Awards talk is rising, as the A-League Men’s regular season nears completion. Five players have emerged as genuine contenders for the Johnny Warren Medal. Here they are.
The Johnny Warren Medal has been presented to the A-League Men’s best player since its inception in 2005. But there is no clear standout this season.
Just a year ago, joint-winners were awarded for the first time, with Milos Ninkovic and Ulises Davila collecting the medal; both of those players appear out of contention this season.
The race for the 2021-22 Johnny Warren Medal is down to five. Here they are, ranked based on their chances of claiming the prestigious award.
1. Jamie Maclaren – Melbourne City
Melbourne City striker Jamie Maclaren is currently the top goal scorer (14) for a City side who are closing in on a title defence.
The Johnny Warren Medal has mostly been won by midfielders, however Maclaren’s consistency should win over voters.Embed from Getty Images
2. Craig Goodwin – Adelaide United
Adelaide United captain Craig Goodwin has been key for the Reds, scoring nine goals and registering seven assists.
Goodwin’s form has got better as the season progresses. The winger is primed for a big finals campaign, with his side in the top four.
The last time an Adelaide player won the medal was Marcos Flores 12 years ago. But with Goodwin ranking highly across several attacking metrics this season, he’s in with a good chance to become the second.
3. Marco Rojas – Melbourne Victory
Marco Rojas has helped the Victory rebound from a wooden spoon campaign to genuine contender. They’re second just a week out from finals, helped by his six-goal, six-assist campaign.
Having already won the award in 2012-13, he’s a big chance of doing it again.Embed from Getty Images
4. Florin Berenguer – Melbourne City
Jamie Maclaren might be scoring the goals for Melbourne City, however it’s often off the back of Florin Berenguer’s creativity.
The French midfielder quietly goes about his business each game, but offers brilliant passing range, vision and ball distribution.
He’s totalled five goals with four assists so far.
5. Oli Sail – Wellington Phoenix
Although the Johnny Warren Medal is usually awarded to an attacking player, Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Oli Sail can’t be ignored.
The Phoenix have had an inconsistent season, but Sail is clear of blame.
He’s stepped up as captain and has kept his team alive in numerous games, with incredible saves to match his great leadership.
Wellington’s on the cusp of finals football and they have Sail to thank for giving them a fighting chance of making the top six.