DEFENDERS FC

I tried to come up with a team of the season. I wound up with two. Worse still, I wound up with far, far, far too many defenders. So we’re doubling down. Everyone knows defence is what makes a team thrive, so we’re giving a massive shout out to our defenders and creating a whole team of them. Defenders FC.

To everyone who “liked” my tweet about creating a team of the year solely out of defenders, this one is for you guys. So for all the defenders who absolutely killed it this season, and deserve some recognition, here it is. We love you guys. Keep being brick walls and bringing so much to the table. Forever Defenders FC.

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GOALKEEPER
Polkinghorne.
You need the calm and no nonsense type of play from your goalkeeper. Not only that, but if Polkinghorne can do such incredible things with her head during a game, surely she can do the same with her hands to keep the ball out of the net yeah? Add on the basics of she’s tall and commanding I feel like this is a brilliant move. Further adding to the cause is her ability for the long ball pass, where she can pick out a player from miles away. An utter genius and the one who will don the gloves for our Defenders FC.

 

LEFT BACK
Catley.
Yeah she was injured for large spells of the season, but the back end she was back to her magical best. There is hot competition for the left back spot, but given most of those players would be comfortable further up the park, Catley earns the call up. It’s her natural position, able to bomb up and down the flank with ease. Strong in attack and defence. No more is needed to be said.

 

CENTRE BACKS
Corsie.
The centre back is the one to lead the team really, and in a team full of defenders, you’re really going to need a strong player to marshal the troops. Look no further to the Scotland captain. This season has been magic watching her play for Canberra, taking a youthful defence and steering them towards being a really solid defensive unit. Sure Corsie probably could’ve been used further up the park, however her experience is why I’ve kept her back here. Can’t beat experience, and can stop any centre forward on their day.

Johnson.
Honestly it was a tough choice between Johnson and Alleway. Both have been essential for Victory this season and it is their ability to contain their area of the park that allowed Victory to move with such efficiency. However, Johnson gets the call up by a whisker. Really happy with man marking and just her ability to be an out and out centre back is what keeps her in her natural position here.

 

RIGHT BACK
Nielsen.
The right back spot was elusive this season too. I enjoyed Krammer, but in a team of defenders, you probably should have a right back who can bring a bit more than sheer brute to the table (although I don’t see why, but I’m playing along with you guys who’d have an out cry had I put her here). So Nielsen gets the call up. A classy player, we’ve seen how good she is when her side are in possession and how she loves to push forward. Really comfortable on the ball and strong in the tackle, Nielsen was probably the most consistent right back this season.

 

LEFT MIDFIELD
Pickett.
No doubt that this is her home in this side. Her early season form was a marvel, her ability to whip in cross makes her lethal at left midfield. Often when Brisbane were chasing late in the game Pickett would be pushed up to left midfield or forward, so this decision was simple. Whilst her form as the season went on dwindled a bit, no doubt she remained a constant threat down the left flank. Part of her dip in form has to go to sides marking that flank more heavily, aware of the threat Pickett brings going forward.

 

DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD
Brooks.
I love a deep lying playmaker, who is ruthless in tackles, can read the game well and play the ball out in a clever fashion, both with the short ball and the long one to catch opposition defenses asleep. Brooks showed all these attributes this season. Such a quality player, the number of assists this season were on par with some of our best midfielders.

 

BOX-TO-BOX/ROVING MIDFIELD
Kennedy.
Ok, I know we don’t really play a “roving” midfield role in soccer, it’s the wrong code. However box to box, and just the freedom to play anywhere is where Kennedy would excel. Kennedy has the motor to play this role, enjoys playing absolutely anywhere on the pitch and has a shot that is the envy of many. Add on her ability in the air, and no brainer. Kennedy belongs everywhere on the pitch.

 

RIGHT MIDFIELD
Roestbakken.
Ok, I know Roestbakken was largely used on the left flank this season. But there is no doubt she is a player who can own the flank. Also this side needs some youth, and that’s where Roestbakken comes in. Personally I’d tag her as the best young player this season. She’s an absolute joy to watch, can mix it up massively, carries the ball well and is good in and around the box. It might be the wrong flank, but it would’ve been a sin not to have her named in the squad.

 

CENTRE FORWARDS
McCormick.
AFL skills come in handy up forward yeah? No but seriously, this has to be McCormick’s break out season. She’s been super solid and reliable previous years, but this time round she’s reached new heights. Honestly it’s been glorious to watch. Why is she so far up the pitch? For a centre forward I was looking for someone who is strong, can hold the ball up and find the spaces to run into. In the semi final, McCormick found all the right spaces on the few times she ventured forward. Further, there is no doubt she is strong on the ball and can carry it well at her feet. Her passing ability has also improved this season, which will only help in this roll.

Stott.
A defender who’s given us defender runs for daysssss. If I had the ability to gather all of Stott’s defender runs this season and create a reel to watch, I seriously would. If anyone wants to ever be my valentine, just put Stott’s defender runs on a dvd for me and I’ll say yes, yeah. I’ve got a feeling Stott may well have a defender’s shot on her, but is that stopping me from putting her as centre forward? Heck no. I want a centre forward who will run at defenders with the ball, Stott’s my player.

 

SUBSTITUTES

Johns
Another through in of youth. She’s had a seriously impressive this season, both defensively and on the attack. This versatility makes her an asset to come off the bench on the 80th minute and change a match.

Brewer
Super consistent and the type of player who often goes unnoticed until they aren’t on the park. It was hard leaving her out of the starting XI, but is the type of player who could be a real engine anywhere in the middle of the park, while also contains the ability to play out wide.

Krammer
Like I’ve said, I love a player who is all brute. Call me selfish, but this is my team right. So Krammer makes the cut for when you just need someone to bulldoze an opponent. Note, you always need a player to bulldoze the opponent.

Naughton
Probably the only reason she’s not in the starting XI is because I’ve not watched her live yet. She’s pivotal for Perth and has the ability to play a number of positions. The ultimate substitute.

 

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