5. Brendon Santalab 66 A-League appearances, 24 goals
The typical goal-poacher and super-sub Santalab arrived in the second season of WSW’s existence and scored 5 goals in his first season before enduring a miserable campaign in 2014-15. Once he returned to full fitness in 2015-16, Santalab kick-started a late flurry of goals to reach a personal tally of 11 and getting into the starting line-up. Has started this season well with 6 goals, sitting just 4 behind Mark Bridge’s club record of 28.
4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley 94 A-League appearances, 3 goals
Took over as captain when Beauchamp was kept out of the side and quickly established himself as a great leader and ambassador for the club. Enjoyed a four-season tenure with Western Sydney, racking up 94 appearances – the second most in Wanderers history – and was one of three foundation players left at the club last season, underlining his loyalty. His defensive antics could always be called upon before he left ahead of this season.
3. Mark Bridge 95 A-League appearances, 28 goals
Another Western Sydney boy, ‘Bridgey’ broke a number of records. He scored the first goal, the first hatrick and is the current leading goalscorer in the club’s short history with 28 goals and the club’s leading appearance maker with 95. Bridge scored 11 in his first season to help the club to the Premiers Plate and continued to prove himself as a consistent squad member, scoring another 9 last season after returning to full fitness before sadly departing for China.
2. Ante Covic 78 A-League appearances
Easily the best Wanderers goalkeeper in their history and should be for some time. Covic saved penalties and stinging long shots while his stoic performances in Asia won him the competition’s Most Valuable Player award. His courageous last-ditch save to deny Yassir Al-Qahtani in the dying minutes of the Champions League final second leg in 2014 in Saudi Arabia will be talked about for decades to come as one of the most important moments in Australian football
1. Shinji Ono 51 A-League appearances, 10 goalsThe most classy player to ever don the red and black. Shinji scored eight goals in his maiden WSW campaign and displayed a delicate touch with the ball, sometimes showing his ability to ‘hold the ball on a string.’ The Japanese import stayed another season in 2013-14 and while his personal statistics dipped, his impact never wavered. His smiling face endeared him to the WSW fans and the entire A-League as one of the nice guys of the competition in his two seasons.