Ahead of this Sunday’s Grand Final, Professional Footballers Australia (the PFA) has announced the 2018/19 PFA A-League Team of the Season at Optus Stadium.

The team was unveiled on Wednesday afternoon at the venue for this season’s showpiece event, with five players from the A-League Premiers and Grand Final hosts Perth Glory in attendance.

Led by Team of the Season captain Diego Castro, the squad also features the Spaniard’s teammates Shane Lowry, Jason Davidson, Neil KilkennyChris Ikonomidis and Liam Reddy, while Tony Popovic was voted PFA’s Coach of the Season. 

The inclusion of six Glory players is indicative of their dominant season, which saw the Western Australians capture the Premiers Plate with two matches to spare. 

Marking the club’s first silverware in the A-League era, a maiden Asian Champions League berth awaits next season and a Grand Final appearance looms this Sunday for Perth.

Commenting on his selection in the team and his captaincy – which is determined by the player who receives the most votes – Castro praised Perth’s performances this season and his peers for their votes.

“It’s an honour for me to receive the most votes from players from across the league and to feature in this team that has so many great players,” Castro.

“It’s also fantastic to see a lot of my teammates in the team; it shows that it’s been a team effort this season and it’s not just about one or two players. Of course, we are all happy with this award, but we will be happier if we achieve more team success and win the Grand Final this Sunday. That must be our focus for the rest of this week.”

Glory’s Grand Final opponents, Sydney FC, have four players in this season’s squad, with Rhyan Grant and Brandon O’Neillfeaturing in the starting XI, while Milos Ninkovicand Adam Le Fondre received sufficient votes to feature as substitutes. 

Wellington Phoenix’s Filip Kurto and two-time PFA Player of the Month Roy Krishna were voted in as the Team of the Season goalkeeper and striker, respectively, from the club across the Tasman.

Both players had impressive campaigns for the New Zealand outfit, with Krishna adding the peer-voted accolade to his Golden Boot and Johnny Warren Medal double he collected on Monday, while Kurto’s individual success was further elevated following his A-League Golden Glove award.

Melbourne-based clubs City and Victory were represented by Dutch defender Bart Schenkeveld and Swedish striker Ola Toivonen, with the remaining squad positions occupied byAdelaide United’s Isaias and Michael Jakobsen on the substitutes bench.

In his capacity as PFA President, Sydney FC defender Alex Wilkinson praised the players selected in the team, which he said demonstrated the quality of the A-League.

“On behalf of the PFA Executive I would like to congratulate each of the players selected in the PFA A-League Team of the Season,” Wilkinson said.

“It’s great to see such a diverse and talented team, with a great mix of foreign and Australian players, which reiterates the fantastic talent we have in our league performing week in and week out. The semi-finals provided a reminder of the ability of many of our players in this league and we should celebrate their achievements.”

Proudly supported by PFA Major Partner LUCRF Super, the 2018/19 PFA A-League Team of the Season is voted on by the players of the A-League clubs at the conclusion of the regular season.