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While there were a handful of anomalies, Dejan Kalinic believes the fans' voting for the A-League All-Stars 35-man squad deserves some credit

GOAL.com Indonesia   OPINION
By
DEJAN KALINIC


Lucas Neill and Marcos Flores did more than sneak into the top 35 of the A-League All-Stars team selected by fans, but they were surprisingly the only two anomalies.

Over 30,000 votes were cast for what will account for 50 percent of the 18-man squad to face Manchester United in Sydney on July 20.

Neill played just three games for Sydney FC after joining late in the season and Flores never reached the heights he did at Adelaide United.

The Socceroos captain would have been surprised to be named among the league's top-10 defenders and Flores stunned to be one of the best midfielders.

In Neill's case, there were massive slaps to the faces of Ivan Franjic, Trent Sainsbury, Michael Thwaite and Josh Rose.

Sainsbury, in particular, deserved more, his season for the championship-winning Central Coast a standout that has seen him tipped for Socceroos selection.

Franjic did more than adapt to being pushed forward by Mike Mulvey at Brisbane, often starring on the right wing.

Thwaite and Rose may have been below-par for the standards they have set, but both were surely above a three-game defender.

Mariners shot-stopper Mathew Ryan, Western Sydney defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley and star marquees Shinji Ono and Alessandro Del Piero topped their positions.

 

KALINIC'S A-LEAGUE ALL-STAR XI

GOALKEEPER

Mat Ryan
RIGHT-BACK
CENTRE BACK
CENTRE BACK
LEFT-BACK

Ivan Franjic

Nik Topor-Stanley

Trent Sainsbury

Adama Traore
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD

Aaron Mooy

Mark Milligan
RIGHT WING
ATTACKING MIDFIELD
LEFT WING

Youssouf Hersi

Shinji Ono

Michael McGlinchey
CENTRE FORWARD

Alessandro Del Piero

Other than the ordering in a few positions – Michael McGlinchey was better than the fourth best midfielder this season – the fans got it right.

To have such a large number of votes yet still get what appears to be the best side is a credit to the fans.

There are several intriguing stories to play out before the encounter in mid-July.

United will arrive with new manager David Moyes after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Several All-Stars may be unavailable - including Del Piero, who could be in Japan with Sydney FC preparing for a friendly.

Marco Rojas has departed the Melbourne Victory – signing a deal with Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart on Wednesday – and Jeremy Brockie has joined Toronto FC on loan.

But the starting line-up for the meeting with the English Premier League champions will be close to the A-League's best ahead of next season.

And the fans deserved some credit.

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