Match Preview: Brisbane City. Vs. Brisbane Roar.

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Brisbane’s pre-season Roadshow continues tonight at Spencer Park as Brisbane face their first NPL Queensland competition of the pre-season in the form of Brisbane City. Brisbane showed some good signs last week against Albany Creek –a game I wasn’t able to attend hence why there was no match review- and will be looking for more of the same this week.

Roar:
Brisbane were boosted last week by the return of Liam Miller from All-Stars duty and it’s a fair assumption that tonight will probably be the first pre-season hit out for Broich, Berisha and Theo. We may also see Henrique make his first appearance this pre-season, while Jade North and Ivan Franjic are back in Brisbane, it’s highly unlikely either will be involved after a long time away on national team duty. There will probably be a few trialists and youth players involved once again to make up the numbers. One of those however wont be Antonio Murray who scored a first half brace last week, he will instead represent City tonight which could give Mulvey a chance to see how he operates against an A-League opposition.

City:
City have had a stellar season in the inaugural NPL Queensland competition as they currently sit 2nd on the table after 18 matches, 8 points behind Olympic FC- they do have a game in hand however. Their record to date is: Played 18: Won 13, Drawn 2, Lost 3. At the weekend they tuned up for this friendly with a 2-0 win over Palm Beach down on the Gold Coast. It comes as no surprise that their leading man is Roar trialist Antonio Murray who has been scoring for fun in the competition this year (22 goals in 16 games). Brisbane NYL watchers will also recognise Kenneth Dougall who has been playing for City this season after he was let go at the end of last season.

The last tine these two sides met it was officially the beginning of a new and bright era with Ange Postecoglou’s first pre-season encounter taking place against City and Spencer Park. The Roar edged out a 3-2 win and while City acquitted themselves reasonably well on the night, there were signs then that Brisbane would be a dominant force for the season. Hopefully tonight we see similar signs.

Match details:
Brisbane City v Brisbane Roar
Wednesday, 31 July 2013 – Spencer Park, 7pm
Entry is free, however there will be a $5 charge on parking.


The Return?

Over the past week, there have been a number of former Brisbane Roar players released from their respective teams-with Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai), Kofi Danning (CS Vise) and Kosta Barbarouses (Alania Vladikavkaz- loaned out to Panathinaikos). So- would a return of one or more be advantageous, and is it likely? Let’s take a look.

Matt McKay:
The former foundation player, captain, leader and most revered player in club history is a free agent after agreeing to a mutual termination with his Chinese club Changchun Yatai at the weekend. The now Socceroo regular McKay has already stated he’s looking for a club that can help him in his quest to go to Brazil in 11 months time.

Where has he been?
Since his departure from Brisbane in the 2011 off-season on the back of the clubs first championship, Matt headed for Scottish giants Rangers. Things didn’t work out in Glasgow for Matt with Rangers suffering some financial difficulties, he headed to Korean outfit Busan I’Park in January 2012. After a full season in the K-League he headed across to Changchun where things didn’t go according to plan before his mutual termination last week.

Is he a fit?
Absolutely. Brisbane’s midfield is in a state of flux right now, with long term players Massimo Murdocca and Mitch Nichols moving on in the off-season. In addition to that youngster George Lambadaridis, who was expected to get some serious game time this year is out for the year with a knee injury. In comes Liam Miller from Perth and Diogo Ferreira from Melbourne Victory- but while Miller is expected to be a key cog in the side, Ferreira is best utilised as a backup/utility player. With Miller expected to play in that #10 role, and Brattan occupying one of the deeper midfield roles- there is a vacancy. McKay would be a fantastic fit, and an astronomical upgrade on Steven Lustica.

Is it possible?
Right now it seems like a reasonable chance, but we’ve yet to see the market fully develop for McKay’s services yet, and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to rush a decision. So far we know Brisbane boss Mike Mulvey is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding Matt, while former Brisbane boss Ange Postecoglou has publically stated he has no room for him at the Victory. That was however before Billy Celeski moved to the middle-east, and English club Q.P.R have expressed an interest in Mark Milligan. Right now it seems a 50-50 proposition, and a battle between returning to his hometown club and familiar surroundings, or heading to a club with the coach whom he played his best football under and potential ACL football next year. As I said however, there could be some interest from overseas that we haven’t heard about yet. Don’t be surprised if he surfaces at Roar training in the next week or so, just as a measure to stay fit until he finds a new club. Brisbane also has the ability to pay Matt outside the salary cap as their Australian marquee player if they choose, which would allow them to potentially match some of the lucrative offers from Asia.

