

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3. Newcastle Jets 2017/18

Previous season: 10th

Season finish: Runners-up

Not so long ago, the Newcastle Jets were a successful club, even with all the internal chaos. They get a higher spot on this list purely for coming from dead last to runners-up.

The Jets two-man attack of Andrew Nabbout and Dimitri Petratos combined for 20 goals.

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That lethal combination managed to bring some joy to a fan base that we all agree has been through too much – having conceded 53 goals the prior season. The Jets managed to get it down to a respectable 39.

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2. Melbourne Victory 2006/07

Previous season: Seventh

Season finish: Champions

For the runners-up, I am taking you back to the second season of the A-League. Being champions automatically gets a high rank.

The only reason this team does not get the top spot purely comes down to the grand final. Archie Thompson had an electric season, managing a league-high 15 goals. Not only was this team great going forward, but they also had the best goalkeeper in Michael Theoklitis.

This team was by far the best, only losing four games all season. Compared to the season before where they only managed seven wins. Ernie Merrick managed to show this side’s real value after a failed first season.

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1. Brisbane Roar 2010/11

Previous season: Ninth

Season finish: Champions

If there is one thing people remember about this team, it’s that final. However, this team was far more than that great moment – arguably the most outstanding group of all time with a reliable, well-rounded team.

Not only could you not score against them, you knew they were going to score. This team managed to start a run for the club, which led them to 36 games unbeaten.

With stars galore, from Besart Berisha to Thomas Broich, this was a team to remember. After their early-season loss to the Victory, the Roar never looked back. This team was more than the players with Ange Postecolou, a master of the game who built his team to the success, deserving just as much praise.

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Feature Image Credit: The Football Sack

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Pokuah Frimpong
Pokuah Frimpong
Obsessed football fan, current journalism student.

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