Topor Celebrates Milestone With A Tough Shift

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When Nikolai Topor-Stanley ran on for his 150th Hyundai A-League game on Saturday night he wasn’t expecting an easy shift.

When Nikolai Topor-Stanley ran on for his 150th Hyundai A-League game on Saturday night he wasn-t expecting an easy shift.

However, the 12th minute send-off of his NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers defensive partner Jerome Polenz meant the ten Wanderers left on the pitch would have to dig deep.

“It was tough work,” Topor-Stanley said.

“It was not ideal having a man sent off in the early stages in the match but the boys showed we were more than up for the game with a great performance and a gutsy win.”

When they lost Polenz, Topor-Stanley said the team knew they were up to the task.

“You can-t lose your head, you have to keep your composure there,” he said.

“I think that the number of chances that we created shows that physically we are in great knick and mentally we are very strong.”

Topor-Stanley has played for Sydney FC, Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and now the Wanderers.

He and goalkeeper Ante Covic are the only two Wanderers to have played every game this season.

“It is a credit to the coaching staff that has got us really fit and I have never felt fitter in my career,” he said.

“I have lost seven kilos and am playing at a weight I have not been at since I was a teenager and I feel full of energy and really resilient at the moment.”

Not only is he regularly being voted NRMA Insurance man-of-the-match by supporters, he scored a very important goal against Wellington Phoenix away.

Topor-Stanley said he not only helped his team win that important match but the goal saw him win a $50 bet with Aaron Mooy on who would score first this season.

“Thanks Aaron,” he said.

One of the biggest thrills for him this year was being appointed club vice-captain and leading the team twice in captain Michael Beauchamp-s absence.

“It is a great honour leading the boys out onto the pitch but I don-t think my captaincy record is too great,” he said.

“I would really like to improve that record with a few more wins.

“Being nominated vice-captain is a great honour to me and I am humbled by it.”

Asked if Socceroo legend Vinnie Grella was congratulating him on his milestone when the two exchanged words in the second half, Topor-Stanley said: “Not so much. I think I had a little bit of a mistimed challenge there and I apologised.

“I think that nonetheless he was not too happy.

“I am sure that he has made a couple of mistimed challenges in his career and he would know what goes around, comes around.”

For revelations about who are his funniest teammates, most annoying opponents and other interesting thoughts, watch the attached video.

The Wanderers- next home game is against Newcastle Jets at Campbelltown Stadium on February 9 at 7.45pm.