Kofi Danning:
The second of the three is former flyer Kofi Danning, who has returned to Brisbane after he asked for a release from his second year of his deal in Belgium. The former Brisbane and Sydney championship winner is looking to rebuild his career after 2nd big setback.

Where has he been?
Kofi spent the last season scrapping away in the Belgian 2nd division with CS Vise, owned by the same owners as the Roar. It wasn’t the greatest season however for Kofi, having made just 4 appearances before tearing his ACL for the second time in January. Since then he’s been back in Australia rehabbing and has said recently that’s where he’d like to play as he rehabs so he can be close to his family.

Is he a fit?
Possibly. With the departure of Ben Halloran to Germany there is an opening on the right side of the midfield. Dimitri Petratos has come in to play in that role, but im mot 100% sure he’s the answer and some competition would be valuable. There is also young Kwame Yeboah, but another option would be useful. Ideally however it would someone slightly better or more credentialed than Kofi. If Kofi does return to Brisbane, im not sure you can count on him delivering anything this year, as he’s already behind the rest of the squad, is still rehabbing for a couple of months before getting back into training. He’d likely need atleast 4 games in the NYL before being physically ready to play, and after two ACL’s there must atleast be some doubt about him getting to that point.

Is it possible?
It certainly seems like it is. Kofi did an interview last week and is already back in Brisbane and has been sighted at both of the pre-season games so far. He’s also expressed a desire to return to the Roar and get his career back on track after yet another set back. While it sounds like there is some interest from Danning’s side, we’ve yet to hear anything out of the Roar that indicates a willingness either way. But I would be surprised if they didn’t sign him up and give him a chance.

Kosta Barbarouses:
The final player who could be set for a return to Brisbane is Kosta Barbarouses, who arrived in Brisbane after struggling to make an impact his hometown club, Wellington Phoenix. It was in Brisbane however where his career really flourished however, scoring 11 goals leading Brisbane to a first ever championship in 2010-11.

Where has he been?
He departed in 2011 in what was considered to be an odd transfer at the time, joining Russian 2nd division outfit Alania Vladikavkaz where he made 13 appearances in his first season. He was however loaned out in his second season to Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos. Things didn’t got to plan however as he lost his place due to New Zealand’s London 2012 campaign, and struggled to get a look in until the end of the season. He has since returned to his parent club and has reportedly agreed to terminate his deal one year early.

Is he a fit?
Absolutely. Brisbane fans saw in 2010-11 the value and ability of Barbarouses as he was one of the standout performers of that brilliant side that conquered everyone on the way to the double. He would be the perfect backup/compliment to Berisha and could also fill that right wing role aswell as he did when he and Solórzano were in the same line-up.

Is it possible?
Who knows. Kosta is definitely at a cross-roads in his career and if he did decided a return to the A-League is the best option there would surely be no shortage of suitors. For starters im sure Ange and Melbourne Victory would love to get him in their team, and Wellington im sure would make a big play for him as well. He does however as I understand it have family in Brisbane, with his brother playing for NPL side Redlands. He would be a fit, and Brisbane would have the foreign spot free to sign him – New Zealanders count as foreign players for Australian clubs- it’s just a matter of whether or not he feels it’s time to return from Europe. It’s also worth remembering on this front that he is a member of the All Whites and they do have a big WCQ against a Central American side coming up to decide their 2014 fate so im sure that will play a part in his decision making.

Of the three, there’s no doubt imo that McKay would be the best signing of the trio and his addition would to a lot to add to the optimism for the upcoming season. In a football sense he’d fit perfectly next to Brattan in the heart of midfield. From a sentimental side of things it’d be great to see the captain back at the club. If I had to choose between the attacker, id lean towards Kosta over Kofi for a couple of reasons. Firstly with the greatest of respects to Kofi, for mine Kosta is a better player. On top of that we’ve seen more from Kosta in the A-League, and Kofi is coming off some pretty serious knee issues. For mine however, I expect Kosta to remain in Europe or Asian football until after the World Cup next year, and as far as fall-back options go you could definitely do worse than Kofi. Either way it’s an interesting and exciting time with three former fans favourites all potentially on their way back to Brisbane.


