A-League double for Phoenix striker

Roy Krishna is set to be among the most sought-after players in the A-League off-season, after winning the Johnny Warren Medal as the league's top player in 2018/19.

It clinched a competition double for the Fiji international, who had finished two goals clear of Adam Le Fondre to claim the Golden Boot award at the end of the regular season.

Wellington Phoenix want to keep hold of the striker, whose 18-goal tally broke the club record of Jeremy Brockie.

They are understood to have made the 31-year-old a lucrative offer, but he is attracting interest from around the league for a big-money marquee deal.

Krishna becomes the Phoenix's third winner of the Johnny Warren Medal, following Shane Smeltz in 2008-09 and Nathan Burns in 2014-15.

He is reported to have rejected an offer from expansion club Western United, while Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers are also chasing his signature.

Krishna won the player of the season award ahead of Adelaide United's Isaias – who played every minute of his team's 27 games – and Perth Glory's Neil Kilkenny, who were tied for second.

Keisuke Honda of Melbourne Victory, who is leaving at the end of his only campaign with Kevin Muscat's team, was equal-fourth despite only playing 18 goals during the season due to injury.

Despite making the Finals Series under coach Mark Rudan – who has returned to Australia after just one season in charge – Wellington look poised to lose both of the players who won A-League honours.

Keeper Filip Kurto, who was named goalkeeper of the year, is set to link up with Western United.

Ahead of Chris Ikonomidis' bid to win the Grand Final with Perth Glory against Sydney FC this weekend, the Australia international was named the A-League under-23 player of the year.

Glory coach Tony Popovic received the A-League coach of the year award for the second time.

Perth Glory are 4/5 to win the Grand Final.

The Glory are 6/5 to win in 90 minutes, with Sydney FC 9/4 and the draw 12/5.

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Metcalfe tipped as star of the future

Captain Scott Jamieson has identified teenage midfielder Connor Metcalfe as a potential star for Melbourne City, as they look to regroup for next season.

City saw their A-League finals campaign falter at the first hurdle when they lost 1-0 away to Adelaide United in Sunday's elimination final.

Coach Warren Joyce's future at the club is uncertain following the end of his second campaign in charge, and there are bound to be major changes to the squad for 2019/20.

The joint-leading goalscorers of this season, Ritchie De Laet and Riley McGree, will both be returning to their parent clubs at the end of their loan deals – the Belgian to Aston Villa and McGree to Club Brugge.

Striker Shayon Harrison, who scored four goals in his 10 games after signing in mid-season from Tottenham Hotspur, will head back to the Premier League side.

Luke Brattan and Bart Schenkeveld will consider offers in Asia and around the A-League, while keeper Eugene Galekovic may retire.

Jamieson, who is signed up for another two seasons, feels the next player to emerge could be defender Metcalfe who managed just five substitute appearances this campaign.

He has the chance to be the next breakout star after departed Socceroos winger Daniel Arzani, said the skipper.

Speaking of the 19-year-old, Jamieson added: "Connor for me, he's going to be special. I don't talk up players – I didn't talk up Daniel last year but, for me, Connor, I rate him really highly.

"Connor has the attributes to really stamp his authority inside the A-League and then push on to bigger things."

City finished fifth in the league table, five points inside the Finals Series places.

Meanwhile, minor premiers Perth Glory are 6/5 to win the Grand Final.

The Glory are 4/6 to win their semi-final against Adelaide United, who are 4/1 with the draw 14/5.

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Barbarouses ‘enticed’ by overseas move

New Zealand international Kosta Barbarouses is conscious of being in the shop window when Melbourne Victory go into the A-League Finals Series.

Victory, who won the championship last season, take on Wellington Phoenix in their elimination final on Friday.

For Barbarouses, it will be a clash against the team for whom he played in two spells, including when he broke into the A-League in 2007-08.

The 29-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and admits this could be his last campaign with Kevin Muscat's side.

He finished as the Victory's leading scorer in the regular season with 14, one more than Swedish striker Ola Toivonen.

"[A move] overseas is something that is enticing me at the moment. I can't rule out anything," said Barbarouses. "Instead of being nervous about it, I'm excited about what my options are going to be and what the end situation is going to look like.

