After reviewing the performances of First League players over the 2015/16 season, we came up with this starting 11.
We compiled stats such as games played, goals, assists and clean sheets to determine which players deserved to be on the team. There were tough choices to be made on several positions, and we decided to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation that most teams of the 1.MFL use. Keep in mind that the requirement was that each nominee had to start at least half of his team's league games. That comes out to 16 games or more, since the league season consisted of 32/33 rounds (32 for the promotion play-off teams and 33 for the relegation play-off teams).
Here is our starting 11, plus 12 bench players. The statistics are only from the First League, not cup encounters.
GK Tome Pachovski (Vardar) - M26 GC14 CS16 Y3 R0
It was easy to pick the goalkeeper. Pachovski made some mistakes during the season, but he also kept 16 clean sheets and conceded only 14 goals.
RB Hovhannes Hambardzumyan (Vardar) - M26 G7 A9 Y6 R1
This is what you call a no-brainer. Like last year, he is again the starting right-back in our team of the season. Very active and effective in the offense, the Armenian national team member was also part of the best defense of the 1.MFL.
CB Boban Grncharov (Vardar) - M26 G5 A1 Y6 R0
Grncharov is one more player from vardar's roster who defended his place in the team of the season. With his experience he was important for Vardar's defense, furthermore he netted five goals.
CB Nemanja Mijušković (Vardar) - M22 G1 A1 Y1 R0
The Montenegrin centre-back was a great transfer for Vardar, Mijušković had no problems to adapt and his good performances were rewarded with a call up from Montenegro's national team.
LB Goran Popov (Vardar) - M24 G1 A2 Y3 R0
With Goran Popov Vardar's defense is complete. This is the first time that we selected the whole defense of one team, but it is legitimate. Popov was shaky from time to time, but he got better in the course of the season and was overall the best left-back.
DM Besir Demiri (Shkendija) - M29 G1 A3 Y6 R0
It wasn't an easy choice, there were a lot of good performers on this position. In the end, we selected Besir Demiri. Even though he played on various positions he had no problems to adjust, no matter where he played, Demiri played with passion and on a high level. He was also our choice for best young player.
DM Armend Alimi (Shkendija) - M30 G9 A3 Y6 R1
Usually Alimi is an offensive midfielder, but this season he played often in defensive midfield in a very offensive aligned team. He was Shkendija's brain in the offense and despite his increased defensive tasks he was very effective.
AMC Juan Felipe (Vardar) - M31 G7 A8 Y7 R0
The player of this past season was another great reinforcement for Vardar. From the first day Juan Felipe showed his class and increased the quality of the 1.MFL.
RW Stênio Júnior (Shkendija) - M30 G5 A14 Y6 R0
The Brazilian scored just five goals, but his game is much more than goals. Stênio Júnior is a complete attacker, always in good shape and a real team player on the field. Probably one of the most underrated players in the league.
LW Besart Ibraimi (Shkendija) - M32 G26 A16 Y2 R0
Well, just the numbers are so impressive. Ibraimi is a threat in every game, no matter if he is inside or outside the box. He has an incredible shot, powerful and precise at the same time. Of course he benefited from Shkendija's offensive attitude, nevertheless he was great.
CF Sashko Pandev (Turnovo) - M31 G17 A1 Y5 R0
In the past he was more of a winger, but this season he had often a new role playing at centre-forward. Turnovo struggled and was relegated, nevertheless Pandev showed his skills and made the team of the season.
GK Kostadin Zahov (Shkendija/Bregalnica) - M26 GC26 CS10 Y1 R0
Zahov played a good first half season in Shtip and afterwards moved to Shkendija were he continued with his good performances.
GK Milan Mitrović (Sileks) - M32 GC40 CS12 Y1 R0
A good season for the Serbian international who was an important part of Sileks success.
RB Blagoja Todorovski (Shkendija) - M31 G2 A3 Y3 R0
Todorovski is always between the better players of the league, constantly running tirelessly the right side up and down.
CB Milan Ilievski (Rabotnichki) - M29 G0 A3 Y3 R0
Very experienced and calm he was very important for Rabotnichki. His team lost some good players during the season, but Ilievski ensured the stability in defense.
CB Visar Musliu (Renova) - M30 G3 A0 Y11 R0
Sometimes rough on the field and also cocky, but Musliu was good and has the talent to make it on a higher level.
LB Mite Cikarski (Rabotnichki) - M29 G2 A1 Y2 R1
In the past he was shaky and lacked constancy, but Cikarski is getting better and better. This season he was overall one of Rabotnichki's best and most consistent players.
DM Stephan Vujcić (Shkendija/Rabotnichki) - M31 G2 A2 Y3 R0
We could have placed Vujcić without concerns in the starting line up. He is such a great and smart player, a real enrichment for the Macedonian first league.
DM Nikola Gligorov (Vardar) - M28 G0 A3 Y6 R0
His game is not spectacular, but Gligorov is a fighter and has big merits regarding Vardar's good defense.
W Dejan Blazhevski (Vardar) - M19 G10 A7 Y2 R0
An injury stopped abruptly his good season. Without the injury, Blazhevski probably would have been one of the top choices for the player of the season award.
W/CF Marjan Radeski (Shkendija) - M28 G9 A1 Y2 R1
In the beginning, Radeski had problems to adopt to Shkendija. He started slowly, but improved constantly.
W/CF Igor Nedeljković (Sileks) - M30 G11 A6 Y8 R0
Probably Sileks' best player this season. Very active on the field and stable despite playing on different positions.
CF Bazhe Ilijoski (Rabotnichki) - M18 G13 A5 Y3 R0
As always he showed callousness inside the box. Ilijoski knows how to score and would have scored much more goals, but he left Rabotnichki in the winter as he moved to Malaysia.
Legend: M - matches played; GC - goals conceded; CS - clean sheet; G - goals scored; A - assists; Y - yellow cards received; R - red cards received.
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