Former Players Update: 29/07/13

With the European league seasons on the doorstep now, I’ve decided to revamp the former Roar players segment slightly to include the former players playing in Australia. In addition to that, at the top of the weekly post I’ve included a list of notable former players currently without a club, and will also post any player transfer news at the top of the post. I’ve also decided to post the weekly former roar players update over on the blog rather than the Facebook page- it’s just easier on my part. Please feel free to post comments on these changes- either positive or negative.

Free Agents:
Kosta Barbarouses (Uncontracted since his contract with Alania Vladikavkaz expired)
Kofi Danning (Uncontracted since agreeing to terminate the 2nd year of his deal with CS Vise)
Matt McKay (Uncontracted since agreeing a mutual termination with Changchun Yatai)
Spase Dilevski (Uncontracted since his Melbourne Victory contract expired in May 2013)
James Meyer (Uncontracted since his Brisbane Roar contract expired in May 2013)

Transfer movement:
It’s been a bit of a busy week for former Brisbane players with championship winning trio Kosta Barbarouses, Kofi Danning and Matt McKay all being released from their clubs. Danning is already back in Brisbane and reportedly hoping to get a deal from the Roar, while McKay is heading back to Brisbane until he sorts out his next career move.

In addition to those 3, it seems as though former NYL product Matthew Byrne has left his Serbian 2nd division side Teloptik to sign for NPL Queensland outfit Olympic FC. Finally- two former players found new clubs this week- with Rocky Visconte linking up with Thai Premier League side Suphanburi, while Stef Nijland got a deal from Zwolle who earned promotion to the Eredivise last season. Finally- Tando Velaphi won the back-up goalkeepers job at Melbourne Heart, and will attempt to apply pressure on current #1 and former Roar backup Andrew Redmayne next season.

Europe:
Netherlands:
Eredivise:

Tommy Oar, Adam Sarota and Michael Zullo (FC Utrecht)
Europa League Qualifier:
FC Utrecht 3-3 Differdange 03 (Differdange 03 win 5-4 on aggregate.
Utrecht are out of the 2013-14 Europa League after a 5-4 loss to Luxembourg outfit Differdange 03. They led the second leg 3-1 before throwing away both their lead on the night, and in the tie. Tommy started and played 90mins, Zullo remained on the bench while Sarota wasn’t in the squad.
They’ll begin their 2013-14 Eredivise campaign next weekend at home to Go Ahead Eagles.

Stef Nijland (PEC Zwolle)
A new addition to the list this week, as Stef Nijland has linked up with PEC Zwolle. They’ve had an unbeaten pre-season – including a win away to Werder Bremen-. They begin their Eredivise season at home to Feyenoord.

Germany:
Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen)

Leverkusen rounded out their pre-season campaign with a 4-0 win away to Vitesse. They begin their competitive games with a DFB Pokal Cup tie away to Lippstadt 08. Kruse came on after 79mins in the game against Vitesse.

Ben Halloran (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
FC. Koln 1-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf
4th in 2.Bundesliga- After 2 Rounds.
Fortuna remains in 4th place in the 2.Bundesliga after a 1-1 draw with Koln. Once again however Halloran failed to make the match day squad. Next up is a DFB Pokal trip to Wiedenbruck.

Croatia:
Steven Lustica (Hajduk Split)

Europa League Qualifier:
Turnovo 1-1 Hajduk Split (Hajduk win 3-2 on Aggregate.
Hajduk are through to the 3rd qualifying round for the 2013-14 Europa League, where they will take on Georgian side Dila Gori. The 1st leg will be in Split on August 1st, with the 2nd leg set down for August 8th.

Steven wasn’t involved in the squad.

Split 0-3 Hajduk Split
1st in Croatian HNL- after 3 rounds
They followed up their Europa League draw on Friday, with a 3-0 win over cross-town rivals Split this morning. No word if Lustica was involved or not.

Cyprus:
Issey Nakajima-Farran (Alki Larnaca)

Cypriot league starts August 31st. Alki begin at home to Aris.

Asia:
Japan:
Yuji Takahashi (Kyoto Sanga)

Kyoto Sanga 2-1 Avispa Fukuoka
4th in J.2 League- After 26 Rounds
No Takahashi in the squad.

Do Dong-Hyun (FC Gifu)
Fagiano Okayama 1-2 FC Gifu
21st in J.2 League- After 26 rounds.

