Liberty Next Gen Tracker: ‘One of the stories of the season’ takes out top honours in November

WATCH: Alex Paulsen saved his third penalty of the season in Wellington Phoenix's 3-0 win over Macarthur FC.

The second batch of votes are in for the Liberty Next Gen tracker, keeping tabs on the ones to watch aged 21 or under!

In both the Isuzu UTE A-League and Liberty A-League this year, we’re keeping tabs on the Next Gen Tracker, ranking the top five players who were 21 or under at the start of the season every month.

On this week’s episode of the Official Isuzu UTE A-League Podcast, host David Weiner and KEEPUP’s Jake Rosengarten and David Davutovic were tasked with casting the second allotment of votes for the A-League Men season.

5 votes – Alex Paulsen (Wellington Phoenix)

Alex Paulsen’s brilliant month has been recognised by claiming five votes in this month’s tracker.

The Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper continues to amaze in his first season as the club’s number one shot-stopper, with a string of match winning performances. Paulsen has already saved a whopping three penalties this season, including two this month against Melbourne City’s Jamie Maclaren and Macarthur’s Ulises Davila.

“After the body of work we’ve just suggested throwing in those penalty saves are against Maclaren, Adam Taggart and Ulises Davila, no less,” Weiner said.

“I think he has been one of the stories of the season.”

4 votes – Jacob Farrell (Central Coast Mariners)

In second place is Central Coast Mariners full-back Jacob Farrell, claiming four votes as a result of his brilliant month.

Farrell’s brilliant form has coincided with the Mariners’ turnaround in fortunes, that’s seen them go unbeaten in their last four and secure passage to the next round of the AFC Cup after finishing top of their group.

In fact, KEEPUP’s David Davutovic argued he should be in first place.

“I think he’s been outstanding under the circumstances,” he said.

“It’s been a really tough season for Central Coast Mariners. He’s really had to step up and I think he’s been a big reason for their spike in form.”

3 votes – Clayton Taylor (Newcastle Jets)

Clayton Taylor’s impressive start to life in the Hunter has been rewarded with his first votes of the season.

The former Sydney FC youth product took his tally to three goals in the Jets’ impressive 3-0 win over Wellington Phoenix, along with getting an assist for Apostolos Stamatelopoulos.

“I think he’s been incredible for Newcastle in the last month,” Rosengarten said.

“He has been superb. He’s been almost virtually ever present.”

2 vote – Nicolas Milanovic (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Polling two votes this month is Western Sydney Wanderers’ Nicolas Milanovic.

The former Western United attacker has flourished with more opportunity in the Wanderers starting lineup this season, retaining his position in the XI despite stiff competition for places alongside the likes of Lachlan Brook, Valentino Yuel and Dylan Pierias.

Milanovic already has three goals to his name this season, scoring most recently in the 2-2 draw against Brisbane Roar.

“In a very, very good Western Sydney Wanderers squad who have a lot of attacking options,” Rosengarten said.

“Marko Rudan’s loving him up top playing in a very prominent crucial position for the team, and he’s delivering.”

1 vote – Ryan Teague (Melbourne Victory)

Ryan Teague’s early season form has been central to Melbourne Victory’s rise up the standings.

The midfielder has been brilliant ever since arriving at the club, putting in several quality showings alongside the likes of Jake Brimmer and Fabian Monge in their starting double pivot.

Teague also helped himself to a goal in their 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix last month.

“He’s probably not going to win too many Man of the Match honours in the position and the role that he plays, but he’s been super impressive,” Davutovic said.

“He’s sort of pulling the strings and commanding that midfield and just providing that equilibrium for that super exciting Melbourne Victory attack.”

Liberty Next Gen Tracker: Season tally

  • 5 votes: Alex Paulsen (Wellington Phoenix)
  • 5 votes: Nestory Irankunda (Adelaide United)
  • 4 votes: Thomas Waddingham (Brisbane Roar)
  • 4 votes: Jacob Farrell (Central Coast Mariners)
  • 3 votes: Clayton Taylor (Newcastle Jets)