'Hyphen' rewarded for stellar season
Nikolai Topor-Stanley has capped off a milestone campaign, being named the club's Hyundai A-League Player of the Season.
Undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the Hyundai A-League, Nikolai Topor-Stanley has officially been recognised by his peers as this season-s finest player in the Jets- squad.
The 25-year-old stopper has been a defensive rock at the back in Branko Culina-s side, and has pundits around the nation talking of his recall to the Qantas Socceroos set-up.
But the man known as ‘Hyphen- said he was still taken aback on Monday night when he was named Player of the Season.
“The boys have been geeing me up all week basically saying ‘you-re a shoe-in-, but listen it was a pleasant surprise and it-s good to be publicly acknowledged for the efforts that you put in week-in week-out,” he said.
The individual honour capped a milestone season for the imposing central defender, who notched his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance this campaign, and also registered his first goal on the stat sheet - though he insists he should be credited for a header whilst playing for Perth Glory against Sydney FC in December 2008.
“I think a highlight for me was finally breaking my duck, officially. They wouldn-t give me my goal before, but I still maintain that it was mine.”
“It was great to get the captaincy as well. I never thought that would happen, ever.”
“I never saw myself as a captain and now that I-ve had a taste of it, it-s a real honour to put that armband on and lead the boys out,” said Topor-Stanley during the Presentation Evening in the Platinum Lounge of EnergyAustralia Stadium.
After receiving deserved accolades for his heroics during his time in Newcastle, it-s reasonable to suggest that representative honours may soon follow for the Canberra-born man.
“I-ve had a taste before and it-s basically the pinnacle, there-s no better pride than putting on the green and gold, I can tell you that for sure.”
“It-s always in the back of my mind, but I guess I-ve just got to keep doing what I-m doing and if we-re winning a few more games it-ll turn some heads,” he said.
No doubt all Jets supporters are elated that this colossal defender will be turning plenty of heads in Newcastle colours for the next two seasons.