They’ve moved up to 21st in the league, Dong-Hyun started on the bench- not sure if he came on or not.

China:
Erik Paartalu (Tianjin Teda)

14th in Chinese Super League- After 17 matches
The Chinese league has been on break over the East-Asian Cup. Tianjin re-start their domestic season on Wednesday night away to Hangzhou.

Korean Republic:
Luke DeVere (Gyeongnam)

10th in K-League- After 19 matches.
The K-League has been on hiatus for the East-Asian Cup. Gyeongnam re-start their campaign at home to Ulsan Hyundai on Wednesday night.

United Arab Emirates:
Milan Susak (Al Wasl)

Season is over.

Alex Brosque (Al Ain)
Season is over.

Qatar:
Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal)

The Qatari League season hasn’t started yet, but they are currently playing the Sheikh Jassem Cup. After two matches, Umm Salal sit 2nd on 3 pts (1 win, one loss.) They beat Al Ahli in the 1st game, before losing 1-0 at to Lekhwiya. The group stage concludes tomorrow night against Al Wakrah.

Thailand:
Rocky Visconte (Suphanburi F.C.)

4th in Thai Premier League- after 18 matches.
During the week the two time champion in Brisbane confirmed he was heading overseas once again signing for Thai side Suphanburi. His first game could come this coming weekend against Samut Songkhram.

Indonesia:
Sergio van Djik (Persib)

Barito Putra 2-2 Persib.
4th in Indonesian Super League- After 28 matches.
Sergio started the game and played the full 90 minutes. No goals this week however. They’ll face Persiba Balikpapan on Wednesday.

Dane Milovanovic (Pelita Bandung Jaya)
Pelita Jaya 2-2 Sriwijaya
16th in Indonesian Super League- After 28 matches.
No Dane in the squad, infact im not 100% sure he’s still at the club.

Indonesian Premier League:
Mario Karlovic (Persebaya 1927)

5th in Indonesian Premier League- After 14 matches.
Not sure what’s going on in the IPL tbh.

North America:
Costa Rica:
Jean Carlos Solórzano (Alajuelense)

I believe they’re on break for the Gold Cup atm, but updates on the Costa Rican league aren’t as often and as reliable this season.

South America:
Brazil:
Reinaldo (Operário Ferroviário EC)

Not sure what’s going on here tbh.

Australia:
A-League:

Dario Vidosic and Daniel Bowles (Adelaide United)
Nick Fitzgerald (Central Coast Mariners)
Andrew Redmayne, Tando Velaphi, David Williams and Massimo Murdocca (Melbourne Heart)
Mitch Nichols and Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory)
Isaka Cernak (Perth Glory)
Matthew Jurman and Vedran Janjetovic (Sydney FC)
Tahj Minnieccon (Western Sydney Wanderers)

There’s a number of current and former Brisbane Roar players playing in the inaugural NPL Queensland- most of them are NYL products, some of which will probably return to the Brisbane NYL set-up when the competition kicks off in November.

National Premier League- Queensland
Kenneth Dougall (Brisbane City)
Matthew Thurtell, Jonti Richter, Josh McVey and Alastair Quinn(Brisbane Strikers)
Matt Mundy, Matthew Byrne, Jake McLean, Ross Archibald and Tim Smits (Olympic FC)
Fraser Chalmers, Jack Bladen and Cameron Crestani (Qld Academy of Sport)
Royce Brownlie (Morton Bay Jets)

The headlines:
McLean, Smits and Mundy all scored in Olympics’ 7-0 rout of Central Queensland
Josh McVey scored for the Strikers at the weekend in their 3-2 win over Western Pride.
Ross Archibald of Olympic FC has recently spent time trialing with A-League side Melbourne Heart.
According to the Football Qld website, Matthew Byrne has returned from the Serbian 2nd division to sign for Olympic FC in the latter rounds of the competition.

Brisbane Premier League:
Todd Gava, Warren Moon and Michael Baird (Peninsula Power)

New South Wales Premier League, State League and Northern NSW Premier League
Liam Reddy and Callum O’Connell (Sydney United- NSW Premier League)
Jordan Simpson (Blacktown Spartans- NSW Premier League)
Chris Bush (Dapto Dandaloo- NSW State League)
David Dodd (Edgeworth Eagles- Northern NSW Premier)

Victorian Premier League:
Chris Grossman (Port Melbourne Sharks)
Griffin McMaster (Oakleigh Cannons)

If I’ve missed out on anyone, or you have any comments on the new layout feel free to post away in the comments.


