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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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There was never any doubt the A-League's all-time leading goalscorer would make the list, and number seven is probably about fair for Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz.

The New Zealand international, 31, has shown on a regular basis what he is capable of, with his efforts during Gold Coast United's maiden campaign arguably his most impressive.

Smeltz has scored 73 A-League goals, including banging in 22 during that campaign and making a bright start to the next season to earn a move to Turkey.

Shane Smeltz

 
Club Games Goals
Wellington Phoenix [2007-09]
Gold Coast United [2009-10, 2011]
Perth Glory
39
34
42
21
26
24

He tried his luck abroad but his best has always come in Australia and, when fit, is arguably the best striker in the competition.

Smeltz has shown he is unstoppable when he gets going and has scored four-goal hauls against both the North Queensland Fury and the Melbourne Victory.

He is clinical and capable both with his feet and in the air and should add to his record goals tally in 2013-14.

Strengths

Smeltz's all-round ability up front is what makes him so tough to deal with for A-League defenders. Should he be facing a high line, he is quick enough to be played in behind. A deeper line sees him involved with his back to goal, bringing team-mates into games with neat touches. And his movement when he turns puts him in good positions to finish off moves. Smeltz is a good finisher and becomes a valuable commodity for any side.

Defining moment

The season was in its infancy and the competition's two new clubs had played just one game. But it was Smeltz who lit up Skilled Park in August 2009, leading Gold Coast to a 5-0 thrashing of North Queensland. His four-goal haul featured a one-one-one – including a nice touch and finish – a penalty and a couple of other neat finishes, including one which was deflected. Gold Coast went on to finish third and the Fury seventh with Smeltz comfortably winning the Golden Boot with 19 goals – six ahead of then-Brisbane striker Sergio van Dijk.

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Shane Smeltz

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