Maestro Mooy shortlisted for Championship gong

Australia star Aaron Mooy is locked in a four-way fight for the Championship’s first Player of the Month award after an electric start for top-of-the-table Huddersfield Town.

Aaron Mooy

Aaron Mooy Source: Getty Images

Mooy - back in the UK after helping the Socceroos to World Cup wins over Iraq and UAE, has been nominated alongside Fulham winger Tom Cairney, Wolverhampton defender Matt Doherty and Barnsley striker Conor Hourihane for the accolade, with the winner to be announced on Friday.

Fast shattering the prognostications of those who doubted the wisdom of his move from Melbourne City, to Manchester City and then immediately out on loan for the season to the Terriers, Mooy has been German coach David Wagner’s midfield minstrel.


Cynics portrayed the Huddersfield move as underwhelming – but the reality has been quite the opposite with Mooy spearheading the club’s capture of 13 points from the opening five games going into Sunday morning’s (AEST) Yorkshire derby at home against Leeds United.

With Huddersfield shaping up as the Championship’s version of Leicester City as they levitate atop the table, Mooy’s Australian-based agent Paddy Dominguez is not surprised in the least by the impact  the Terriers new cast member is having in front of an appreciative new audience.

“There were a few people who were cynical about the move to Huddersfield," said Dominguez.

“But it has always been a specific plan … we knew that David Wagner would be a coach who would be able to work with Aaron and develop his game to the next level, which is to make him Premier League ready by next season.

“He is playing in a slightly deeper role – we know he is an attacking creative force – but he is having to add another side to his game, and is showing that defensive toughness.

”It’s really bringing in that last piece of the puzzle, and to making him the complete Aaron Mooy.

“Everything is going exactly as we thought it would … we thought Huddersfield would be up there and that Aaron would have an influence there, and that’s exactly what has happened.

“So, how well he is doing is really only a surprise to outsiders. It’s been a fantastic month for Aaron in light of how Huddersfield have gone, plus two World Cup qualifying wins.

"What better way to cap off your first month than to win the first nomination for the season for the Championship player of the month (if the vote goes his way).”

While his technical prowess is unquestioned, Mooy has been aided in excelling in a frenetic division thanks also to a heightened level of fitness.

“The intensity of the training is not something he has been used to … David Wagner has put the players through a really tough pre-season and the benefits are showing for both Aaron and the rest of the team," added Dominguez.

“They have had lots of double sessions, and then Aaron has had to travel and perform for Australia and is straight back (to the John Smith Stadium) for the Yorkshire derby.

“He knew it would be a tough league, and that was the challenge he wanted to take on.”

Dominguez contends that the Terriers are well placed to become a credible copy of Leicester City as they emerge unheralded to head a league dubbed one of the toughest in the world to get out of.

“There’s no reason to suggest otherwise,” he said. “They have signed some good players, have some good players on loan and have a coach who knows exactly what he is doing.

“They are just a hard working team, just like Leicester were last year. It’s up to other teams now to answer the question as to why they shouldn’t be up there chasing a promotion place.”

Mooy, according to Dominguez, did his “homework on the club” before making the move and saw “the possibilities" in front of him.

“He believed in the coach and the opportunity, and Brian Marwood (the City Football Group's Managing Director of Football Services) helped him understand the potential there," he said. "Since then, it’s all been based on hard work.”

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Published 8 September 2016 at 10:17pm
By Dave Lewis