Footballcounter’s MDFA Elite Division team of the season

Deepak Irmali, Ashish Pawaskar, Sheldon Raghawan makes it in the side dominated by Air India and ONGC players as Footballcounter selects their MDFA Elite Division’s team of the year for the season 2015-16.

More than a month back on 18th March, an injury time goal in the title decider match by Mumbai F.C’s Rohit Mirza spoiled Air India’s party as O.N.G.C were declared as the new holders of MDFA Elite Division title.

Air India just needed a draw from this game to prevent O.N.G.C from leapfrogging them but luck wasn’t on their side at Cooperage that night. With this loss Air India slipped to 3rd with Mumbai F.C moving one place up to 2nd.

There were upsets pulled off, records broken, and even standouts performance throughout the season but only eleven players has made it in the team of the season, and deservedly so.

Goalkeeper

Sheldon Raghawan (Union Bank of India) – UBI had the 5th best defense of the league, it wouldn’t be fair if Sheldon didn’t get the credits he deserved. His reflexes, saves, distribution was second to none. Even though UBI leaked goals at the back, if not for Sheldon they would have conceded a lot of goals and could have finish their season a lot lower in the final standings.

Defenders

Ashish Pawaskar (Union Bank of India) – Another UBI player in the list and the final one too. Ashish’s game reading was top notch throughout the season, along with his game sense Ashish’s hard tackles will be surely remember by his opponent players. The no. 21 was the link between UBI’s defense and midfield. Apart from playing at the back, he also played as a defensive midfielder when needed.

Santosh Koli (Air India) – Like any other season, Air India had the best defense of the season. Conceding only 9 times in all, the mighty Air India proved how much essential an experience defender in a side is. Santosh Koli is one of the most experienced player in the whole league. Defending has been an art for Koli who has not only set an example but also proved how defending can win you matches. His agility, positioning, aggressiveness has earned him a place in the team of the season.

Wayne Vaz (Air India) – Santosh Koli’s partner in crime, Wayne Vaz. The duo has set the bar very high for anyone to overtake. Along with Koli, Wayne too had a tremendous season overall. Top notch man-marking, game sense, tackles and becoming a threat on set pieces, these are the qualities Wayne inhered.

Joshua Vessoakar (Mumbai Customs) – Undoubtedly Mumbai Customs best defender of this season. Getting past him was not as easy as it seemed to be. His defending abilities helped Mumbai Customs to concede only 12 goals in total, same as Mumbai F.C and O.N.G.C.

Midfielders/Attacking Midfielders

Raynier Fernandes (Air India) – The attacking midfielder is the reason behind Air India’s destructive attacking display. Raynier scored five goals this season and also provided couple of goals, his link-up play with his teammates has been top notch. Raynier’s quick feet, dribbling skills has already proved that he is very skillful. His performance this season also earned him a spot in Maharashtra’s team who reached Santosh Trophy final where they eventually lost to Services.

Taisuke Matsugae (Mumbai F.C) – The Captain of Mumbai F.C has also made his name in the team of the season after a splendid performance in Elite Division. Despite playing less number of matches, the Japanese midfielder scored six times and assisted thrice for the Yellow Submarine. His presence on the field has helped Mumbai F.C in both domestic and as well as I-league games.

Aaron D’Costa (Air India) – Just like his teammate Raynier, even Aaron has proved to be one of Air India’s best player this season. Aaron orchestrates Air India’s midfield along with Raynier to find spaces behind their opponent’s defense with their sharp vision. Aaron has the pace, skills and game sense which has made him a good prospect. The attacking midfielder also represented Maharashtra in Santosh Trophy.

Deepak Irmali (Mumbai Customs) – Easily Mumbai Customs best player this season, Deepak Irmali has proved his team and management that he can step up on big stage too. Playing on the flanks for Mumbai Customs, Deepak helped his side finish in top 5 this season where he found the back of the net six times, more than any Mumbai Customs player. His crossing and vision is has been a key element for both, him and his club.

Forwards/Strikers

Parminder Singh (O.N.G.C) – The joint top scorer of this season’s Elite Division has proved to be a potent threat for his opponent for throughout the season. The lanky striker has netted eight times this season where four of them were scored against G.M Sports in a single match. Parminder is a complete fox in the box player as he is very lethal when inside the box.

Ennock Annan (O.N.G.C) – Parminder’s partner in crime, Ennock also made his presence felt on the field for O.N.G.C after scoring seven goals in this season of Elite Division. His sudden burst of acceleration has left many defenders behind this season. Apart from his pace, Ennock’s finishing has been fantastic for the whole season. If not for him and Parminder, O.N.G.C wouldn’t have clinched the title, that’s for sure.