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In the lead up to the 2013-14 season, join us as we count down the best 15 players in the A-League, as voted for by Goal and Sportal.com.au journalists and writers.

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Daniel McBreen

Club Games Goals
North QLD Fury [2009-10]
Perth Glory [2010]
Central Coast [2010-]
21
7
79
3
5
24

Just a few seasons ago, the idea of Daniel McBreen being considered one of the best 15 players in the A-League would have been improbable, to say the least.

But producing an incredible season at an age when many other players would have retired means the centre-forward was impossible for our judges to ignore.

While certainly not the most glamorous name on our list, he enjoyed an extraordinary campaign with the Central Coast Mariners in 2012-13, which culminated in the team being crowned champions and McBreen taking out of the golden boot in a fairy-tale finish for the 36-year-old.

Where on earth did that 19-goal season come from? Seemingly more likely to hang up his boots than set the competition alight, it was 2012-13 when he finally served notice of his previously hidden goal-scoring prowess.

In 27 appearances, only once starting from the bench despite his advancing years, McBreen banged in that improbable total, more than Archie Thompson, Shane Smeltz, Alessandro Del Piero and Besart Berisha.

Strengths

He isn't the tallest and he isn't the quickest centre-forward in the world, or indeed the A-League itself. But the benefits of being one of the most experienced players in the competition were there for all to see last season, as McBreen used his positional intelligence, guile and know-how to evade defences and find the back of the net wherever he and the Mariners went.

Defining moment

Securing the Golden Boot with 17 goals in the regular season, McBreen netted twice in the finals series, including slotting home a penalty - no mean feat given the club's woes from the spot earlier that campaign - to put the Mariners 2-0 up in their Grand Final victory over Western Sydney.

And to cap it all off, McBreen was also awarded the Joe Marston Medal for his man-of-the-match performance in the final.

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