17 & 16: Juric and Gorry

He is the big-game player who just secured a move to the Dutch top-flight, while she is the mini-sized Matilda with a major talent. With years ahead of them the Asian Cup hero and the World Cup wizard are just at the start of their Top 50 climb.  

17 TOMI JURIC

Super Striker

Position Striker Club Roda JC

Juric’s best was saved for the biggest moments. He was unable to match his return of eight A-League goals for the Wanderers in 2013/14, netting just four in the league. But when he scored it was vital and he also set up one of the biggest goals in Australian football history.

Moment number one: the AFC Champions League final. Coming off the bench, Juric got on the end of an Antony Golec cross to score the tie’s only goal against Al Hilal. The Wanderers were crowned Asian champions. Fast-forward just over three months and Juric was key once again.

Moment number two: the Asian Cup final. Few will remember his hard work for James Troisi’s extra-time winner against South Korea, but it showcased many of his best attributes. Juric had a shot blocked but pressed hard to win the ball back on the right-hand side. He fell twice before returning to his feet and delightfully back-flicking through Kim Jin-su’s legs. He whipped powerfully across the area and Troisi put the rebound away to give the Socceroos victory.

HE SAID: “The (Asian Cup) and scoring the goal to win the trophy of the Asian Champions League. They’re the two best things in my career.”

THEY SAID: “He’s got the qualities to be a top striker. He’s strong, fast, technically very good, great touch, shoots left and right.” John Aloisi

16 KATRINA GORRY

Mini Giant

Position Midfielder Club Brisbane Roar 

From having to travel interstate to get game time to being the AFC Women’s Player of the Year, Katrina ‘Mini’ Gorry has come from nowhere to be key for both Brisbane Roar and the Matildas.

After three seasons playing for Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory, Gorry was invited to stay in her Brisbane hometown to play for Roar in 2012 – the same year she debuted for, and cemented her position with, the senior Matildas squad.Despite her ‘Mini’ nickname, Gorry believes her short stature is an asset and means a lower centre of gravity.

She’s best known for her take-no-prisoners playing style and her trademark Luke Brattan-style piledriver shots that occasionally result in spectacular, game-changing goals.

Gorry’s tenacity is also evidenced in the sacrifices she’s made along the way: she missed her school formal to gain her first ever W-League start; she returned from being named Asia’s Player of the Year to work in a local café.

SHE SAID: “My hair wins me some height...”

THEY SAID: “Her ability to control possession and the tempo of a game allows space for her brilliant playmaking capabilities.” FFA website

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