"I need to see what Victory can do for me, what I'm worth to them … not saying that in a negative way but that's the way the cap works."

Barbarouses, who is 11 appearances away from the 200-game milestone in the A-League, won his third championship last season with Victory.

He was part of the Brisbane Roar side that won the double of championship and Premiers' Plate in 2010-11, and he helped Victory match that feat in 2014-15.

The Wellington-born player, who has played 47 times for the All Whites, said: "I'm confident there's going to be quite a bit of interest with the season I've had; I know my finals performances are probably going to dictate it. I want to finish on a high and then see what happens."

Melbourne Victory are 11/2 to win the Grand Final.

The Victory are 8/11 to win their elimination final against Wellington Phoenix, who are 16/5 with the draw 3/1.

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Win could cost City derby final

Melbourne City face missing out on a blockbuster elimination final against Melbourne Victory following their 5-0 thrashing of Central Coast.

City have gone public this week about how much they would relish taking on their rivals in the first week of the finals.

But they may have cost themselves the chance to do so due to the size of their final-round win over the Mariners.

They will only face Victory if they finish sixth, which is the position they occupy ahead of the final regular season game that sees the Phoenix travel to Perth Glory.

But with City now level on points and just one goal behind Wellington, Mark Rudan's team could slip below them on Sunday – if they do, City will travel to Adelaide United rather than have an AAMI Park clash with Victory.

Warren Joyce's side were far too good for the wooden spoon side in their final game, with the Mariners suffering a 20th defeat of the campaign.

Shayon Harrison was a star for the hosts, scoring twice, while the best goal of the night was the final effort from youngster Ramy Najjarine.

Captain Scott Jamieson returned to action in more than a month for City, who took 35 minutes to get off the mark.

On-loan striker Harrison dribbled into the Mariners penalty area where he went past Jacob Melling and Matt Millar before dropping a shoulder and beating Jem Karacan and sliding a left-foot shot in off the far post.

Three minutes before the break Jamieson's cross picked out Riley McGree for an emphatic volleyed finish from close range.

City took only three minutes of the second half to add to their tally as Dario Vidosic swept in Lachlan Wales' pass across the face of goal.

The fourth goal followed soon after, with Wales again the provider. This time he slid a pass through to Harrison who got round Samuel Graham before shooting home under Adam Pearce in the Mariners goal.

Najjarine notched his first A-League goal in stoppage time with a fierce drive from outside the area.

Idris Abdulahi, at 16, became City's youngest ever player when he came off the bench in the 81st minute.

Melbourne City are 20/1 to win the Grand Final.

Meanwhile, minor premiers Perth Glory are 4/7 to win their next game against Wellington Phoenix, who are 9/2 with the draw 10/3.

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Jets hand Brisbane heaviest home loss

Newcastle Jets ran riot against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, handing the home side a 6-1 hammering.

Roy O'Donovan and Joey Champness both scored twice in the penultimate round clash between two sides who have failed to make the A-League Finals Series.

It was Brisbane's record home defeat and confirmed that the Roar will finish next to bottom in the table.

The Jets, who made it five consecutive wins over Brisbane, took control with two goals in a four-minute period midway through the first half.

Winger Champness sliced open the right side of the Roar's defence before cutting inside firing a shot that was deflected into the corner of the net.

The youngster then went around the outside of Daniel Leck to tee up O'Donovan's instinctive finish.

Jamie Young made a good save from Angus Thurgate to keep Newcastle from adding to their tally before the interval.

Darren Davies' team pulled a goal back four minutes into the second half when 18-year-old Jack Duncan followed up to net after keeper Lewis Italiano had failed to hold a fierce Dylan Wenzel-Halls strike.

Six minutes later O'Donovan had his second of the night when he headed home Ivan Vujica's cross, and the visitors scored twice more in a three-minute spell.

Kaine Sheppard's left-footed strike deflected in off the head of Dimitri Petratos to make it 4-1 and Champness tapped in to complete his double.

Substitute Kwabena Appiah-Kubi rounded off the scoring in added time, tucking away a one-on-one.

