Round 8 Preview: Brisbane Roar vs. Perth Glory


After last weeks dismantling of the Wanderers, Brisbane are home once again this weekend to take on the Perth Glory who have been solid but not spectacular to date. Both sides will be weakened with the host still missing Stefanutto, Miller and now North and Theo – which results in Matt Acton set to become the 100th player for Brisbane Roar, while Perth will miss captain Jacob Burns, marquee William Gallas and Scott Jamieson for the trip. The game also gives Brisbane a chance to equal their best even run of home wins -6- if they can get the maximum points. Not since the Frank Farina era has Brisbane –then Queensland- won 6 straight at home.

Form: (Last 5)
Brisbane: WLWWL
Perth: LDDWW

Top Goal scorer:
Brisbane: Henrique (3)
Perth: Nagai, Maclaren (2)

Brisbane started in fantastic fashion last week against the Wanderers, effectively ending the contest inside the opening quarter of the game with their high defensive press and all around intensity. They got two goals, and in truth it could have been double that if not for wasted chances and good saves. From there however the Wanderers worked their way back into the game nicely and probably edged the contest from that point on, it was however a quality game from about the 25th minute onwards. If Brisbane can replicate that opening half hour again at any stage of tomorrow’s game they should prove too strong for the Glory.

One of the main reasons for the performance last week was the return of Besart Berisha, who looked hungrier than ever to score and when he’s in that sort of mood there’s not a defence in this league that can contain him. In addition to Berisha the midfield was back to its best last week and I think we saw for the first time this season what the first choice midfield will look like with Franjic and McKay flanking Brattan in the middle with imported stars Henrique and Broich causing chaos from the wide positions. In fact it was the defensive press from Berisha and McKay in particular that helped Brisbane jump out to that 2-0 advantage. And if all else fails, there’s always emerging star Kwame Yeboah to come off the bench.

This week it seemed like being an unchanged side up until this morning when news broke that Theo and North would be missing this game due to shoulder and groin injuries respectively. This means that Matt Acton will finally get the chance to make his Brisbane debut tomorrow, while Donachie will come back into the defence to partner Smith. Onto the bench will come youth league goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers, and in all likelihood one of Brandon Borrello or Devante Clut. Id give the edge to Borrello since he was named in the squad yesterday, and he’s coming off a two goal performance in the youth league last week, but it’s going to come down to what sort of player Mulvey wants in that last bench spot. Defender Lachlan Jackson may also be a chance to take that spot as defensive cover.

Expected Brisbane XI:
Acton, Hingert, Donachie, Smith, Brown, Brattan, Franjic, McKay, Henrique, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutes: Chalmers, Ferreira, Yeboah, Petratos, Borrello.

Perth have been steady but not spectacular to start the season with just two wins from their opening 7 games, and they will be coming to Brisbane on the back of a last minute loss to Central Coast despite going ahead in the game. Perth’s road record and travelling woes have been well documented and it’s a trend that also is in Brisbane’s favour, however it’s worth pointing out that Perth won on their last trip to Brisbane. A goal from Steven McGarry gave the visitors a 1-0 win in Mike Mulvey’s first game as Brisbane boss.

From a tactical stand point Perth try to play a shorter passing, possession based game these days under Alistair Edwards who was with the Australian junior teams before taking the job, so it promises to be a good game between two sides who value the ball. Perth however aren’t afraid to be direct and when called for will not shy away from playing the ball in behind, especially in the wider areas for Sidnei and Nagai to chase. Their two major weaknesses this weak would be the reshuffled defence which could be exploited early on, and also the midfield. While Cameron and Ryan Edwards –yes the coaches sons- may be talented and have promise for the future, they are both young and inexperienced which is why im expecting it to be McGarry rather than O’Neill or Cernak to replace burns in there. With Brisbane’s quality and experience in McKay, Franjic and Brattan, possibly even Broich cutting inside from the left hand side, this is one area of the park Brisbane could look to exploit throughout the 90 minutes.

Perth won’t be helped in their quest to overturn their travel woes this week with key personnel William Gallas, Scott Jamieson and Jacob Burns all out. Marquee Gallas is expected to miss a couple of weeks with a calf injury, while Burns was suspended for two weeks for stamping and Jamieson is out for the season with an Achilles injury. Replacement wise veteran utility Steve Pantelidis will fill in at the heart of defence for Gallas and McGarry will likely come into the starting side to replace the suspended Burns. Left back is where Edwards has a choice to make with young defenders Jack Clisby and Riley Woodcock fighting for the spot, I’ve given it to Clisby purely on the basis of slightly more A-League experience but it could go either way. Some may be surprised to see Smeltz on the bench, but with youngster Jamie Maclaren in goal scoring form right now there’s no need to change. Speaking of the bench, Isaka Cernak is a chance of making his first appearance for Perth off the subs bench and will likely be joined by Smeltz, Harold, Duncan and whichever of Woodcock/Clisby that doesn’t start the game.

