A-League midfield maestros - Part I

This week we take a look at the men pulling the strings in the centre and countdown to the best midfielders the league has ever had.

As we continue to look towards Season Eight of the Hyundai A-League we will count down the top ten midfielders the league has seen.

In past weeks we have named Michael Theoklitos the top keeper and rather controversially decided the success he had at club level led to Kevin Muscat being named the best defender in this history of the competition.

Now it-s time for the creative generals of the league to be named, and again some big names have missed the list.

Brett Emerton, Juninho, Mustafa Amini, Michael Bridges and David Carney are just some of the names who have gone close to making the top ten and missed out.

So without further ado let-s get started on the top ten.

10. Tim Brown

An old-fashioned box-to-box midfielder Brown was able to get it done at both ends of the park whether it was for Newcastle Jets or Wellington Phoenix in the A-League.

Despite good form for the Jets it was his stint with the Nix for which he will be best remembered. A leader for the club on and off the park, he also captained the All Whites for a time, with injury cruelly killing off his 2010 FIFA World Cup, but he came back from that tournament to lead the Phoenix to their best ever performance in the 2010-11 season when they made the Preliminary finals.

Capable of delivering a great assist perhaps Brown-s biggest asset was his ability to make the most of any chance that was presented to him, especially in the air, his ability to score a goal via his head is and was memorable and his goal in his last season when he lobbed Liam Reddy in the Sydney FC goal is one of the most spectacular goals in the history of the league.

The best measure of his contribution to the Nix and the league though, might be yet to be seen and how the Nix fare without him in the middle might show just how important a player he has been.

9. Fred

Born Helbert Frederico Carreiro da Silva but better known as Fred the current Melbourne Heart skipper has had a few different stints in the A-League, but would most fondly remember his 2006/07 season with cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory where he was an integral part of a side that managed to win the Premiership/Championship double.

During that season he was one of the most dominant players in the league and he again proved in 2011/12 that even though he is on the wrong side of 30 he is still a force to be reckoned with, providing the attacking impetus that would lead to goals for the likes of Mate Dugandzic and Eli Babalj, on a regular basis.

What was even more noticeable was how the quality of Heart-s game fell away when Fred was injured, they lost their drive and midfield creativity.

In another nod to his high skill level, Fred was named captain of the PFA Team of the Year in 2011/12 and deserves his spot on this list.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not Football Federation Australia or the Hyundai A-League