With the 2016 PlayStation4 National Premier League NSW Men’s season reaching its crescendo, it’s that time of year where we reflect on the standout players who made this season great.
After every competition fixture, our reporters have been awarding 3, 2, 1 votes and they are added up to decide the make-up of this star studded team.
From the experienced campaigners to the young up and coming superstars, 2016’s team of the year has it all!
Paul Henderson (Sydney Olympic)
In a year where Leicester City captured the imagination of the football world, it was slightly poetic that one of their former players also shone this season. The keeping heroics of veteran Paul Henderson almost saw Sydney Olympic qualify for the finals with some tremendous saves, including some spectacular games where the experienced campaigner was awarded best on field on numerous occasions by various Football NSW journalists.
Nick Littler (Sutherland Sharks)
One of the most consistent performers this year, Nick Littler was a constant menace in the back line for Sutherland. Regularly on hand to shut down the opposition attack, Littler also proved himself as a handy shooter, becoming the Sharks second top goal scorer of the season – this was also thanks largely to the defender’s big frame and his aerial ability also.
Keiren Paull (Manly United)
It was a standout year for Keiren Paull, who featured in all off Manly United’s matches with some trademark stamina and speed. As his team charged towards the finals, Paull continued to lift his game and was also a key cog in the Manly attacking unit.
Tomislav Uskok (Sydney United 58)
In his debut PS4 NPL NSW Mens season coming from the Melbourne Knights in Victoria, Tomislav Uskok could have done little more to impress his new Sydney United 58 suitors. After scoring in his debut match, Uskok went from strength to strength. The central defender played an aggressive brand of football that was undoubtedly a major factor in United 58’s Premiership campaign.
Toufic Alameddine (Rockdale City Suns)
The sight of Toufic Alameddine charging up the wing became a regular occurrence in 2016, his blistering runs causing headaches for the opposition. Alameddine was near unstoppable in the majority of matches this year, setting up countless goals and nailing some himself.
Adam Parkhouse (Manly United)
What a year Adam Parkhouse has had. The young workhorse could hardly have asked for a better season. The 23-year-old was a powerhouse on the pitch, his high-tempo game impressing all as were his pin point crosses and service he provided in the Manly attack that saw him rise with the name ‘Assist King’ by his peers. In a sign of his fantastic potential, Ernie Merrick and the Wellington Phoeinx has taken on Parkhouse for the 2016/7 Hyundai A-League season.
Danny Choi (Blacktown City FC)
For the second year running, the electric Danny Choi led the dynamic midfield of Blacktown City superbly this season and once again has featured in the Team of the Year. The South Korean soon to be Australian maestro was dazzling in midfield and just as potent in front of goal, finishing as Blacktown City’s leading goal scorer.
Panni Nikas (Sydney United 58)
In a United 58 team bursting with potential, the performances of one man stood out this year. For sheer talent and breath-taking football, few could surpass Panni Nikas. He was superb across the park, be it in attack or defence, with the ball at his feet or finding space to create chances; Nikas had it all this season and was a regular fixture in the ‘Team of the Week’ as voted by the Football NSW journalists.
Mitchell Mallia (Blacktown City FC)
At just 24 year of age, it’s hard to believe that Mallia has represented two Hyundai A-League clubs and is also playing in his third year for the Blacktown City club. After an excellent 2016 season, the silky midfielder has truly stamped himself as one of the finest midfielders in the league.
Tasuku Sekiya (APIA Leichhardt Tigers)
Although it wasn’t the best season for the APIA Leichhardt Tigers, the scoring ability of their Japanese signing Tasuku Sekiya was one of the highlights of the year, especially at Lambert Park. Sekiya regularly bamboozled defenders with his crafty ball control and speed, finishing on top of the scorers list for his team.
Chris Payne (Sydney United 58)
With a ridiculous league high of 21 goals, star striker Chris Payne took the competition by storm in 2016. Week after week, he unleashed a flurry of shots with power and accuracy, his hunger for goal never seeming to be satisfied.
Tom Manos (Sydney United 58)
Without a reliable goalkeeper, any team would struggle to rise to the top of the table, and United 58 shot stopper Tom Manos is a testament to this. His daring saves and defence marshalling inspired those around him. It’s no secret that the title of stingiest defence in the league belongs to United 58 due to Manos’ presence.
Zac Mackenzie (Wollongong Wolves)
Although the Wollongong Wolves couldn’t match the heights of last year, defender Zac Mackenzie continued to impress each week for the club. His work ethic was solid throughout the year and was courageous in defence.
Brendan Cholakian (Manly United)
With bucket loads of skills, Brendan Cholakian continues to be a stalwart of the Manly United attack. The midfielder was deadly around the penalty area, and could always be counted upon to step up in attack when needed.
Blake Ricciuto (Rockdale City Suns)
Blake Ricciuto was at the forefront of the Rockdale City Suns engine room, grinding it out week after week with the same tough attitude towards his football. He tackled solidly in defence and showed great endurance throughout the season.
Aaron Peterson (Bonnyrigg White Eagles)
The only player from last year’s Championship winning Bonnyrigg team to be included in this squad, Aaron Peterson was one of the biggest improvers of 2016. A formidable striker of the ball, Peterson shone in attack with his awareness and array of ball skills.