Expected Perth XI:
Vukovic, Davies, Pantelidis, Thwaite, Clisby, R. Edwards, C. Edwards, McGarry, Sciola, Nagai, Maclaren.
Substitutes: Duncan, Woodcock, Cernak, Harold, Smeltz.
Omitted: Zahra, O’Neill.


Kick-off is set down for 4.30pm tomorrow afternoon, and it could be difficult conditions which a late storm projected to hit Brisbane tomorrow. Don’t let that stop you from attending though because if there is rain level 6 of the Western Stand will be opened, and if you’d like to go but don’t have tickets, here’s the link. You can also watch live on Fox Sports 1 as part of the Matchday Saturday program, and also listen live on 612 ABC digital radio Brisbane.


Round 8 squads: Brisbane Roar vs. Perth Glory


Saturday, 30 November 2013
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 4:30pm local (5:30pm AEDT)
Referee: Tim McGilchrist
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Brennan
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Lindsay
Fourth Official: Alan Milliner

TV Broadcast: 5.00pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive coverage on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand).
Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local Radio Queensland, 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital Brisbane and Perth and Online/Mobile phone app
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #BRIvPER
To purchase tickets visit

Perth have enjoyed just two wins in their last 10 A-League meetings with Brisbane Roar (W2 D2 L6).

Perth Glory have scored exactly one goal in six of their seven A-League games this season, failing to score in the other.

Brisbane have only failed to score in two of their previous 12 A-League home games against Perth, but one of these came in their last meeting at the Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane have scored with 20.6% of their shots this season in the A-League – the best record in the competition.

Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Michael THEO (go), 2.Matthew SMITH (c), 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Besart BERISHA, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Diogo FERREIRA, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Matthew ACTON (go), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Corey BROWN, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Kwame YEBOAH
***One to be omitted***

Ins: Brandon BORRELLO (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 3. Shane STEFANUTTO (hamstring – one week), 11. Liam MILLER (calf – one week), 25. George LAMBADARDIS (knee – season)

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (go), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 4.Ryan EDWARDS, 5.Steve PANTELIDIS, 6.Cameron EDWARDS, 8.Ryo NAGAI, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jamie MACLAREN, 11. Adrian ZAHRA, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15. Isaka CERNAK, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17. Chris HAROLD, 18.Jack DUNCAN, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES, 25. Riley WOODCOCK
***Two to be omitted***

Ins: 11. Adrian ZAHRA (promoted), 15. Isaka CERNAK (promoted), 25. Riley WOODCOCK (promoted), 2. Jack CLISBY (promoted), 3.Brandon O’NEILL (promoted)
Outs: 7.Jacob BURNS (suspended – 2 matches), 21.Scott JAMIESON (Achilles – Season), 36. William GALLAS (calf – 1 week)
Unavailable: Nil

Young talent begining to emerge through the A-League

Over the past few weeks as the A-League has began, I’ve had some discussions with a few people both online and at the games about how there’s no good young players coming through the A-League. I disagree completely with that given that there are more young players getting an opportunity than ever before including a host of players who performed admirably at the recent u/20 World Cup. With that in mind, here’s a squad of young players who have either set the A-League alight, or will in the coming weeks and months.

Firstly- a few parameters on this selection:
– All players are either aged 21 or under as of today.
– For the sake of this I’ve just adopted the mandated 1-4-3-3 formation Australia has adopted at youth level.
– In some cases where there’s an extra youngster worthy of consideration, they’re listed as a honourable mention (HM)

Paul Izzo (Adelaide United)

Age: 18
Games: 3

Paul Izzo (Morne de Klerk - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Paul Izzo (Morne de Klerk – Getty Images AsiaPac)

This is the one position that’s selected by default given he’s the only keeper aged 21 or under who has A-League experience (Mark Birighitti is the league’s youngest regular keeper at age 22). Izzo –backup to Eugene Galekovic at Adelaide United- made his A-League debut last season away to league leading Central Coast Mariners and he made some good saves on debut in a 2-1 loss. He then backed that up keeping goal at home against arch rivals Melbourne Victory in a 4-2 win. All up he’s made just the 3 appearances to date for his club, but he has been a regular at youth international level, including the 2011 u/17 World Cup, and the recent U/20 World Cup where he showed encouraging signs of being able to play out from the back which is important for all modern day goalkeepers.

