Top 10 Aussie performers abroad

by Ben Somerford on May 17, 2012

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With Holger Osieck naming a Socceroos squad this week and as most leagues finish up for the season, GGArmy reflects on the top 10 Aussie performers abroad (Europe and Asia) this campaign.

10. Chris Herd (Aston Villa)
Villa boss Alex McLeish gave the 23-year-old defensive midfielder a first-team chance in October and he impressed enough to become a regular, although injury over the turn of the year held him back. Herd's emergence was impressive, although he found the going tough at times, in his role as a midfield destroyer particularly against the top teams including a difficult day against Arsenal.

9. Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace)
The Socceroo thoroughly enjoyed his first season in English football, helping Palace reach the Carling Cup semi-finals and a midtable finish in the Championship. Jedinak established himself as a favourite among the Eagles' fans with his uncompromising midfield work alongside Kagisho Dikgacoi. Jedinak's no-nonsense approach and aerial threat were the features of his play, while his passing was solid.

8. Carl Valeri (Sassuolo)
The 27-year-old central midfielder has once again been a key member for Sassuolo, who remain in the promotion hunt in Serie B. It seems whenever Valeri is playing, the team performs better than usual. Valeri has been linked with Bologna but if he can earn promotion with his current club, that'd be ideal.

7. Joshua Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus)
The beanpole striker may have missed a fair chunk of recent football due to a back problem but he was a key part of Nagoya's late season push for the 2011 title when they finished runners-up. Kennedy ended the 2011 J.League season as the competition's topscorer with 19 strikes and has already grabbed a few this term despite his injury problems as his height continues to cause defences all sorts of problems.

6. James Troisi (Kayserispor)
The Adelaide-born attacking midfielder enjoyed a real breakout season in Turkey where he was his club's topscorer and chief orchestrator of forward moves. The left-sided winger scored 11 goals for Kayserispor, as well as contributing five assists, helping the team avoid the drop. Unfortunately late payments have frustrated Troisi who is reported to have left the club but after his fine campaign he should find a willing European club to join.

5. Alex Brosque (Shimizu S-Pulse)
The former Sydney FC man continues to emerge as a key Socceroo with his recent J.League form boosting his profile. Brosque's form as a midfield general for Shimizu has been crucial to their early season success in 2012, with the 28-year-old netting five goals in all competitions already this term. But it's not only Brosque's handy goals, but his midfield guile and craft as well as his movement which has endeared him to the S-Pulse faithful, as well as Holger Osieck.

4. Mark Schwarzer (Fulham)
The evergreen shot-stopper is hard to fault and even though there were a few moments he'd like to forget during the 2011-12 Premier League season, including a March blunder against Aston Villa which ultimately cost his side in stoppage-time. Schwarzer continues to be fairly dependable and consistent for a Fulham outfit who claimed another top-half finish. Despite the occasional mistake, the 39-year-old shows no signs of retiring just yet.

3. Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough)
The suitors continue to line up for the Perth-born defender/midfielder with Liverpool, West Bromwich, Newcastle and Bolton reported to be keen on his signature. Williams was an integral part of Middlesbrough's promotion push this season, playing as a central defender or a controlling midfielder. The youngster's composure and leadership qualities have made him a standout prospect for Australian football and finally he was fit enough to show that off.

2. Adam Federici (Reading)
There still are some people out there who believe Federici isn't the natural successor to Schwarzer as Australia's next number one keeper, but his performances during the 2011-12 season surely turned a lot of opinions in his favour. Federici was one of the chief reasons that Reading not only won promotion to the English Premier League but lifted the Championship title with his assured keeping, super saves and vocal leadership at the back. Make no mistake, Federici is a top keeper and he'll prove that to many more next term in England's top flight.

1. Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar)
Once upon a time, Holman was the Socceroos most-maligned player, but nowadays he's one of the first names put down on the team sheet when fans float their preferred Australia's starting line-ups. Holman's wonderful performances during the 2011-12 campaign with AZ Alkmaar, whom he helped to top spot in the Eredivisie at the winter break, won him a move to Aston Villa. The Australian's combination play down the left with full-back Simon Poulsen was exquisite, and his confidence to take on opposition players and try a shot made him one of the league's most dangerous attackers.