Former Players Weekly Update: 24/07/13

Kosta Barbarouses (uncontracted)
Kosta is apparently uncontracted right now, after the end of his loan spell at Greek side Panathinaikos. His parent club was Russian 2nd division side Alania Vladikavkaz. Would be a fantastic signing for Brisbane for the upcoming season, just saying…

Kofi Danning (Uncontracted)
Kofi too is looking for a new club after his Vise contract expired. Unfortunately for him he never had much of an impact over in Belgium due to a knee injury. Apparently he’s been at both of Brisbane’s pre-season fixtures so far.

Europe:
Netherlands:
Tommy Oar, Adam Sarota and Michael Zullo (FC Utrecht)

Europa League Qualifier:
Differdange 03 2-1 FC Utrecht (First Leg)

Utrecht got off to a fast start in this one, with Mulenga scoring after 2’, but Er Rafik grabbed a brace (26’, 57’) to give the Luxembourg side the advantage at half time in the tie. The second leg of their Europa League tie takes place on Friday Morning back in Utrecht. Best of luck to the lads. Tommy Started the game, with Michael Zullo being an unused sub off the bench. Sarota is still recovering from his knee injury apparently.

Germany:
Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen)

Since the last update, the only known pre-season game for Leverkusen was a 3-0 win against Italian side Udinese. They’re due to start the season on August 3rd with a cup tie away to Lippstadt 08.

Ben Halloran (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-0 Energie Cottbus
4th in 2.Bundesliga- After 1 Round.
The 2.Bundesliga kicked off last weekend, with Fortuna starting at home to Cottbus. And they got off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win. Ben Halloran wasn’t in the squad however. They’ll next face Koln away from home this weekend.

Croatia:
Steven Lustica (Hajduk Split)

Europa League Qualifier:
Hajduk 2-1 Turnovo (First Leg)

Hajduk 1-1 Rijeka
3rd in Croatian HNL- After 2 Rounds.

Steve wasn’t involved in either match. The 2nd leg of their Europa League tie is away from home at the Macedonian club on Friday morning.

Cyprus:
Issey Nakajima-Farran (Alki Larnaca)

Cypriot league starts August 31st. Alki begin at home to Aris.

Serbia:
Matthew Byrne (FK Teleoptik Zemun)

Season is over/on break (im not sure which)

Asia:
Japan:
Yuji Takahashi (Kyoto Sanga)
Giravanz Kitakyushu 1-1 Kyoto Sanga
5th in J.2 League- After 25 Rounds
After last weeks appearance as a sub for the first time this season, it was back to the reserves for Yuji this week.

Do Dong-Hyun (FC Gifu)
FC Gifu 0-2 Avispa Fukuoka
22nd in J.2 League- After 25 rounds.

A new name to this report following his transfer went through- Do joins the worst club in the J.2 league and after 25 rounds they sit bottom of the league, 4 points clear of relegation. In his first appearance for his new club, he came off the bench after 58’ in their latest defeat.

Fun fact- he joins ex Sydney FC flop Hirofumi Moriyasu on the books of FC Gifu.

China:
Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai)

15th in Chinese Super League- After 17 matches.
CSL is on break until July 31st. Matt is with the Socceroos at the East Asian Cup.

Erik Paartalu (Tianjin Teda)
14th in Chinese Super League- After 17 matches
CSL is on break until July 31st. Erik is with the Socceroos at the East Asian Cup.

Korean Republic:
Luke DeVere (Gyeongnam)

10th in K-League- After 19 matches.
K-League is on break until July 31st.

United Arab Emirates:
Milan Susak (Al Wasl)

Season is over.

Alex Brosque (Al Ain)
Season is over.

Qatar:
Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal)

Season is over.

Sayed Mohamed Adnan (Al Arabi)
I finally have a bit of an update on Adnan. After 35 appearances, and 7 goals –not sold on that tbh- he’s transferred to Qatari club Al-Arabi (from a Kuwaiti club of the same name- go figure)

Indonesia:
Sergio van Djik (Persib)

4th in Indonesian Super League- After 27 matches.
Their next game is on July 27, away to Barito Putra.

