Nikolai David Topor-Stanley (born 11 March 1985) is an Australian football (soccer) player who plays as a centre back for Newcastle Jets in the A-League. Stanley was born to a Mauritian father, and a Polish-German mother.
|Full name||Nikolai David Topor-Stanley|
|Date of birth||11 March 1985|
|Place of birth||Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Playing position||Centre Back|
|2012–2016||Western Sydney Wanderers||104||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 October 2017|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 April 2015
Stanley has had several short-term contracts with A-League club Sydney FC, firstly as a replacement for injured Jacob Timpano, and then Ruben Zadkovich, but was not signed by former Sydney FC coach Terry Butcher on a reported long-term deal despite his "outstanding performance" because of the club's salary cap problems. He is a defender and has previously played for NSW Premier League teams Manly United FC and Belconnen Blue Devils, as well as representing Australia in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. He was also selected to participate in the first training camp for the Beijing Olympics.
On 15 July 2006, Nikolai debuted for Sydney off the bench against Queensland Roar in the Pre-season Cup before scoring his first goal for the club against Newcastle Jets a week later. Nikolai made his A-League debut on 27 August 2006 against the Central Coast Mariners. In the absence of Timpano, Nikolai cemented a place in Sydney's first team, having started a number of Sydney FC's games in the 06-07 season.
He was known to Sydney fans as "Hyphen", a name that was given to him by Sydney FC supporters, upon him scoring his first goal for the club. The name "Hyphen" comes about due to his hyphenated name. Stanley wore the number 21 shirt at Sydney FC and played as a left-sided stopper.
Sydney coach Butcher was apparently "fuming" after hearing that he had developed a foot injury at an Olyroos training session before the first semi-final against Newcastle Jets. In the first qualifying game against Taiwan in Adelaide on Wednesday, 7 February 2007, Topor-Stanley scored 2 of the 11 goals - one with each foot.
Stanley was rumoured to be following Sasho Petrovski and Alvin Ceccoli out of Sydney FC and it was confirmed on 1 April 2007 that he has signed on with A-League rival team, Perth Glory on a two-year deal. He left Sydney due to the contract which was offered to him by the club which was less than the amount he was being paid as a replacement player during the first season. Topor-Stanley will continue to represent Sydney until after Sydney's participation in the 2007 Asian Champions League. He is a "victim of a club-versus-country tug of war," according to Branko Culina, flying from country to country in between Olyroos and Sydney FC matches, along with fellow Sydney and Olyroos player Mark Milligan. Fellow Sydney FC player Mark Rudan was quoted as saying, "Nikolai Topor-Stanley will be a pretty big loss for us and again we seem to be losing players and not getting them."
He was praised as a new player for Perth Glory at the beginning of the 2007-08 season of the A-League, along with Jimmy Downey, and was nicknamed Nikolai "Gandhi" Topor-Stanley by his teammates. Only several matches into the A-League season, however, he took an ankle injury whilst playing for the Olyroos, but was able to play his next match against Iraq. "Outstanding young Perth Glory defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley has capped off a wonderful season by claiming the 2007/08 ‘Most Glorious Player’ Award, along with a host of other accolades, at the club’s presentation evening on Friday. The event belonged to Topor-Stanley as he scooped the pool with three awards in his debut season with Perth, adding the ‘Players’ Player of the Year’ and ‘Young Player of the Year’ to his 'Most Glorious Player' award." (Perth Glory website, 22 February 2008)
On 8 January 2009, Nikolai signed a two-year contract with Newcastle Jets. The assistant coach at the club 'rates Nikolai Topor-Stanley one of the best centre-backs in Australia and believes he is the perfect man to fix the club's defensive woes.'. Playing for the Jets will enable Nikolai to compete in the Asian Champions League for the second time, the first being with Sydney FC in 2006.
In a tense penalty shoot-out on 20 February 2010, Nikolai scored the goal that earned Newcastle Jets the right to go into the A-League 2010 semi-finals - much to the disappointment of Gold Coast United fans at Skilled Park, Gold Coast, Australia. During Round 14 of the 2010-11 Hyundai A-League season against Adelaide United, Nikolai Topor-Stanley finally broke his goal-scoring drought by scoring his first goal in 88 games for the Newcastle Jets.In his commentary Mick Cockerill stated: "Has that [goal] been a long time coming! Topor-Stanley ends one of the longest droughts in Australian football...". In Round 16 he scored another goal for the Jets, a magnificent glancing header. On 27 November 2010 Nikolai captained the Jets to defeat David Beckham's LA Galaxy at Energy Stadium before a record crowd. Beckham commended the Jets on their speed and fitness.
On 20 July 2013, Topor-Stanley started for the A-League All Stars in the inaugural A-League All Stars Game against Manchester United, a match in which the A-League All Stars were thrashed 5-1, courtesy of goals from Danny Welbeck, Jesse Lingard and Robin van Persie. Topor-Stanley was substituted off in the 73rd minute of the match, and was replaced by Melbourne Heart forward David Williams.
Topor-Stanley captained the Western Sydney Wanderers during the 2014 season, replacing Michael Beauchamp. His captaincy has continued into 2015. Under his captaincy, the Wanderers defeated a mean-spirited Al Hilal in Riyadh to win the Asian Champions League.
He was part of the Olyroos squad that represented Australia at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Topor-Stanley contributed significantly to the Olyroos' win over Saudi Arabia at Hindmarsh Stadium on 28 March 2007 by scoring the first goal, a header from the near post in the 74th minute of the game. In 2008, Topor-Stanley was named in Pim Verbeek's preliminary Australian squad which opened their World Cup qualifying campaign against Qatar on Wednesday 6 February in Melbourne but made his international debut against Singapore in March 2008. Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek included Nikolai in the Socceroos squad that drew 0-0 against China in Kunming on Wednesday 26 March 2008, that won against Ghana on and lost to China in Sydney on Sunday 22 June 2008. Nikolai is the most capped Olyroos player representing Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Verbeek selected Nikolai for the Socceroos squad that played Indonesia to a nil all draw on 28 January 2009 and for the squad that is to play Kuwait in Canberra on 5 March 2009.
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou revealed that Nikolai Topor-Stanley could have made his return to the Socceroos at the World Cup but for his injury in the Hyundai A-League grand final. Read more at http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/article/topor-stanley-couldve-played-at-world-cup-ange/rudhhwa57pen1p0ixvh3grsi2#LAjtHvtzIV3LTfYk.99
In September 2014, Topor-Stanley was recalled to the Socceroos squad by Ange Postecoglou to play UAE in UAE and Qatar in Qatar. In December 2014, Topor-Stanley was named in the provisional Socceroos Asian Cup squad. http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/nikolai-toporstanley-back-in-socceroos-after-six-years-20140925-10lrqq.html
|Western Sydney Wanderers||2012–13||29||1||–||–||–||–||–||–||29||1|
1 - AFC Champions League statistics are included in season ending during group stages (i.e. ACL 2009 and A-League season 2008–2009 etc.)