Season Preview: Left WingPosted: September 27, 2013
In the lead-up to season 9 of the A-League we’ll be doing an extensive preview of the Brisbane Roar squad position by position examining the clubs options- today were taking a look at the left wingers.
The Starter: Thomas Broich.
Despite last season being a disappointing one for a lot of reasons, Broich continued to perform at his regular level and was one of the driving forces for the behind the revival last season. When Smith went down with injury, it was Broich who stepped up to lead the side, including in the ACL playoff loss away to Buriram.
Broich, 32, continued his stellar form for the club- making 30 appearances in all competitions, adding 2 goals and 11 assists to the side in just over 2500 minutes of game-time. He’s been impressive in pre-season action when he’s played, although he has been wrapped in cotton wool in recent weeks to make sure he’s ready for the start of the new season. All signs are however that the clubs marquee man will be at his best for the start of the season.
The Back-Up: Dimitri Petratos
The back-up could actually be nominal defender Corey Brown after his solid showings this pre-season, but new signing Petratos will also be in the mix should something happen to Broich. The Sydney native made 30 appearances for his hometown team –scoring 5 goals- before falling out of favour with then coach Ian Crook. Following his transfer from Sydney to Malaysian side Kelantan around this time last year, he only made the 6 appearances in the AFC Cup, however he reportedly scored 4 goals in the competition. In pre-season he’s shown his versatility playing in a variety of roles, however he’s predominantly been used on the left side. He’s most likely to be seen as an impact sub off the bench this year.
The Back-Up: Julius Doe
Signed in the January window as a replacement for Rocky Visconte who headed to Western Sydney, Doe struggled to make his mark on the squad. Doe, 18, made just the two cameo appearances off the bench last season in the A-League before being banished to the youth side. He made just the 4 appearances in the youth side before the end of the season, scoring once. He’s got a touch of the Kofi Danning about him imo, in that he’s lively and can beat defenders but the pass, cross or shot is often lacking. In pre-season he’s more been used as a central midfielder on the left side rather than a winger, but I think he’s likely to start down the pecking order, and probably will spend the year in the youth side.
Youth: Patrick Theodore
I didn’t actually see him play a great deal in the youth side last season, in fact I can only remember seeing him play in the two games- both of which he looked lively on the left flank. He’s fairly direct in that gets the ball and heads for goal, and he’s also got a fair bit of pace. He only started the 2 games last season, however he scored 4 goals in his 6 appearances showing his potential. Mulvey has said he’s training every day with the first team squad to accelerate his development, but im not sure we’ll see him this season in the A-League. H
Broich is obviously one of the leagues top players, but after him there’s a significant drop off down to the unproven Brown, Doe and Petratos. It’s more important than ever that Broich remains healthy this year- especially given their horrendous record without him in the side.