PS4 NPL TAS Team of the Year
GK- Niko Giantsopoulos (Devonport Strikers)
Winning the 2016 Players Player tells you everything you need to know about how highly regarded the Canadian shot stopper is. In the big games that would determine the title, he came up clutch. Twice against South Hobart and then against Zebras he was the best player on the pitch. His command of the penalty area and lightning fast reflexes made him comfortably the stand out keeper of the 2016 season.
RB- Liam Quaile (South Hobart)
It was a breakthrough year for the young South Hobart full back as he established himself not only in the South Hobart side but as one of the premier full backs in the league. He showed his versatility by playing half the season at left back and half at right, offering plenty of attacking threat on the overlap on both sides. He was the runaway Rising Star Award winner and managed a top 5 finish in the players player award.
CB- Joe Zupo (Devonport Strikers)
The man mountain from Canada was the foundation of the Strikers incredible defence that yielded just 10 goals all season. He was immense at the back, leading his side with his composed play and aerial dominance. He reads the game superbly and his anticipation to be able to get a foot in front of the striker he was marking to break up the attacking moves was unparalleled.
CB- Nathan Gratton (Devonport Strikers)
The other half of Devonport's superb central defensive partnership, what Gratton lacks in pace he makes up for in strength and footballing nous. Coupled with Zupo the two giants were able to dominate in the air and shackle opposing centre forwards. There was nothing fancy about Gratton's role but he did it superbly, as the Strikers defensive record attests to.
LB- Dom Smith (Devonport Strikers)
Time and time again teams seemed to target Smith and time and time again he rebuffed them. The young full back offered security down the left flank all year and very rarely allowed any winger to get in behind him. He was a rock defensively and always looked comfortable in the big games, dealing with some of the league's best right wingers and shutting them out of games.
DM- Daniel Syson (Devonport Strikers)
After a disappointing 2015 season, Syson returned cast as a defensive midfielder in 2016 and he excelled in the role. He snuffed out attacks before they could develop, took opposing attacking midfielders out of the game and did all the dirty work required in midfield. He was Devonport's fiercest watch dog, biting at opponents heals and disrupting the flow of opposing sides. An extremely important cog in the dominant Devonport machine.
CM- Shane Cartwright (Kingborough Lions)
Runner up in the Players Player and top three in the Mitsubishi Medal; not bad for an English backpacker the Lions found doing some painting with Chris Downes. Cartwright quickly established himself as one of the very best players in the competition in 2016. Physically he is a beast on the ball, but he also had the finesse to compliment his strength, showing a wide range of passing and the ability to run with the ball. He also had a period where he operated as a very effective target man, leading the line and winning the long balls.
CM- Joel Stone (Devonport Strikers)
Another returning Striker, Joel Stone was the form player of the competition through the middle months of the year, scoring goals and setting up plenty with his fast feet and superb dribbling abilities. Stone was the creative hub of the side, offering flair and inventiveness in an otherwise industrious team. He routinely made defenders miss and created good scoring chances for his side.
ST- Luke Huigsloot (Hobart JEEP Zebras)
Huigsloot was a player who had been sought by NPL club's for several seasons and had a host of suitors after him heading into 2016. It was the Zebras who won the race to secure his signature and they will be thankful they did after the season he put together. 17 goals and numerous assists later, Huigsloot left his mark on the season with a series of dominant displays up top. Defences struggled to deal with his aerial ability which was an asset that the Zebras maximised in their set up.
ST- Alex Leszczynski (South Hobart)
Bagged 19 goals and was runner up in the golden boot, Leszczynski may have quietened a little down the stretch but his first half of the season was scintillating. The raw power and strength of the front man gave his South Hobart side a quality outlet and a reliable avenue to goal. Dangerous anywhere near the box if given time to shoot and a massive threat from free kick's, big Albie was a force to be reckoned with in 2016.
ST- Brayden Mann (Devonport Strikers)
The Golden Boot winner for the fourth consecutive season with his tally of 24 goals yet it wasn't all about the goals in 2016 for Mann. As the captain of his side Mann led from the front, setting the tone with his relentless work rate and willingness to press. He buzzed about the pitch and did the hard work his coach demanded of him. The goals still flowed despite sacrificing his own game somewhat, scoring some absolute stunners in another superb season for the State's leading marksman.
Mattias Toghill (Hobart JEEP Zebras)
Switched to his preferred right back position having previously been used on the opposite flank, Toghill excelled in 2016. He looked far more comfortable getting forward and provided solid defensive coverage on the right. Hard as nails and never one to shy away from a challenge, Toghill was an uncompromising player that wingers seldom found a way past.
James Sherman (Hobart JEEP Zebras)
The midfield general of the Zebras, they were always a much better side when Sherman was on the park. The leadership and organisation he brought to the midfield was first rate. When he was able to get on the ball the Zebras side clicked with his fine range of passing and ability over the dead ball allowing him to unlock defences.
Jack Turner (South Hobart)
A box to box midfielder who enjoyed a fine year having made the switch from the Lions over the Summer. Only four players scored more than the 14 goals that Turner bagged from midfield as he routinely got himself into dangerous positions. Turner brought more than goals to the side, offering some steel in the South Hobart midfield with his all action style and strong physical presence.
Gavin Hoy (Olympia Warriors)
The prodigiously talented Canadian enjoyed a productive year in the midfield for his side, scoring 9 times and setting up a number of others. Voted 6th in the Players Player award, his first touch and outstanding dribbling skills made him a nightmare for defenders to try and stop. At times he lacked support around him but he never stopped making things happen for his side.
Dwayne Walsh (Hobart JEEP Zebras)
The Mitsubishi Medalist for 2016, Walsh clearly relished being returned to an attacking role, thriving on the wing and scoring 9 goals for his side. His combination of raw pace and power caused defenders all manner of problems as he put in numerous eye catching performances. His ability to drive at defenders and carry the ball into the area made him such an important player for Zebras in 2016.
Brody Denehey (Devonport Strikers)
For someone who nearly didn't play in 2016, Denehey was a revelation for Devonport on the wing. He ran up and down the left flank like the Energizer Bunny, tireless in his willingness to work for the team. He scored 8 goals and was a constant threat in the box, making clever darting runs and making the most of his pace.