As the 2016/17 season comes to a close, we take a look at the 5 players that have impressed us the most this season. There was some discussion in the team about this so have a look and let us know your top 5!
5. Jonathan Aspropotamitis (Aspro)
The former Wanderers Youth League central defender was a stand out rock for the Wanderers defence this season. Making a number of appearances in the 2015/16 campaign, Aspro fought his way into the starting 11 this season, keeping out visa player Aritz Borda and becoming the number 1 choice at Centre Back. Aspro was solid in defence and a big part of the Wanderers’ resurgence towards the end of the season.
4. Nicolas Martinez (Nico)
Our sole marquee signing of the season, Nico Martinez was a shining light in an overall dull season. An exciting player with ball control and footwork like we haven’t seen before in our short time. This combined with his passing ability and pace made him a class above the rest and one of the better players in the league. Only some final decision making and finishing let him down but a promising star of the future if he can be retained (currently on loan from Olympiakos).
3. Terry Antonis
Signed in the January transfer window, Terry Antonis quickly made an impact on the Wanderers and cemented his place in the starting 11. Re-igniting the Wanderers’ attack with some much needed spark and direct play, Antonis was one of the main drivers behind the Wanderers’ change in form in the back half of the season. Currently off-contracted, he is 1 player the Wanderers can’t afford to let go.
2. Vedran Janjetovic
Also signed in January, in the most controversial of ways, Vedran (the viper) Janjetovic came in to solve the Wanderers’ dire goalkeeping situation. He had the best possible start, a good performance in Melbourne followed by our first clean sheet of the season in the Sydney Derby to win over the Wanderers’ fans. Vedran offered much needed stability at the back, instilling the confidence for the back 4 and midfield to play out from the back and press forward. Arguably, THE signing of the season, he simply must stay on.
1. Brendon Santalab
The man, the myth, the legend, Brendon Santalab. He simply bleeds red and black. His passion is second to none and is worn on his sleeve. If anything is fairly certain in this life, it’s a Santalab goal and yellow card combo. Stepping up from super-sub/backup striker, Santalab carried our goal scoring needs on his shoulders, slotting away 14; far more than any other Wanderer and 5th overall in the league. While not the sole answer to our issues up front, the ever reliable Santa had yet another great season and continues to deliver at the age of 34 (and who can forget that Derby winner!?).
So that’s it. It was close but there’s our top 5. Next we’ll be looking at our top 5 most improved players which includes some that only just missed this list; so i’m sure we’ll see them on next year’s.