NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee – Keanu Baccus (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Patrolling the Western Sydney Wanderers midfield was something of a thankless task at times this Hyundai A-League season. But it was a challenge in which Keanu Baccus exceeded all expectations.
Baccus' performances for the Red and Black caught the eye of many across the country, and he’s one of six nominees in the running for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Lachlan Wales (Melbourne City)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Chris Ikonomidis (Perth Glory)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Sarpreet Singh (Wellington Phoenix)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Riley McGree (Melbourne City)
Baccus' campaign in Opta stats
Story of the Season
Incoming coach Markus Babbel, a former defender with Liverpool, had plenty of willing candidates for a regular midfield position at the start of his Hyundai A-League tenure at the helm of the Red and Black.
But it was obvious after the opening few rounds that Baccus, 20, held an outstanding claim for one half of the Wanderers’ double pivot.
This case was thrust forward best in Western Sydney’s comprehensive 3-0 Round 3 win in the New Zealand capital, in which Baccus dominated Wellington Phoenix duo Alex Rufer and Mandi in impressive style.
He scored three goals over the course of the season, including an absolute screamer against Newcastle Jets in April.
Why he is a good shout to be NAB Young Footballer of the Year
Technically astute and sharp in the challenge, the Western Sydney local has cemented a firm place in the hearts of Wanderers fans with his committed 2018/19 displays.
Baccus rarely wilted, even when the pressure was on, and with Western Sydney eyeing strong improvement next season the young midfielder can play a key role in a promising future.