NPL2 East Team of the Month: May

by Damir Kulas 0

In a month which saw 102 goals find the back of the net, it is little wonder that goalscorers make up the majority of the starting eleven for May’s TOTM. Dandenong City were the only side to maintain a 100% record over the month and were duly rewarded with four representatives.


GK: Damir Salcin (Dandenong City)

The veteran shot-stopper continues to be a force of defiance in Hajduk goals and made several great saves over City’s three league games. A vocal and passionate figure, he will no doubt be hoping to make his return to the top flight next season should his employers continue their current run of form.

RB: Thomas Lakic (Box Hill United)

While the Pythagoras captain has impressed in the centre-back role this term, he is shifted out to full-back to accommodate his fellow goalscoring defenders. A goal and clean sheet in the demolition of Bendigo was followed by another crucial strike in the 2-2 away draw to Melbourne City.

CB: Shaun Kelly (Dandenong City)

Having been well below his best form at the start of the campaign, the Englishman is beginning to find his feet with some of best performances in a Hajduk shirt coming in May. A goal in the 4-1 triumph over Goulburn and some tidy defensive contributions were notable highlights.

CB: Simon Colosimo (Dandenong Thunder)

The former Socceroo may have only played twice in May but certainly made his presence felt in those games that he was involved in. Another goal in the 4-2 win over Melbourne City was followed by a double against Richmond which salvaged a point and rolled back the years.

LB: Luke Eyles (Dandenong City)

Like Kelly, the young Tasmanian initially took time to find his feet at Hajduk but has slowly grown in confidence with his solid defensive attributions and tireless running making him one of City’s quite achievers. Growing in maturity, he has made that left-back spot his own at the club.

RCM: Nebojsa Pejic (Springvale White Eagles)

The Bosnian midfielder found himself in the position of head coach after the departure of Vlado Tortevski and immediately made an impact with a stunning debut goal in the 3-2 comeback win over an in-form Murray before orchestrating another come-from-behind win the week later over Eastern.

CM: James Coutts (Murray United)

The second player-coach in the starting eleven, the Englishman is part of a strong backbone of experienced players guiding Murray’s surge up the ladder. A goal in the 2-1 away win over Sunshine was followed up by another in the loss to Springvale.

LCM: Samuel Catherine (Dandenong Thunder)

While the likes of Colosimo, Bragg and Barnes often get the plaudits, the hard-working former Box Hill and Richmond midfielder quietly goes about his business. A workhorse in the centre of the park, he provides plenty of energy and scored a goal in the 4-2 triumph over Melbourne City.

RF: Todd Dekker (Box Hill United)

The younger brother of Green Gully striker Wade is definitely proving himself to be quite the goalscorer having added eight goals to his name in four games in May. A hat-trick against Bendigo was followed up by an incredible five-goal haul in the 5-4 thriller against Murray.

CF: Shaun Filipovic (Dandenong City)

A goal against Melbourne Victory was followed by a hat-trick vs Eastern Lions before adding a further strike to his name against Goulburn. Not bad for a player who before this season had spent the entirety of his five-year senior career as a box-to-box midfielder.

LF: Brandon Barnes (Dandenong Thunder)

The goalscoring machine continued his explosive form into May with a hat-trick away to Ballarat followed up by a brace in the 4-2 win over Melbourne City. It is little wonder that a player of his quality has now made 9 out of the 10 TOTM he’s been eligible for since moving to Melbourne last year.

DF: Jordon Hall (Melbourne City)

The teenager has recently departed Bundoora to take up a scholarship with home-town club Western Sydney Wanders but once more showed his potential over the course of May.

MF: Nick Kalmar (Dandenong City)

Like many of his teammates, the former A-League midfielder has improved as the season has worn on and grabbed goals to his name against Eastern Lions – two in fact – and against Goulburn.

RM: Robert Hughes (Goulburn Valley Suns)

Alongside the likes of Jamie England and Matthew Lelliott, the Welshman has been one of the Suns best of late and netted a hat-trick in the 7-2 drubbing of Richmond

LM: Valli Cesnik (Richmond)

One of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable season for Richmond. Scored against Melbourne City before hitting a brace in the 2-2 draw vs Thunder.

FW: Damir Stoilovic (Springvale White Eagles)

Had struggled to repeat his form from 2016 up until recently with a goals in comeback victories over Murray and Eastern followed by a brace in the 4-2 loss to Goulburn.

FW: Philip Ajao (Eastern Lions)

The Nigerian continues to be a source of goals for the struggling Lions have netted in the 1-1 draw vs Brunswick before hitting consecutive braces in defeats to Hajduk and Springvale.