Melbourne Heart’s Brazilian midfielder Fred was today announced as the captain of the 2011/12 PFA A-League Team of the Season.

Fred is the fourth player to have been selected as captain of the A-League Team of the Season following Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar 2010-11), Kevin Muscat (Melbourne Victory 2009-10) and Craig Moore (Brisbane Roar 2008-09).

The team as selected by PFA members would play with a goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards as well as five players on the bench. This is the first time that the PFA team of the season has been selected in the 3-4-3 formation. The 3-4-3 formation was chosen, both because it is consistent with the FFA National Curriculum and also to accommodate the two left-sided defenders selected by the players.

The PFA A-League Team of the Season:

Goalkeeper: Matt Ryan (Central Coast Mariners)
Defenders: Michael Marrone (Melbourne Heart), Patrick Zwaansijk (Central Coast Mariners), Josh Rose (Central Coast Mariners)
Midfielders: Fred (Melbourne Heart), Mitch Nicholls (Brisbane Roar), Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar), Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart)
Forwards: Paul Ifill (Wellington Phoenix), BesartBerisha (Brisbane Roar), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory).
Subs: Clint Bolton (Melbourne Heart), Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix), Nicky Carle (Sydney FC), Carlos Hernandez (Melbourne Victory), Harry Kewell (Melbourne Victory)

The PFA A-League Team of the Season starting lineup includes five foreign players, and players from five different clubs. Three clubs had three players in the starting team, Central Coast, Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar, while Melbourne Victory had three players in the squad.

PFA President Simon Colosimo and Chief Executive Brendan Schwab were present with Melbourne Heart players to make the presentation to the four Heart players who featured in the Team. Along with his Team of the Season award, Clint Bolton was presented with his PFA Life Membership Award. Bolton has been a member of the PFA since its inception in 1993 and contributed to the PFA’s community programs as a “Heroes” mentor.

Of the Team of the Season, Simon Colosimosaid “The side shows a strong emphasis on attack which has been one of the hallmarks of the 2011-12 A-League season. The excitement generated by players in the A-League has been the reason why crowds and viewing audiences have been up this year. The players have done their bit on the field and shown what a great product the A-League can be.”

Fred said “It is a great honour for me to have been voted by my peers onto the PFA A-League Team of the Season. I am very pleased to have been selected in this way, and also pleased that my teammates, Michael Marrone, Aziz Behich and Clint Bolton have also been selected. It is of course an even greater honour to have been named Captain of the team.”

Brendan Schwab said “The PFA A-League Team of the Season highlights the incredible attacking talents in the A-League, and the strength of the A-League as a competition.

“The PFA A-League Team of the Season has a strong balance of clubs and players who have lit up the league, and more than half of the team are from the two clubs who fought out the Premiership. It is also a demonstration of how in the right environment, the A-League can develop young Australian players with Mitch Nicholls, Matt Ryan and Aziz Behich all playing for the Olyroos, while Michael Marrone was called up to the Socceroos.

“We know that there has been a significant increase both in the attendances at A-League games, and we also know that the TV audience has increased by nearly 50%. There is no doubt that the players in this team, and all of the players in the A-League have been the major contributor to the increase in viewers and attendees at the games. The game’s strength very much rests on the backs of the players.

“I wish to congratulate those who have been voted into the PFA A-League Team of the Season by their peers and wish the best to all of those now involved in finals.”