Season Preview: StrikersPosted: 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 we finish the series by looking at the strikers.
The Starter: Besart Berisha.
Last season was another stellar year for the Albanian marksmen, adding another 14 goals to his tally and in the process becoming the clubs all-time leading goal scorer with 35. Last season his role changed however; he went from playing on the shoulder of the last man making diagonal runs in behind all of the time, to dropping off the front line while Nichols or Nijland made the run in behind. For mine he’s at his best when he’s on the shoulder of the last man and im hoping he returns to that role this year.
Berisha, 28, made 28 appearances last season upfront scoring team leading 14 goals in just over 2500 minutes of game-time. He’s continued the goal scoring form in the pre-season and will once again be right up there in the goal scoring charts this season.
The Back-Up: Unknown
Honestly it could be any of the following- Yeboah, Petratos, Henrique or Borrello and it could come down to whose in form and fit at the time should a backup be required. At a guess I’ll say that Petratos will get the first chance to fill the role, but in truth none of the above would be my preference. If there’s any room remaining in the salary cap then a backup #9 would be by far the biggest need area to fill.
Youth: Brandon Borrello
I don’t actually know a great deal about Brandon other than that he’s a versatile attacker who can play both right wing and upfront, and I cant actually remember seeing him play. He only made the two starts early last season for Sime’s youth side before off the radar, however Mulvey has indicated he’s got a bright future and will train with the first team squad. He’ll likely spend the year in the youth squad.
Having the leagues best #9 in Berisha upfront should guarantee you at least 10 goals this season if he stays fit, but the squads problem from last year remains the same. There wasn’t an adequate backup last season, and there still isn’t one. Yeboah is a good attacker, however he’s not a natural striker and wasn’t overly effective against the Mariners, while Henrique and Petratos have struggled as strikers in this league in the past. Mulvey was overruled in his attempts to sign Antonio Murray by the front office, hopefully that decision doesn’t come back to bite them.