Ben Halloran and what it means for next season

 

Im sure by now everyone’s heard that Ben Halloran is Brisbane’s 1st signing for the 2012/13 season and by switching from the ashes of the Gold Coast to Brisbane he becomes the 1st player to have played for GC to play for the Roar. Halloran –who turns 20 in June- has signed a 3 year deal which will see him in orange until the end of the 2014/2015 A-League season.

 

Those who regularly watched Gold Coast games last season know what kind of player Ben is but for those who didn’t see much of him he’s defiantly an excitement machine and continues the long line of tricky, pacey wingers we’ve seen in orange down the years. He’s very good at cutting inside from the wider positions and scored most of his goals this way last season. His overall record for GCU was: 26 games played, 4 goals scored. Not the greatest goals to games ratio but his game isn’t solely about goals, his pace and ability to beat defenders in wide positions created numerous chances for both himself and his teammates. In terms of his position he spent the majority of last season down the left for the Gold Coast and its in this position he played his best stuff although he did play out on the right at times aswell. While he can (apparently) play as a striker I think it’s fair to assume we’ll be seeing him more in the wider positions next season, which brings me to my next point.

 

In the wider areas Brisbane is already extremely strong with the likes of Broich, Henrique, Fitzgerald, Danning, Meyer and Visconte all signed on for next season. Perhaps we’ll be seeing one of them in a slightly different position next season? If the FC Tokyo game is anything to go by then we might be seeing Broich deployed in a more central #10 like position next season which would be interesting. There’s also a chance that one of them might be moving on by the start of next season. Either way Halloran’s a fine addition to what is a strength for Brisbane and gives Rado a positive selection headache.

 

So who is signed for next season? Well the majority of the squad is with only Matt Mundy and Sayed Mohamed Adnan left without contracts as of right now. Adnan reportedly has an offer on the table from Brisbane but wants to think about it before committing. Mundy on the other hand hasn’t featured heavily this season and could be headed back to the local competition.  There are also the 3 fulltime NYL players (Fitzgerald, Lambadaridis, and Brown) who to my knowledge haven’t been offered 1st team contracts. They originally signed on in those roles for two seasons but Brisbane might –and should imo- look to promote atleast Fitzgerald into the 1st team.

List of players signed:

Contract expires end of season 2012/13:
Michael Theoklitos

Matt Jurman
Shane Stefanutto
Ivan Franjic
Eric Paartalu
Kofi Danning
Henrique De Andrade Silva
Rocky Visconte
Mitch Nichols
Luke Brattan
Jack Hingert
James Meyer
Thomas Broich

Contract expires end of season 2013/14:
Matt Smith
Besart Berisha
Massimo Murdocca
Anthony Proia

Contract expires end of season 2014/15:
Ben Halloran

 

The signing of Halloran pushes the number of players to 18 so at the least we’ll see 2 more signings before the beginning of next season, but in truth I think we’ll see 3 more. We obviously need a 2nd goalkeeper and depending on who you speak to and your opinion on Theoklitos that could be a simple backup or somebody with the aim of replacing him. Personally I think we should just promote Acton- he’s good enough and has the experience to sit on the bench in the A-League. He can also learn from one of the best keepers in the competition.

We also need atleast one new defender, probably two and this is where the recruitment has to be spot on imo. We have one foreign spot to play with and getting a defender who can partner Smith should be the absolute #1 priority now. It could be Adnan but over the course of the season he’s looked shaky and has fallen short of the mark in the ACL. The other defender needs to be versatile enough to play both CB and FB. Perhaps this is a role for NYL player of the season James Donachie? With Jurman and Hingert being the primary backups for the defence there’s no reason why the 7th defender on the books couldn’t be a youngster.

 

Brisbane Roar 2012/13 squad as it stands, by position.

Goalkeepers: Theoklitos
Fullbacks: Franjic, Stefanutto, Hingert
Central Defenders: Smith, Jurman
Central Midfielders: Nichols, Brattan, Paartalu, Murdocca

Attacking Midfielders: Halloran, Broich, Visconte, Danning, Meyer, Henrique
Strikers: Berisha, Proia

 

One final point to close on: While new signings are important and are generally more exciting, most of this offseason imo is going to be about which of the players who are off contract at the end of next season are going to re-sign with the club given that the core of the side who’ve taken us to back to back championships are off contract.

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