Top 10 Aussies Abroad in 2011

by Ben Somerford on Dec 23, 2011

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It's the end of the year so it's time for those annual Top 10 lists analysing the past 12 months gone. Indeed, here's Top 10 of Aussies Aborad for the year.

10. Tim Cahill (Everton)
It hasn't been a memorable 2011 for Cahill, having failed to hit the back of the net once for his club, however, he still has contributed to a Toffees side who continue to punch above their weight in the Premier League. Cahill, who has battled injury since the 2011 Asian Cup, may have struggled for goals but he's been a constant menace with his movement and aerial prowess in one of the world's best leagues. That counts for something.

9. Lucas Neill (Galatasaray/Al Jazira)
The Socceroos skipper may be playing in the poorly-regarded UAE Pro-League nowadays, but he's still playing some good football for a side who look early title favourites. Prior to his move to Al Jazira, Neill was one of Galatasaray's best players in a poor campaign for them in the 2010-11 Turkish Super Lig season. He may have lost some pace, but he still reads the play very well and is a natural leader.

8. Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough)
McDonald may be goal-shy in the green and gold, but he's been rather prolific for his club in 2011, having hit form late in the 2010-11 Championship season before another recent purple patch where he's scored five goals in his past seven matches. Unfortunately that's the tale of McDonald's career, with goals coming in patches, as he seems a confidence player. Boro are one of the contenders for promotion to the Premier League next term and if he can keep up his form, he'll be much higher on this list next year.

7. Luke DeVere (Gyeongnam FC)
Not much was discussed about the ex-Brisbane Roar central defender's first season in Korea, however all reports from the K-League have been very positive about the youngster. DeVere settled very quickly in Changwon and became a regular at the back for Gyeongnam FC. His versatility and ability to deal with agile and quick attackers made him an instant hit and he came close to being part of the K-League Team of the Year at the end of the campaign.

6. Adam Federici (Reading)
The under-rated Royals goalkeeper had another fine year in England's Championship with a club who came within a whisker of promotion to the top flight after losing the playoff to Swansea City. Federici, who missed two months with a knee injury earlier in the year, returned as the club's number one during the latter stage of the season when the going got tough before their playoff heartbreak. He's gone from strength to strength since, keeping eight clean sheets already in the 2011-12 season.

5. Nikita Rukavytsya (Hertha Berlin)
The Ukraine-born attacker had a stellar 2010-11 term with Hertha as they earned promotion to the Bundesliga, providing a huge number of assists for his side. Rukavytsya hasn't managed to be a regular this term like he was last season, but he has made a handful of appearances in the highly-regarded German top flight. He is still finding his feet in the Bundesliga, but has shown his threat down the flanks and on a dead ball when given a chance.

4. Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough)
The 23-year-old defender/midfielder may have only returned from a long-term pelvic injury in March but he has made a stunning impact at Boro ever since. In fact, the club's fortunes have improved drastically since his return, from relegation battlers to promotion contenders. Williams has regularly been a man-of-the-match winner for Boro and attracted interest from Bolton after top performances at the back-end of last season. His ability to read the play in defence and choose the right passing option in midfield makes him one of Australia's most promising young players.

3. Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar)
It's been a stunning 2011 for Holman, who really shot to fame in Australia during the 2010 World Cup having previously been a much-maligned figure among fans. The Socceroo’s form for Dutch leaders AZ in the 2011-12 campaign has been sensational, regularly providing goals and assists. His movement and energy down the left flank have made him one of the best players in the Eredivisie this term and with his contract to expire at season's end, he will likely make a move to an even bigger league next year.

2. Joshua Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus)
Kennedy's goalscoring form in the Japanese J.League is truly remarkable and something which arguably doesn't get enough attention. The beanpole striker won the J.League Golden Boot in 2011, with 19 strikes for runners-up Nagoya. His presence in the penalty area has regularly posed problems for Japanese defenders, but he has good link-up play and positional sense too. It's a far cry from his latter days in Germany where he struggled for goals at Karlsruhe and is now scoring for fun in the Land of the Rising Sun.

1. Mark Schwarzer (Fulham)
The evergreen Fulham stopper wins this accolade for 2011 after another year where he consistently played top-class football at an elite level. Schwarzer, 39, has been one of Fulham's best players over the past few seasons and their struggles in recent weeks in his absence, after a spinal injury, is testament to that fact. Every backline needs a strong voice in goals and Schwarzer provides that for the Cottagers who have one of the tighest defences in the Premiership. The Aussie continues to make stellar saves too, which bely his age. Long may it continue.