Season Preview: Right 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 right wingers.
The Starter: Ivan Franjic.
Not many would have predicted this 12 months ago but after a solid showing in the back end of last season, Ivan will start the season on right side of attack. The versatile right sided player was pushed further forward last season for what Mulvey called the need for balance on the right side of the pitch, and he didn’t disappoint with 3 goals late in the season to help book a finals berth.
Franjic, 26, made 24 starts last season -3 goals- totalling just under 2100 minutes of game-time and he showed his versatility in doing so. Ivan started out as the right fullback in the early rounds before injury and form necessitated him to move into the heart of the defence for a few rounds. All of that before he eventually found himself in the front third as a goal scoring weapon. He’s spent this pre-season playing both wide right in attack, and also at times in the middle of the park- so we should see more of the attacking, goal scoring Franjic this season rather than the fullback version as he looks to get back into the Socceroos squad after his call-ups for the June qualifiers and July’s East Asian Cup.
The back-up: Henrique
It might seem harsh to call Henrique the back-up, but after Franjic’s solid showing, and his own injury problems he appears to be on the outside looking in right now. Henrique, 28, didn’t have the best time of it last season, making just the 9 starts -16 appearances in total- for the side last year, with just the 2 goals to his credit and just over 750 minutes of game time. Late in the season under Mulvey he was something of an impact sub off the bench and I think we’ll see more of that this season- if he’s fit. He hasn’t featured in pre-season due to yet another injury and something tells me the slippery fish has got a fight on this season to get into the side.
The Back-up: Kofi Danning
You could also say that Kofi Danning is another option on the right side after his return for Vise in the off-season. However he’s unlikely to feature at all this season due to yet another torn ACL. Originally it was believed that Danning was just rehabbing with the Roar in hopes of earning a contract in either January or more likely next year, however recently Dobson confirmed that Danning is apart of the playing roster for this season. Just don’t expect to see him. My guess is that if he’s fit enough to play in the latter rounds of the NYL he’s probably ahead of schedule. Given that it’s not the first time he’s torn his ACL in this knee, it would be wise for him not to rush back either.
Youth: Kwame Yeboah
Throughout the clubs history there has been something of a production line of quality young attackers coming through the ranks; it started with the Kruse, Oar, Minnieccon and Zullo era, and now there’s a new wave, with the best of the bunch being Yeboah. Kwame started out the last season being an NYL player and he made 14 starts –predominantly down the right side- for Sime’s youth outfit, scoring 4 goals. It could have been 14 if his finishing was better however.
His impressive form earned him a late call-up to the bench for the Wellington where he made his debut with a late cameo role. He also came off the bench late in the semi-final loss to Western Sydney where he looked lively. While I’ve put Kwame in the right wing preview, he is versatile enough to play both on the left flank, and also upfront should the need arise. Expect Kwame to feature regularly throughout the A-League season, possibly as soon as round 1 against Wellington with his solid pre-season form.
There’s plenty of options hear for Mulvey to choose from, and I haven’t even included youngster Brandon Borrello, or new signing Dimitri Petratos; both of whom can play adequately on the right. In all likelihood however, it’s Ivan’s spot to lose, with Henrique snapping at his heels desperately trying to get back into the starting line-up, with youngster Yeboah also likely to see game-time at various stages throughout the season.