It was a particularly disappointing night for the Roar given that they hoped to send captain Matt McKay off into retirement on a positive note.

McKay will make his final appearance in the final round clash at home to Adelaide United.

Meanwhile, minor premiers Perth Glory are 13/10 to win the Grand Final. Sydney FC are priced at 2/1 with Melbourne Victory 5/1.

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Simon double earns Mariners third win

Central Coast are already certain of finishing bottom of the A-League, but they gave their fans something to cheer when they beat Western Sydney 3-1.

The Mariners won for just the third time this season in their final home game of the campaign.

Skipper Matt Simon scored twice, including one from the penalty spot, as the Gosford club ended Wanderers' five-game winning streak at Central Coast Stadium.

Western Sydney, coming off a 1-1 derby draw with Sydney, fell behind 11 minutes before the break when they conceded a free-kick just outside the box.

Simon took a long run up to the ball and smashed it through the wall beyond teenage keeper Jack Greenwood.

The Mariners doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half when Greenwood struck Jordan Murray in the face when trying to punch clear a high ball.

Murray did his best to keep out Simon's powerful penalty, but despite getting a hand to the shot he couldn't keep it out.

The keeper made a full stretch save to deny Aiden O'Neill four minutes later, but defender Kye Rowles scored his first A-League goal with a header off the ensuing corner kick from Jack Clisby.

Mark Bridge came off the bench for his 250th A-League appearance and within seconds got onto the scoresheet when he smashed home a penalty after Jacob Melling pushed Rashid Mahazi over inside the box.

Wanderers had an extra man for the final four minutes, after Rowles was shown a straight red card for a dangerous, lunging challenge on Alexander Baumjohann.

The visitors had two late chances to reduce the deficit but Mariners keeper Adam Pearce made a diving save to deny Bruce Kamau and Abraham Majok blasted over the crossbar five minutes into added time.

Meanwhile, minor premiers Perth Glory are 13/10 to win the Grand Final while Sydney FC are 2/1 and Melbourne Victory 5/1.

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Sage: Glory vision achieved early

Owner Tony Sage admits the speed of Perth Glory's Premiers' Plate success under coach Tony Popovic has come as a surprise.

The West Australian club have clinched the minor premiership with two rounds to go in the regular season, following their 1-0 win at home to Newcastle Jets on Sunday.

It is the first time they have topped the A-League, though they were a big force in its predecessor the National Soccer League.

Sage said plans were hatched midway through last season – when the Glory failed to make the Finals Series under Kenny Lowe – for a different strategy and a new coach.

They turned to Popovic, who had led Western Sydney Wanderers to the premiership in the club's inaugural season, largely due to the urging of football manager Jacob Burns.

"There were several coaching candidates available and Jacob pushed and pushed for Popa (Tony Popovic)," said Sage.

"The vision has been fulfilled a year earlier than we expected – we had to make a decision on which direction we were going to go."

The 15-year silverware drought ended with the victory against the Jets when captain Diego Castro lifted the Premiers' Plate.

Now Sage, who has poured nearly $30 million into the Glory in more than a decade, says the club want to go on and win the championship and then start planning for next year's Asian Champions League campaign.

"We're up for the challenge – it's only going to be a feather in everyone's cap if we can do it," he added. "Asia has been a dream of mine from day one; it's going to be huge."

Perth Glory are 5/4 to win the Grand Final.

The Glory are 2/1 to win their next game against Sydney FC, who are 11/8 with the draw 9/4.

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Rudan staying through playoffs

Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan remains focused on guiding the club through the Finals Series before departing, his boss has insisted.

Phoenix general manager David Dome said the club had given no consideration to replacing the Australian at this point, despite him announcing officially last Friday that he would step down at the end of the season.

His departure has been expected for some time, with the coach having spoken of how difficult it has been for him personally while his family remained in Sydney.

He is expected to be unveiled as the inaugural coach of Western United when they enter the A-League next season.

The Phoenix squad only found out in the hours leading up to Friday's defeat to Brisbane Roar that Rudan would be utilising the eight-week notice out-clause in his two-year contract.

Despite their loss at Suncorp Stadium, the club have made sure of finishing in the top six.

