Goal Australia reveals which players most impressed our match reporters during the 2013-14 regular season. In at no.4 is a former Melbourne Victory star who wowed us in black an...
Club: Wellington Phoenix
Position: Attacking midfielder/playmaker
Appearances: 20 (1)
What we think:
Plenty of eyebrows were raised, particularly in Melbourne, when it was announced Hernandez was coming back to the A-League after an underwhelming spell in India. Questions were asked about the Costa Rican's work ethic and desire. Rarely willing to exert himself on the training field in search of optimum condition at Melbourne Victory, why would things be any different in Wellington?
Would the presence of Ernie Merrick in the Phoenix dugout give Hernandez the platform to rediscover his best form? Or would that safety net encourage the 2009-10 Johnny Warren Medal winner to coast?
We know the answer now. Luring Hernandez back to the A-League has been a resounding success for the Phoenix. Only the outgoing Stein Huysegems scored more goals than the Costa Rican, who led his team for assists, shots, crosses and chances created. Hernandez earned 22 votes from our match reporters, including man-of-the-match honours five times.
The question now is, will he stay in New Zealand beyond the end of this season?
What they said:
Speaking to The Dominion Post, Hernandez said: "I have one more year but I don't know."
"Football, things happen, if one team has a good offer for me. At the moment I have a contract with the Phoenix for one more year and I'm focused for the national team. But say I go to the World Cup, maybe that opens the door because an offer comes."
Often criticised for appearing to be overweight during his time in Melbourne, Hernandez essentially confirmed those allegations earlier this month.
"I try my best for Phoenix," he said.
"Never in my five years at Victory was I 79 kilograms."