12 & 11: Mooy and Kruse

Who needs chest-thumping when you're this good. Quiet star Aaron Mooy has let his feet talk him into No. 12, while even a horror injury run couldn't stop a fleet-footed Robbie Kruse from jinking his way into the Aussie Top 50.

12 AARON Mooy

Quiet Star

Position Midfielder Club Melbourne City

With a minimum of fuss, Mooy became one of the A-League’s shining lights during the 2014/15 season. A quiet character, the 24-year-old’s biggest messages come on the pitch as he drives Melbourne City forward or protects their back four. Showcasing Mooy’s versatility were seven goals – a club high – and eight assists. Allowed to leave Western Sydney Wanderers in May 2014, Mooy has proven himself to be one of the A-League’s best. The Socceroo, a more than capable free-kick taker, was arguably the unluckiest player to miss out on a spot in Australia’s final Asian Cup squad. At City, he proved hard-nosed defensively and brilliant going forward. Whether dictating the tempo by keeping possession or driving forward carrying the ball, Mooy was consistent throughout the season, one of the league’s best central midfielders.

HE SAID: “We had a chat with the coaches before the start of the season and I wanted to stay fit, I wanted to score seven goals. I wanted more assists, I wanted to get 10.”

THEY SAID: “His creativity is evident from the amount of goals he has scored and set up this season and his defensive work sets a great example to the team.” John van ‘t Schip.

11 Robbie Kruse

Unlucky Hero

Position Attacker Club Bayer Leverkusen (loan VfB Stuttgart)

Bad luck simply ruined Kruse’s season. The star winger should have been in Brazil starring for the Socceroos at a World Cup, but was instead sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament tear suffered in January 2014.

The Bayer Leverkusen attacker returned to fitness for the Asian Cup and took his chance to put the World Cup disappointment behind him. Kruse played all six games as the Socceroos clinched a landmark title. However, his season – and his Asian Cup final – was cut short in January once more. Kruse suffered serious ligament damage in his left ankle, ending his campaign after just seven games for his club.

On his return, Kruse will once again be important for Bayer Leverkusen and even more important for the Socceroos. The former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory man is fast and powerful, beating defenders and whipping in crosses for forwards. With a change of luck, Kruse can enjoy a full season at club and international level to show how far he’s grown in Germany.

HE SAID: “You go through so many emotions when you miss out on a World Cup.”

THEY SAID: “The national team has provided him with that sort of outlet where he has played five games of really good football and he’s looking like his old self.” Ange Postecoglo