A-League marquee stars Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton have been overlooked in the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) A-League Team of the Season starting line-up.
The PFA announced their Best XI for the 2011-12 campaign on Wednesday, with three players from Premiership-winning Central Coast Mariners in the side, while coach Graham Arnold took home the Coach of the Year honour.
The starting line-up curiously only contained one central defender and no defensive midfielders, while there were no members from third-placed Perth Glory even in the 16-man selection.
Melbourne Victory's Kewell was only named on the bench, while Sydney FC's Emerton failed to make the squad.
There were also three players in the starting XI from runners-up Brisbane Roar and sixth-placed Melbourne Heart.
PFA chief executive Brendan Schwab was full of praise for Arnold and the Mariners, who had Mat Ryan, Patrick Zwaanswijk and Joshua Rose in the Team of the Season.
“The continued success of Central Coast Mariners despite their heartbreaking loss in last year’s Championship decider shows how Graham and his playing squad have been able to overcome many of the obstacles put in their way," Schwab said in a statement.
“It is even more to the credit of Graham that the side has continued its success despite coming from the A-League's smallest market, and the need to transfer key players out of the club.
"Despite these issues, Graham has successfully developed a number of young players, many of whom should become the mainstay of future Socceroo teams. I wish Graham and his club the best in both the forthcoming A-League finals and the Asian Champions League.”
PFA A-League Team of the Season
Goalkeeper: Matt Ryan (Central Coast Mariners)
Defenders: Michael Marrone (Melbourne Heart FC), Patrick Zwaansijk (Central Coast Mariners), Josh Rose (Central Coast Mariners)
Midfielders: Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar), Fred (Melbourne Heart FC), Mitch Nichols (Brisbane Roar), Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart FC)
Forwards: Paul Ifill (Wellington Phoenix), Besart Berisha (Brisbane Roar), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory)
Subs: Clint Bolton (Melbourne Heart FC), Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix), Nicky Carle (Sydney FC), Carlos Hernandez (Melbourne Victory), Harry Kewell (Melbourne Victory)