Mariners & Phoenix dominate PFA’s 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League Team of the Season

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has announced its 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League Team of the Season and it features a host of stars from Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix.

The Phoenix dominate the squad with six inclusions, headlined by head coach Giancarlo Italiano, while reigning premiers Central Coast Mariners boast four of their own heading into this weekend’s Semi-Final second legs.


Central Coast v Sydney FC at Industree Group Stadium!
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory at Sky Stadium!

Wellington goalkeeper Alex Paulsen is captain of the team, having received the most votes from his peers, and he is joined by teammates Alex Rufer, Scott Wootton and Tim Payne in the starting XI, while leading goal scorer Kosta Barbarouses is on the bench.

It has been a fairytale season for the Phoenix, who were tipped to finished bottom of the standings by some pundits. However, Italiano’s outfit have defied the odds to enjoy a history-making season and they head into this weekend’s second leg against Melbourne Victory on level terms following last week’s 0-0 draw at AAMI Park.

STATE OF PLAY: All the details about the Semi-Final second legs with a Grand Final on the line

The treble-chasing Mariners, who won the AFC Cup recently and are eyeing back-to-back Isuzu UTE A-League Championships, have Socceroo Josh Nisbet, Jacob Farrell and Brian Kaltak in the line-up. Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic is also among the substitutes as they take a 2-1 lead over Sydney FC into their Gosford second leg.

Making up the remainder of the starting XI are representatives from four other clubs – Golden Boot winner Adam Taggart (Perth Glory), Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne Victory), Joe Lolley (Sydney FC) and Tolgay Arslan (Melbourne City).

Fornaroli is not the only Victory player in the squad, with Damien Da Silva on the bench, while Sydney’s Lolley is joined by Sky Blues teammates Anthony Caceres and Jake Girdwood-Reich.

Western Sydney Wanderers skipper Marcelo and Newcastle Jets forward Apostolos Stamatelopoulos round out the substitutes.