Dane Milovanovic (Pelita Bandung Jaya)
16th in Indonesian Super League- After 28 matches.

Their next game is at home to Persisam Putra on July 25th. So far this season Dane has made 11 appearances, most of those came early in the season before a managerial change.

Indonesian Premier League:
Mario Karlovic (Persebaya 1927)

5th in Indonesian Premier League- After 14 matches.
Not sure what’s going on in the IPL tbh.

North America:
Costa Rica:
Jean Carlos Solórzano (Alajuelense)

Not sure on their league standing in the Costa Rican Primera
Alajuelense 1-3 Fulham. (Club Friendly)
Alajuelense 1-2 Carmelita
Updates are hard to come by, so idk if he’s playing or not.

South America:
Brazil:
Reinaldo (Operário Ferroviário EC)

Not sure what’s going on here tbh.

Tae Yong-Shin
Still unemployed after his departure from Seongnam in the K-League off-season.


Brisbane beat Albany Creek for first win of pre-season

1001072_10151750228008536_1656007520_nUnfortunately I couldn’t get to this one, so all of the following is second hand information.

Brisbane Roar: 5 (Murray x2, Petratos- pen, Brown, Ferreira)
Albany Creek Excelsior: 0

Trialist Antonio Murray opened the scoring with a fortuitous flick over the goalkeeper from a corner. Im not sure he meant it but it was a nice touch. He doubled his tally soon after with a tap in following some nice build-up play down the right before the defender failed his clearance.

New signing Dimitri Petratos made it 3-0 just before half time from the penalty spot, sending the keeper the wrong way before putting it in the top corner. Full-back Corey Brown made it 4-0 just after half time with a tidy finish into the bottom corner. Diogo Ferreira rounded out the scoring to make it 5-0 following a free kick set play.

Brisbane’s starting XI: Young, Hingert, Donachie, Smith, Stefanutto, Ferreira, Miller, Brattan, Doe, Petratos, Murray.

Brown, Lambadaridis and Liftin amongst others came off the bench. Im sure there were more subs than that, but im not sure who. Possibly some trialists.

Murray reportedly was the man of the match from most reports, which is pleasing because he barely got a kick last week at Lions in the first half. The Englishman trialled with Brisbane briefly in 2011 before signing for City.

In goals last night was Jamie Young, a trialists whose spent time in England with Reading, Wycombe and Aldershot. He’s an interesting one because with both Acton and Theo signed up there doesn’t appear to be a need at GK. It’s incredibly unlikely he’d be here to replace Theo, so perhaps Mulvey isn’t convinced about Acton as a backup? Young is a Brisbane boy however, despite reportedly –if you believe Wikipedia- playing for junior English teams.

Finally- George Lambadaridis was helped off the park last night after a collision between he and one of the ACE defenders after a shot at goal. He’s reportedly going for scans so hopefully it isn’t too bad and we can see George back on the park soon. This is a big season for him with an opening at CM right now.

In an unrelated matter to the friendly last night- Do Dong-Hyun has officially joined J2 side FC Gifu, and he played at the weekend. More on that in the former players wrap which will be posted later. Do only made the 3 appearances off the bench for Brisbane and will be most remembered for his dazzling run at Olympic last pre-season. Unfortunately he couldn’t replicate that in the A-League.

Brisbane’s next pre-season fixture sees them head to Spencer Park to take on NPL side Brisbane City next week.


Match Preview: Albany Creek Excelsior vs Brisbane Roar- Preseason 2013

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After last weeks sluggish and disappointing display against Lions out at Richlands, Brisbane will be after a much improved performance tonight in their second hit out of the season against Albany Creek Excelsior. Off the top of my head this is the first time Brisbane have played Albany Creek in a pre-season fixture, after they won a competition through the community program or something.

Brisbane:
Brisbane were sub par last week against Lions, there’s no way of getting around that. They knocked the ball around reasonably well at times, but there were constant turnovers and very little to show for their possession. It’s only early in the pre-season and at this stage it’s mostly about fitness, but there should be a difference between BPL sides and the Roar so I would expect tonight that Brisbane will come out and show that.

Ivan Franjic and Jade North are still away on international duty, however the four players from the All-Stars game should all be back and available for selection in this game. There’s also a chance that James Donachie and Henrique –both of whom were at Lions last week but didn’t play- could get some game time tonight. Other than that there will probably be a much stronger Brisbane outfit on the field tonight, however there will still in all probability be a few trialists on show aswell. Tonight we’ll see Liam Miller make his first appearance in the orange of Brisbane Roar in all likelihood, and while it’s early days hopefully we signs of a fantastic partnership between he a Broich, feeding Berisha.

