Shane Smeltz has caused a PR nightmare for the A-League. In winning the golden boot, the Johnny Warren Medal (players' player of the year) and goal of the year, he wiped Australia from the A-League. But more than that few would rate as more than 'one of the' better strikers in the league. The first past the post split voting caused by players voting for their favourite player. Without penalties his goal scoring efforts did not match Danny Allsopp's 11. His goal of the season was good, but only as good as 6 or 7 other goals and surely not as good as Charlie Miller's long range side foot volley?
The result? Hardly a news ripple in Australia. In Queensland there was an expectation that Craig Moore's amazing cancer story would be rewarded. But no.
Even Wellington's basking glow was wiped out by Smeltz's very public move to the Gold Coast.
But Wellington, with nothing left to lose, got the last laugh. News soon broke that Wellington and Smeltz had signed a deal with a Turkish club shortly before the awards.
Gold Coast FC are ropable. And FFA have moved in to stop the deal. Perhaps it is outside the January window. Maybe even it was not Wellington's to make. Still how will Smeltz perform if forced to play for a club he is no longer interested in, and clearly thinks he is under-paid. From Gold Coast's view-point, they gave up a foreign spot for Smeltz.
Overall so many quality players were passed over for Smeltz. It all seems like a missed opportunity.
I wonder what Johnny Warren would think of a player playing for a foreign team winning this award and then using it to win a spot overseas?