Grand Final opponents Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers players dominate the PFA A-League Team of the Season defenders shortlist.

The Premiers and Runners-Up made up five of the eight-man shortlist following a vote of all A-League players.

With the final 16 man squad set to be unveiled on Friday, May 23 at the PFA Alex Tobin OAM Medal ceremony the all-conquering Roar had three players included in the shortlist with the Wanderers having two.

Headlined by Roar skipper Matt Smith the centre-back was joined by teammates Ivan Franjic and Jade North. The trio were instrumental in the Roar’s double winning season conceding just 25 goals to finish the campaign with the A-League’s best defensive record.

The outstanding form of the Wanderers centre-back pairing Matthew Spiranovic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley was also recognised by the players with the duo being included in the shortlist for the Team of the Season. Having arrived on the eve of the season Spiranovic quickly formed a formidable pairing with Topor-Stanley enabling the Wanderers to finish runners-up in the league and Grand Final.

Having been named in the PFA A-League Team of the Season last campaign Melbourne Victory left back AdamaTraore is in the running to make consecutive appearances. The Ivorian was once again one of the stars of the season scoring a contender for goal of the season against Perth Glory in round 10.

Adelaide United duo Tarek Elrich and Osama Malik were also included in the shortlist. Selected in the Team of the Season in 2008/2009 Elrich is vying to for a second appearance, whilst Malik is chasing his first.

Having thrived throughout the season after being converted into a centre back by Reds boss JosepGombau Malik said it capped a fantastic season.

“The recognition of your fellow professionals is something that means a lot to players because they have a unique understanding of how much goes into getting to this level. Everyone on that shortlist has been outstanding this season and it is privilege to be included alongside them.”

The PFA A-League Team of the Season Defenders Shortlist:

  • AdamaTroare (Melbourne Victory)
  • Matt Smith (Brisbane Roar)
  • Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar)
  • Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers)
  • Osama Malik (Adelaide United)
  • Jade North (Brisbane Roar)
  • Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Western Sydney Wanderers)
  • Tarek Elrich (Adelaide United)

The PFA A-League Team of the Season Defenders Shortlist will be announced tomorrow.