Available Players:
Manager: Mike Mulvey
Goalkeepers: 1) Michael Theo20) Matt Acton,
Defenders: 2) Matt Smith, 3) Shane Stefanutto, 15) James Donachie, 19) Jack Hingert, 26) Corey Brown., Lachlan Jackson (NYL),
Midfielders: 11) Liam Miller, 12) Julius Doe, 14) Diogo Ferreira, 18) Luke Brattan, 22) Thomas Broich, 25) George Lambadaridis, Ben Liftin (Full-time NYL), Patrick Theodore (NYL)
Attackers: 7) Besart Berisha, 10) Henrique, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 29) Kwame Yeboah (Full-time NYL), Brandon Borrello (NYL)

Albany Creek Excelsior:
Albany Creek have struggled to date in the BPL this season, as they sit 9th on the table after 17 rounds. At the weekend they lost 1-0 to top of the table Lions FC. Im not sure about their squad and who will be playing for them- their website doesn’t list the senior squad and I’ve not been out to ACE.

Kickoff is set for 7.00pm at Wolter Park , with a bunch of activities for the kids beforehand. Entry is still $5 for adults.


Lions had Brisbane a 1st up defeat.

Brisbane began their 2013-14 season last night out at Lions FC and it wasn’t the result or performance people were hoping for or expecting, with Lions FC recording a famous win for BPL side by the score of 1-0. It was the first time Brisbane has lost a pre-season game against a local league side since a 1-0 loss to Peninsula Power in June 2009*
*They also lost to a Japanese University XI 10 days later, but I don’t count as a local team.

Brisbane Roar: 0
Lions FC: 1 (Campbell 61’)

Brisbane played what was essentially a split squad- playing an entirely different XI for each of the 40 minute halves. Here’s my best guess at how they lined-up in each half. It’s difficult to tell sometimes because there were no names on the jerseys.

First half:
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The first half XI was more of the fringe first team players with squad players like Corey Brown, Ben Liftin and George Lambadaridis all getting a run. New signings Diogo Ferreira and Dimitri Petratos, along with the duo returning from injury Matt Smith and Jack Hingert all played in this first half team. They knocked the ball around reasonably well at times, however they let themselves down somewhat at times by some cheap turnovers. There weren’t too many chances created, with just a few half chances created. A few notes on a few individuals.

-Corey Brown looked to be bigger and stronger after the off-season which is a positive, and could be almost ready to seriously challenge Stefanutto for regular first team football at left back.
-Young Jackson at the back looked alright- he still needs another year in the NYL –which he will likely get- before being considered for the first team, but he’s come a long way.
-The midfield trio was interesting. I wasn’t overly impressed by Ferreira, but Lambadaridis and Liftin were interesting. Lambadaridis played as a deep lying midfield playmaker, while Liftin played in the #10 role. He was busy, but didn’t create a lot.
-Petratos started and played primarily on the right side of the front 3. He didn’t add too much for mine. Struggled to beat his man, but he’s still an upgrade on Dong-Hyun for what that’s worth.
-Yeboah, who is primarily a right footed player and played exclusively on the right last season, was shifted to the left last night where he wasn’t in the game as much. He’s much better on the right imo.

Second half:
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The second half started with an entirely changed outfield group, primarily made up of trialists from the NPL Queensland and Brisbane Premier League. Luke Brattan, Julius Davies and Shane Stefanutto were the only first teamers in the 2nd half, with Patrick Theodore and Brandon Borrello –out of position- out of the youth team. Former NYL player of the year –with CCM- and NQ Fury midfielder Panni Nikas –now at Sutherland in the NSWPL- and Aryn Williams –brother of Socceroo Rhys, spent time with Burnley in England- were the most well known of the trialists. The defence was a cobbled together thing with a winger at RB, a CM and a LB in the middle and a RB on the left. So when you think about that, Lions dominance and ability to cut through the back for makes some sense. With the ball they did better than the first half team imo, creating a few chances- the best of which was a 25m shot from Julius Doe.

The pre-season rolls on next weekend against Albany Creek Excelsior, next Tuesday night.