Season Preview- Gold Coast United

 

Last season: 4th

Is the A-League really starting? It can’t be, Palmer hasn’t opened his trap proclaiming undefeated season blah blah blah yet. Seriously thou while GCU may be going under the radar nationally, for mine they still have more than enough quality to make another push at a finals appearance. Their youth players should add a fresh vigour to the squad.

New Kit: Fi-Ta

 

Its quiet a nice kit this 1 by GCU actually with a softer yellow as opposed to the original colour. Its also nice to see a kit without arrows on it for a
change, even if a Sunshine Coast hotel sponsoring a Gold Coast team is a bit confusing (yes GCU fans I know Palmer owns it, but its still weird)

 

Coach: Miron Bleiberg

Australia’s version of the tinker man is back for his 3rd season in a row something he didn’t achieve with the Roar, but this is probably his
biggest test. He got a team of big names to the finals back to back, but now he’s got a young squad with fewer household names in it. As we saw in year 1 –and to a lesser extent season 2- with the Roar, he struggled at that, now to see if and what he learned from that.

 

Captain: Michael Thwaite

For some reason he didn’t fit in at Victory, but he’s been a standout for GCU in their 2 years in existence. But he’s going to need to raise his
performance this season even higher with so many kids in the side.

 

Possible starting 11

 

Full squad: 1) Glen Moss, 2) Joshua Brillante, 3) Michael Thwaite, 4) Zachary Anderson, 5) Kristian Rees), 6) Paul Beekmans, 7) Gol- Gol Mebrahtu, 8 ) Robson, 9) Joel Porter, 10) Tahj Minnieccon, 11) Jake Barker- Daish, 12) Dylan Macalister, 13) Ante Rozic, 14) Ben Halloran, 15) Adama Traore, 16) Maceo Rigters, 17) Chris Harold, 18) James Brown, 19) Chris Broadfoot, 20) Jerrad Tyson, 21) Daniel Severino, 22) Peter Jungschlager, 23) Dylan McGowan, 26) Samuel Tesfagbr Ghebrehiwet, 27) Ambair Sium Yosief.

*Foreigners in italics.

 

Transfers In

Jake Barker- Daish (Australian Institute of Sport), Paul Beekmans (SC Cambur), Dylan Macalister (Breioablik) Ante Rozic (Arka Gdynia), Maceo Rigters (Blackburn Rovers), Peter Jungschlager (De Graafschap), Samuel Tesfagbr Ghebrehiwet (Western Strikers- South Australia), Ambair Sium Yosief (Western Strikers- South Australia)

This list doesn’t include players they promoted up from their NYL side, or it would be a lot longer. The trio of Dutch imports will be a critical factor in any success, and based on Mirons prior foreign recruitment I think it’s fair to say his record isn’t the best, but by all reports Beekmans is a standout so we’ll have to wait and see. I also like Palmer’s “refugee” trick to get the 2 Eritrean oys onboard.

 

Transfers Out:

Steve Pantelidis (Bintang Medan), Daniel Piorkowski (Released), Dino Djulbic (Shaanxi Chamba), Zenon Caravella (Adelaide United), Anderson (Released), Shane Smeltz (Perth Glory), Jason Culina (Newcastle Jets), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Bas van den Brink (Busan I’ Park), Matthew Osman (Parramatta Eagles), Andrew Barisic (Persebaya 1927), Scott Higgins (Retired), Steve Fitzsimmons (Retired), John Curtis (Released), Steve Lustica (Hadjuk Split), Peter Perchtold (Mainz), Kim Sung-Kil (Released)

One of the longest list of outs from a football I’ve ever seen, and some top quality footballers have left the club including Culina, Smeltz, Caravella, Djite, van den Brink and Djulbic. While they have recruited reasonably well, they will miss those players.

 

Key In: Maceo Rigters.

A lot will be expected of the former Blackburn and former European u/21 WC winner, but for mine he is defiantly capable of delivering on those expectations. GCU don’t have a lot of experience in that final 3rd and even thou their kids are talented, sometimes you need that composure that experienced players bring. For GCU to play finals, Rigters will need to produce.

 

Key Out: Jason Culina

Face of the club, they will miss that, but they will also miss his on field play and leadership this season in what is a very young squad. Of course you could say the Jets will miss him too since he wont actually play a game, but at least they have him in their squad for experience, ect. Obviously Shane Smeltz will also be massively missed on the coast as well.

 

One to Watch: Chris Harold

Harold isn’t their best youth product from the nyl team –that would be Steve Lustica who has gone to Croatia- but Harold is a proven goal scorer at youth level and got a fair few opportunities late last season. This season may be a big one for the young striker.

 

Strengths: Defence

With Proven performers like Michael Thwaite and being joined by overseas based Australians Ante Rozic and Dylan McGowan they will be tough to break down. Dutch import Paul Beekmans is by all reports a very strong right back and we all know that Adama Traore is a good left back by this leagues standard.

 

Weaknesses: Inexperience

While the youth they have promoted did win back to back NYL titles, it still is a massive risk to promote so many into a 1st team squad at one time and a lot will depend on their more experienced players showing the way. Last seasons showed when they used too many of their kids, the results started to go south.

 

Stadium: Skilled Park.

Its quiet a nice little stadium and the roof makes for a fantastic atmosphere when fans actually turn up. The few games Brisbane has played at the
ground have been quiet good with so much orange in the ground, an extra home game really.

 

Preseason form: Played  4– Won 1 Drawn 3 Lost 0 

Gold Coast 0-0 New Caledonia

Gold Coast 1-1 New Caledonia

Gold Coast 1-0 Melbourne Victory

Gold Coast 1-1 Adelaide United

*Im sure they have played more, but I can’t seem to find them anywhere.

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