Rudan has become the first coach in Phoenix history to guide the club to the playoffs in his first season.

"Over the last couple of weeks it has got more and more obvious that it was unlikely that his family was going to move across the ditch to Wellington, so the middle of last week we reached the conclusion where it was probably in everybody's best interests to end the speculation and move on so we can start planning for the rest of the season and next season," said Dome.

Though Wellington have lost their last two games, Dome said the speculation over Rudan's future had not been a factor.

"We respect Mark, we respect what he has done here and we believe he is the coach to take us through to the final," he added. "In my conversations with Mark and in my conversations with the players and the football ops team they are adamant that it [his departure] has not contributed at all.

"I can assure you they're still very focussed on that and Mark is very focussed on that and everyone at the club is focussed on that."

Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce is understood to be among the candidates to take over from Rudan.

Wellington Phoenix are 25/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Phoenix are 7/5 to win their next game against Melbourne City, who are 9/5 with the draw 12/5.

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Ikonomidis hopes to face Jets

Striker Chris Ikonomidis is confident he will be available for Perth Glory's trip to Newcastle Jets on Sunday when the league leaders could clinch the Premier's Plate.

The Australia international missed the second half of the 3-0 win over Central Coast at the weekend after dislocating his right shoulder.

He dislocated the same shoulder two years ago and says his experience of that injury lends him to believe he can win his fitness battle to play against Newcastle at HBF Park.

"It's feeling all right. My gut feeling is it's not too serious, not as bad as last time. I'm pretty optimistic," he said.

"I knew straight away what was going on but it went back pretty quickly, which is positive. I don't want to miss games, especially this close to the end of the season when we could win the title."

If Sydney FC fail to win their derby clash with Western Sydney on Saturday, Perth will go into the Jets clash knowing victory will secure their first A-League minor premiership.

It would mark a big turnaround for the club under Tony Popovic, who took over as coach in the off-season after Kenny Lowe had failed to get them into the Finals Series last season.

Popovic says Socceroos central defender Matthew Spiranovic has been a big factor in their success. The 30-year-old returned against the Mariners for his first game in five weeks and was a commanding figure in the victory against the bottom club.

In the 11 games Spiranovic has played this season the Glory have conceded just six goals and have kept six clean sheets. In their 13 matches without him they have let in 16 goals.

Popovic said of him: "He is a classy player, that's exactly what he is. We've tried to nurse him along in this little period and not force him back and he showed his quality amongst the team."

Perth Glory are 7/5 to win the Grand Final and 4/9 to win their next game against Newcastle Jets, who are 6/1 with the draw 10/3.

Perth close in on premiership

Perth Glory will have the chance to win their first A-League Premier's Plate next week after they beat Central Coast Mariners 3-0 in Gosford.

The leaders handed the league's bottom club a fifth consecutive home defeat to maintain their six-point advantage over Sydney FC.

If they beat Newcastle Jets at Optus Stadium next weekend and the Sky Blues fail to win their derby clash with Western Sydney the minor premiership will belong to the Glory.

Tony Popovic's side continued their unbeaten league record away from home – they have now won eight and drawn four outside Perth.

The Mariners, watched by a crowd of 3774 that is just 14 more than their lowest ever attendance, shipped two goals in the first half-hour.

Joel Chianese put the Glory in front with a crisp low finish past keeper Ben Kennedy into the far corner. Neil Kilkenny's corner picked out the head of Dino Djulbic for the second goal – his first for the club in four years.

The Glory lost Socceroos striker Chris Ikonomidis just before the break to a dislocated shoulder but made the game safe 11 minutes after the restart.

Substitute Diego Costa won a penalty when he was brought down by Jacob Melling in the area and Kilkenny fired home from the spot.

Perth almost grabbed a fourth goal when Juande's shot was kept out by a combination of Kennedy and the post after he was found by Kilkenny's deep corner.

The Mariners were denied a consolation goal when they hit the crossbar from a deflected Andrew Hoole free-kick.

Perth Glory are 7/5 to win the Grand Final and 4/9 to win their next game against Newcastle Jets, who are 6/1 with the draw 10/3.