A few thoughts on the current squad.

Who doesnt love a bit of squad speculation? There has certainly been a fair ammount of it flying around this years Brisbane Roar squad with the departure of some fan favourites, and the arrival of a host of new, young, exciting names eager to make this season just as successful as the previous. Just to make it simple to see who’s come and gone here are the ins and outs as of today.

In

Jack Hingert- Dandenong Thunder (Formerly North Queensland Fury)

Matt Jurman- Sydney FC

Kofi Danning- Sydney FC

Besart Berish- Armeia Bielefeld

Sayed Mohamad Adnan-Al-Khor

The list of ins definatly has a hint of sky blue about it with the recruitment of the pair of youth internationals from Sydney. It is obviously a good pair of signings based on preseason showings, but to have what you could term as ‘bulk recruitment’ from a team that many Roar supporters still consider the clubs biggest rival is an interesting sub plot to the season, although I very much doubt that Ange or anyone at the club really cares about any of that, and they shouldnt because they are 2 of the best options that were avaliable on the market and acted accordingly. In addition to those 2, Jack Hingert, the former NQ Fury fullback is another good , young local pickup who will add a great ammount of depth to an already strong squad with his ability to play both fullback roles. Its seems however based on preseason he will be primarly fighting for a spot at right fullback with incumbant Ivan Franjic.

 

In additon to the 3 local Australian players, 2 foriegn players have been added to the squad, with Albanian Besart Berisha and Bahraini Defender Sayed Mohamaed Adnan both added to the squad. Adnan on the face of it appears to be facing a real fight for a spot in the starting lineup with both Matt’s (Smith and Jurman) hitting up a strong partnership in the games so far. Of course Adnan is only just coming back from a long spell out of the game due to some problems back in Bahrain, but in his limited gametime that i’ve seen him play this pre-season he looks to be a handy defender capeable of adding something to the side, especially in playing the ball out of defence. Berisha for his part is at this time a complete unknown having not even arrived in Australia yet, hopefully he’s here in time for Saturdays game against the QSL North All-Stars.

 

Out

Kosta Barbarouses- FC Alania Vladikavkaz

Milan Susak- Minangkabau F.C.

Jean Carlos Solorzano- Melbourne Victory (via  LD Alajuelense)

Matt McKay-  Glasgow Rangers

Luke Devere- Gyeongnam

Reinaldo- Al-Ahli

 

As usual, the list of outs is a long one for the Roar, and while its nowhere near as long as last seasons list of departing players, this year it appears that the squad is losing alot more quality than ever before, especially in the front third of the pitch. Losing imports Barbarouses, Solorzano and even Reinaldo who left midway through the year but still had an impact on the squad last season are all massive losses to the side and having to replace basically all of the clubs strike force is surely a concern for Ange and new Director of Football Paul Trimboli.

 

Defensivly too there has been a pair of big losses with Luke Devere, who started the year in the heart of defence, and the man who replaced him, Milan Susak, have both departed the club. Both of these players will be sorely missed next season, however they wont be missed anywhere near as much as the last player of the half dozen so far to leave. Matt McKays move to Rangers (which should become offical and be confirmed in the next day or 2) is arguebly the biggest blow the club has faced, certainly in a player leaving way he is the biggest loss in the clubs history. Losing the 1st captain to lead a team to success, along with a player with the most appearnces in club history leaves a massive hole in the squad.

 

Where the squad stands

Goalkeepers: Michael Theoklitos, Andrew Redmayne

Fullbacks: Ivan Franjic, Shane Stefanutto, Jack Hingert, Matt Mundy

Defenders: Matt Smith, Sayed Mohamed Adnan, Matt Jurman

Midfielders: Erik Paartalu, Massimo Murdocca, Mitch Nichols, Luke Brattan, Chris Bush

Wingers: Thomas Broich, Rocky Visconte, Henrique Silva, Kofi Danning

Strikers: James Meyer, Besart Berisha

Squad  breakdown: 2 Keepers, 7 defenders, 5 midfielders, 4 wingers, 2 strikers.

 

In goals with 3 time A-League champion Michael Theoklitos and Olyroo keeper Andrew Redmayne, the goalkeeping department looks very very strong, and is still for mine the best 1-2 goalkeeping combination in the league, by a considerable margain. Just infront of them the fullback position has been bolstered with the addition of Hingert providing even more cover on the right hand side, and between him and Mundy, they will be pushing the incumbant pairing of Franjic and Stefanutto very hard this season.

 

The centre of defence is almost an all new bunch for the upcoming season, with only mainstay Matt Smith still around from the Premiership/Championship team. New signings Matt Jurman and Sayed Adnan will be help go some way to replacing the departing Devere and Susak, making a 3 strong headache for coach Postecoglou. Perhaps another player could be brought in this position with only 3 players, however Matt Mundy has shown in his limited opportunites at centre half  he can do a good job in the role.

 

Moving foward into midfield while the loss of McKay is obviously huge, there is still enough talent and depth in the squad to step up and replace the departing captain. If Postecoglou keeps the same 4-3-3 shape as last season it could be a very simple swap with Massimo Murdocca re-gaining his starting place he lost late last season, parterning Mitch Nichols and Erik Paartalu in the middle of the formation. However youngsters Luke Brattan and Chris Bush should not be underestermated for mine, and would let nobody down if given a chance to break into the side.

 

In the wide roles, the club is as strong as it was last season with Broich and Henrique returing to continue their fantastic work from the flanks next season, with the perpetually injuired Rocky Viscotne and new signing Kofi Danning offering good depth and even more options to the side. The central strikers role is the 1 position in the side that appears to be weaker than it was 12 montha ago with the afformentinoed foriegn trio of Barbarouses/Solorzano/Reinaldo all leaving and only Berisha coming in. Alot will be expected from the new man, with last seasons revelation James Meyer also expected to step up and continue the fantastic form he showed at the end of last season.

 

Overall the squad appears to be very strong, which goes against what some of the ‘experts’ have been saying as of late. Defensivly the side is still one of, if not the best team in the league with the new central defensive players adding fantastic depth at a position many sides around the league are struggling at. The midfield and wings havent changed a great deal and should be able to improve and expand upon their perfomances from last season. As I said earlier it is upfront where the 1 final question mark over the squad lies, and I think that with the addition of an additional striker, the team will be every bit as strong as the one that went 28 games unbeaten last year.

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