Off season outlook part 2: Youth PromotionsPosted: January 9, 2013
I was going to post this yesterday, but just as I finished writing it, Brisbane decided to announce the signing of Jade North, so 24 hours later than planned here it is.
With the January transfer window opening next week, I though I would take a look at the situation as it currently stands. Yesterday I looked at those off contract and later in the week I’ll look players from other clubs and potential January arrivals, but for today lets take a look at the NYL squad and who could potentially earn a 1st team promotion.
Here’s a reminder of how the NYL squad looked at the start of the season:
Goalkeepers: Nicholas Tubbs, Fraser Chalmers.
Defenders: Jason Geria, Corey Brown, Lachlan Jackson, Cameron Cresanti.
Midfielders: Ross Archibald, George Lambadaridis, Ben Liftin.
Forwards: Nick Fitzgerald, Kwame Yeboah, Jordan Lambi, Brandon Borrello, Patrick Theodore.
Since then there has been a few players brought in here and there as fill in players, but the big player change has been the captain of the NYL side Jason Geria’s move to the Melbourne Victory on a 1st team deal. His departure and loss has been discussed ad-nauseam especially with the defensive issues facing the 1st team. The other thing worth pointing out is that Kenneth Dougall, who as you can see wasn’t in the squad at the beginning of the season. Idk if it was an oversight or just a late decision but the 3 year NYL veteran has been an ever-present in the squad once again this season.
As for who could potentially make the step up next year, the following I don’t think have a shot at getting a 1st team shirt next year.
Goalkeepers: Nicholas Tubbs, Fraser Chalmers.
Defenders: Lachlan Jackson, Cameron Cresanti.
Forwards: Jordan Lambi, Patrick Theodore.
Most of these are obvious ones. There’s 2 keepers already signed on so there’s no spot for Tubbs or Chalmers- not that either have done enough to earn it imo. Jackson and Cresanti are still young defenders and we need a more experienced option anyway imo. Lambi and Theodore have barely featured this season so they won’t be promoted.
That leaves the following 6 players that could be apart of the 1st team squad next season. Obviously not all of them will be promoted to the 1st team, but I think there’s a chance two or three of them will be. It’s a moot point now given he’s left for Melbourne Victory, but I obviously would have included Jason Geria in this list.
Years in NYL: 1
Ben only joined the NYL squad this season but has quickly won a spot in the middle of midfield. I said after the Sydney game on twitter how he’s impressed me in recent matches. He’s a similar type of player to Massimo Murdocca in that he’s tidy on the ball and has a high work rate. Unlike Murdocca however he has proven to be a somewhat regular goal scorer. I think next season we’ll likely see him playing in the NYL as its probably too soon for him, but he’s one worth watching.
Years in NYL: 2
Ross is a midfielder with similar attributes to Erik Paartalu in that he provides a bit of height in the midfield and has a decent passing game, and Brisbane Roar have developed him into a similar type of player. Im not sold on him moving forward, but should Erik depart either in January or the end of the year, Ross would provide a cheap, in house option as a replacement in the squad.
Kwame was a complete unknown when he stepped onto the field out in Ipswich in the pre-season, but for those NYL regulars he’s gone on to become a very dangerous winger. Typically a right winger in the youth team, he’s had a host of impressive games and chipped in with his fair share of goals. In terms of the 1st team he could be a replacement for James Meyer should they chose to head in that direction, although im not sure how today’s signing of Julius Davies changes that equation.
Years in NYL: 2
George arrived in Brisbane from Belgian side Club Brugge and has developed into a fine central midfielder. Most Brisbane fans know him best for his last minute winner on the Gold Coast last season, but he’s produced similar goals in the youth league over his time here. His 2012/13 season has been disrupted by a knee injury but he’s recently returned to the NYL side and was also involved in the 1st team at the weekend. Out of the three midfielders I’ve considered here –Lambadaridis, Liftin and Archibald- George is definitely the most likely and the best candidate for the 1st team.
Corey has vast experience in the youth Australian sides and has been an ever-present in the Roar youth set-up for the past 2 years. He made his debut for the 1st team on Matchday 6 of the AFC Champions League against Beijing Guo’an and looked pretty good out there. In recent weeks he’s been linked to the Newcastle Jets, but reports today suggest he’s turned that down in favour of staying with Brisbane. One way or another, I get the feeling he’ll be in the A-League somewhere next season.
Arrived in Brisbane after a season with hometown side Central Coast Mariners, Nick arrived in Brisbane after Ange Postecoglou invited him up here for a trial, and it didn’t take long for him to impress. After a pre-season campaign filled with goals and good performances, Nick eventually ended up landing a full time NYL deal where he stood out and ended up getting an A-League debut at the midpoint of the season. He ended up playing a role in the run that lead to back to back Grand Final victories. This season, his chances have been somewhat limited to the occasional cameo off the bench. In recent days he’s been linked with a return to the Mariners, but it goes without saying it would be a wise and prudent investment in the future for Brisbane to re-sign Nick. The signing of Julius Davies however may yet prove to make that impossible.
4My best guess is that there will be three players promoted to the 1st team for next season. Corey Brown and George Lambadaridis are the two I think are complete no brainers, the 3 will come down to circumstance. If Nick Fitzgerald wants to stay, it’s an easy decision, if however as predicted he returns to the Mariners it becomes an interesting scenario. Do they opt for the best overall talent (Yeboah), the best fit (Archibald) or somebody else?