Goal's Top 20 A-League players: No.18 - Michael Zullo

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Goal counts down the top 20 players currently playing in the A-League, as voted by its Australian journalists


18. MICHAEL ZULLO | Sydney FC


Age:  29
Nationality: Australian
Position: Left-back
A-League apps: 28 (Sydney FC), 15 (Melbourne City), 24 (Adelaide United), 53 (Brisbane Roar)
A-League goals: 2 (Brisbane Roar)
Other clubs:  FC Utrecht (Netherlands)
Achievements:  A-League champions (Sydney FC - 2016-17), A-League premiers (Sydney FC - 2016-17)


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW


Zullo made his debut as a 17-year-old for Frank Farina's Brisbane Roar in August 2007 - coming off the bench to play 27 minutes against Adelaide United.

The Brisbane local quickly established himself as one of the premier left-sided players in the competition despite his tender age.

At the age of 20, Zullo earned his first cap for the Socceroos, under Pim Verbeek, in a 0-0 draw against Indonesia in Asian Cup qualifying.

Michael Zullo Sydney FC

Eventually Europe came calling, with the flying defender joining Dutch Eredivisie club Utrecht with Roar teammates Tommy Oar and Adam Sarota in 2010.

He spent five years in the Netherlands without becoming a first team regular, with a season's loan at Adelaide United in between.

Zullo secured a permanent move to Melbourne City for the 2015-16 season but only lasted one campaign before signing with Sydney FC.

Settling in well to coach Graham Arnold's system, Zullo excelled down the left flank and was a big contributor to the Sky Blues sturdy defence in their double-winning season.


2017-18 PROSPECTS


Because he broke on to the scene at such a young age, it's easy to forget Zullo is only 28 years old, with plenty of quality football left ahead of him.

He has a mortgage on the Sky Blue starting left-back role and will again be asked to get up-and-down the touchline in both an attacking and defensive manner.

Once his two-year contract expires with Sydney at the end of the season, it will be interesting to see if Zullo stays in Australia or chooses to give it another crack abroad.

Australian coach Ange Postecoglou still hasn't made his mind up on a starting left-back for a possible World Cup appearance, and Zullo could be considered if he really hits top form at the right time.

 

Goal A-League 20:

Article continues below

No.20 - Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar)

No.19 - Brandon O'Neill (Sydney FC)

No.17 in Goal's Top 20 A-League players will be named on Thursday.

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