7: Hidden gem Mathew Leckie

When he opened the scoring against Bangladesh earlier this month - just his second goal for Australia since 2013 - he banished the last hoodoo of his international game. There's a lot more than pace to this imposing forward who rockets in at No.7 in the Top 50 Aussies for the past 12 months.

7 Mathew Leckie

Hidden gem

Position Forward Club Ingolstadt 04

From the Victorian state leagues to the World Cup and Asian Cup in less than six years. It has been quite the journey for Leckie, and he has taken his opportunities. Along with a fine season with 2. Bundesliga champions Ingolstadt 04 Leckie, 24, impressed with the Socceroos.

“The World Cup really kicked off my confidence going into my new season,” he said. “A lot of people saw the way I played and was happy so there’s been a lot of radar on me, probably more than what there was in the past.”

Leckie pinpointed a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf in April as his standout moment at club level. “I’ve been a part of the national team for a long time now and played a lot of games and with my club I only missed a few games,” he said. “Overall, the most important thing is playing.”

And that he was, making 32 league appearances for Ingolstadt and scoring seven goals. Up until recently, only goals have been missing from his busy Socceroos displays, becoming one of the first picked in his usual spot terrorising defenders out wide with his speed.

HE SAID: “If I look over the whole season for both club and country I would say definitely a positive.”

THEY SAID: “He’s such a strong young man and he’s very quick. He’s not just a direct player anymore. He can get in tight areas.” Ange Postecoglou