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Kiwis shine in A-League

“Being selected into the PFA Team of the Season by your peers is one of the top accolades you can have as a player,” PFA president Simon Colosimo says. “The players can be proud of such an acknowledgement particularly in a season where players have continued to play a massive part in raising the standard and interest levels in the A-League.”
The honour of a spot in the Team of the Season caps off a stellar period for the trio, all of whom are following quite different career trajectories.
Since joining Melbourne Victory Rojas has continued to develop and grow his style under the watch of coach Ange Postecoglou, and as well as scoring 15 goals in the 2012/13 season, accumulated eight assists to lead the league in scoring involvements.
Rojas also became the first player since former Socceroo Mark Viduka to win the Johnny Warren Medal and NAB Young Footballer of the Year at the recent A-League Awards. Since the season concluded the All White has announced plans to head to Europe.
“I have absolutely loved my time at Melbourne Victory, from the always-loyal fans, to the support of my teammates as well as the coaches and the staff – they have all definitely helped make me who I am today and I can’t thank everybody enough,” Rojas says.
“It’s every footballer’s dream to play in Europe and I’m over-the-moon to be able to say I’m about to live that dream very soon. I definitely will be keeping a close eye on Victory while I’m overseas and won’t be surprised to see the club achieve even more success in the future.”
While the A-League is complete, for Michael McGlinchey and his Central Coast Mariner teammates there is plenty more hard work to come in the 2013 AFC Champions League.
Despite losing 3-0 overnight to Kashiwa Reysol, a 2-2 draw between the Suwon Bluewings and Guizhou Renhe means the Mariners have reached the knock-out phase for the first time in their history.
Ahead of last night’s match, McGlinchey said he and his teammates weren’t thinking about anything to do with the last 16 of the competition.
“If we started thinking ahead, we would risk ruining our campaign. We would be mad to take that risk,” the 26-year-old midfielder said. “We wanted to win the Premier’s Plate, the championship and qualify for the last 16 in the ACL. We just missed out on the plate, we won the championship and now we’ve got the chance to realise our ACL goal.”
A day after winning the A-League Grand Final, the Mariners were forced to travel Korea and then play the next day against Suwon Bluewings – a match in which McGlinchey’s sole goal secured his side second place in the group.
“I don’t think anyone in the world was dreaming we were going to win, considering the circumstances,” he said. “We were going to be content with a point. A win was going to be a bonus, but we go the bonus which was great.”
The Mariners now have the opportunity to continue their campaign in the ACL and McGlinchey will be looking to play a key role in the side’s future success in the competition.
Back in New Zealand, Jeremy Brockie has had a stellar start to his career at the Wellington Phoenix after bouncing around the Australian A-League clubs and New Zealand’s Premiership ahead of signing a three year deal with the Phoenix.
He finished the season with 16 goals in 25 appearances and was runner-up in the competition’s Golden Boot race to Central Coast Mariners’ Daniel McBreen, who Brockie then edged out in the voting for a spot in the Team of the Year.
Meanwhile the 30-year-old almost completed a clean sweep of the Wellington Phoenix’s awards when he won Players’ Player of the Year and the club’s Golden Boot. However was pipped by international teammate Andre Durante to the Player of the Year gong.
In earning their place in the Team of the Season, the three New Zealanders have also increased the odds for selection to the Foxtel All Stars squad, for which voting closed yesterday, which will take on Manchester United later this year.

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