Best moments of the 2021/22 A-League Men season 

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In a year marred by Covid disruptions, low fan attendance and farcical television coverage, let’s take a look at the moments that made us all smile from the 2021/22 A-League Men season.

John Aloisi’s comeback

The biggest success story of the 2021/22 A-League Men season was undoubtedly John Aloisi’s return to the pinnacle of coaching in Australia.

He was pariah in the Aussie football scene since his unceremonious departure from Brisbane Roar in 2018.

Having applied for every available position in his three-year hiatus from the technical area and having been overlooked every time, it looked as though Aloisi would never coach domestically again.

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That was before Western United took a chance on him at the start of the season and boy did it pay off. 

Aloisi took a squad that finished 10th a year ago to a hard-fought championship in 2021/22. 

Building his squad on defensive stability, Aloisi’s players conceded the second-least goals through 26 games. 

Through this rock-solid defence, Aloisi took a club, in only its third ALM season, all the way to their first championship. 

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Vindicating his reputation in the process and achieving the first championship in his 10-year coaching career. 

There are now calls for Aloisi to make the jump and become Australia’s national team coach, however, this likely balances on Graham Arnold’s ability to get the Socceroos to the World Cup. 

An undoubtedly magnificent display from Aloisi through 2021/22 has returned him to the summit of coaches in Australia. 

The emergence of young talent in the league

The 2021/22 season will be remembered as the year emerging youth talent made the A-League Men their own.  

A positive of all the players forced out either through Covid protocols or tight turnarounds for teams, was the need for coaches to trust their younger players.

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Their faith was rewarded with so many young players making the step up to bona fide ALM prodigies in 2021/22. 

While the list could be much longer I’ve picked seven standouts to highlight here.

  • Garang Kuol (17 years old, Central Coast Mariners)
  • Nestory Irankunda (16 years old, Adelaide United)
  • Henry Hore (22 years old, Brisbane Roar)
  • Jacob Farrell (19 years old, Central Coast Mariners)
  • Steven Hall (17 years old, Adelaide United)
  • Joshua Nisbet (22 years old, Central Coast Mariners)
  • Patrick Yazbek (20 years old, Sydney FC)

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All of these players broke out in the A-League Men in 2021/22 and look like future stars already.

If they can continue their growth on the pitch, the sky’s the limit for these young Australian footballing prodigies. 

Ben Garuccio’s scorpion kick

An unbelievable goal in an unbelievable season for Western United.

Ben Garruccio, a player who hadn’t scored a goal in four years, pulled off a show-stopping scorpion kick to score his second in United’s clash with Western Sydney Wanderers.

With shades of Riley McGree’s outrageous effort in 2018 for the Newcastle Jets, Garuccio has surely earned himself a Puskas nomination here in 2021/22.

A highlight which should remind Australians of how entertaining the beautiful game can be in our own backyard.

Moments of brilliance like this encourage us, as fans, to go out and attend games and see football the Australian way.

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Bill Hedley
Journalism under graduate at the University of Queensland. I have been a die-hard football player and fan for the past 16 years and am now a passionate multimedia Journalist, covering Brisbane Roar for the 2021/22 A-League season.

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