His decision to join Chinese Super League outfit Hangzhou Greentown was arguably the biggest loss for Western Sydney Wanderers in the off-season. After standout performances for club and country this consistently reliable defender marks himself out as one of the best of our Top 50 Aussies over the past 12 months.
9 MATTHEW SPIRANOVIC
Position Defender, Club Western Sydney Wanderers (now Hangzhou Greentown)
Asian Cup success capped an incredible year for Spiranovic. The Socceroos’ historic achievement came not long after his Western Sydney Wanderers claimed the AFC Champions League title.
“I think winning an Asian Cup on home soil was probably the standout, followed very close by the ACL title,” Spiranovic says.
The centre-back played important roles for club and country, helping both to Asian success. His excellence with the Wanderers translated to the international level, where he forged a fine defensive partnership with Trent Sainsbury.
Now Spiranovic, 27, wants more. “I’d just like to continue where I left off,” he said. “The last 18 months have been great. I’ve been playing regular football, being fit and healthy which is obviously the most important thing.”
Despite limited to 13 A-League appearances in 2014/15, Spiranovic enjoyed a season few players ever will – crowned an Asian champion on two fronts and having an impact on the success of both teams with his composed and consistent displays at centre-back.
HE SAID: “Looking back at the last 12-18 months, it’s been an amazing time – obviously some highs at both club level and with the national team.”
THEY SAID: “He’s been one of the important players at the back.” Mat Ryancomments