Right Full-Back:
Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory)
Games: 10

Jason Geria (Scott Barbour - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Jason Geria (Scott Barbour – Getty Images AsiaPac)

The one that got away for Brisbane fans after they opted to sign Yuji Takahashi on a loan deal (who now cant get a game in the J2 league!) to a first team deal ahead of Geria, and Victory pounced with a 3 year contract. Geria made his A-League debut late in the 2011-12 season and quickly became the first choice option at right back for a young Melbourne side. He’s versatile enough to play in the centre if needed, but he’s also very good at playing the modern short passing game and gets forward often down the right hand side. Geria has also been a fixture in the junior national teams including the recent u/20 World Cup in Turkey.

HM: Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners)

Left Back:
Corey Brown (Brisbane Roar)
Games: 11
Brown made his professional debut in the continents biggest

Corey Brown (Bradley Kanaris - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Corey Brown (Bradley Kanaris – Getty Images AsiaPac)

competition on matchday 6 at home against Beijing and he didn’t put a foot wrong. They Brisbane native was then forced to watch on and wait for his opportunities which have been few and far between, however with some solid preseason form and an injury to Shane Stefanutto he has finally got some regular senior football. Brown has also been a regular at youth international level having been apart of the u/17 side that reached the last 16 of the 2011 u/17 World Cup, however he was left out of the recent u/20 World Cup squad.

Central Defenders:
Trent Sainsbury (Central Coast Mariners)
Games: 46
Sainsbury is universally recognised as the league’s best young Trent Sainsbury (Paul Kane - Getty Images AsiaPac)defenders and has reportedly attracted interest from Europe including Swiss champions FC Basel. Sainsbury made his debut in the F3 derby against the Jets and stepped in to form on of, if not the league’s best defensive pairings with Patrick Zwaanswijk following Alex Wilkinson’s move to Jeonbuk which culminated in their Grand Final victory last season. On the international front Sainsbury has been on the periphery of the senior national team without ever being selected to make his debut, he was however a member of Australia’s 211 u/20 World Cup squad.

James Donachie (Brisbane Roar)
: 20
Games: 23

James Donachie (Tony Feder - Getty Images AsiaPac)

James Donachie (Tony Feder – Getty Images AsiaPac)

James was a shock inclusion for the final M1 derby after Brisbane had lost the premiership, and he looked solid on his debut against a difficult opponent in Maceo Righters. He was then thrust into another tough scenario last season due to the failures of Jurman and the injury to Matt Smith and struck up solid partnerships with Smith and new signing Jade North that helped stabilise the defence. Donachie has also been a regular in the international sides, including being a squad player in the u/20 World Cup. Some may be surprised at the selection of Donachie over Chapman, however despite Chapman arguably being more established im basing this purely on what I’ve seen from both as players in their careers to date.

HM: Connor Chapman (Newcastle Jets)

Central Midfielders:
Josh Brillante (Newcastle Jets)
Games: 42

Joshua Brillante (Tony Feder - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Joshua Brillante (Tony Feder – Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brillante is arguably the best of the Gold Coast refugees following the demise of the Gold Coast and has gone on to establish himself in the Jets midfield. He got his chance at United against the Fury and showed versatility by playing more as a right back in the early days before really cementing a regular berth in the last season of the Coasts existence before becoming a regular at the Jets. Brillante was another who has caught the eye at the recent u/20 World Cup playing in a box to box midfield role.

Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory)
Games: 7
Daniel came from nowhere last season to make his debut against

Daniel De Silva (Paul Kane - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Daniel De Silva (Paul Kane – Getty Images AsiaPac)

Sydney FC and has shown flashes of brilliance to date despite being managed carefully by Alistair Edwards. His rise to prominence continued at the recent u/20 World Cup where despite being the youngster player in the competition he put in a man of the match display in the draw with Colombia. De Silva tried to sign for Everton as a youngster before opting for Perth, but with his World Cup displays earning the attention of Manchester United and Barcelona he could be heading overseas soon enough.

Terry Antonis (Sydney FC)
Games: 40
Antonis signed for Sydney after being told he couldn’t sign for

Terry Antonis (Cameron Spencer - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Terry Antonis (Cameron Spencer – Getty Images AsiaPac)

Everton and eventually made his Sydney FC debut against Wellington Phoenix. His time in Sky Blue has been interrupted with both injury and international call-ups but his talent has attracted the interest of Utrecht and Parma amongst others. On the international stage he’s gone to the u/17 and u/20 World Cups and also made his Socceroos debut in the 2013 East Asian Cup Qualifiers.

HM: Ben Kantarovski (Newcastle Jets)

Right Wing:
Kwame Yeboah (Brisbane Roar)
Games: 7
Kwame has been the revelation of the season to date with some

Kwame Yeboah (Bradley Kanaris - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Kwame Yeboah (Bradley Kanaris – Getty Images AsiaPac)

impressive form in the opening two months of the season with some fantastic match winning goals. The 19 year old Ghanaian born Australian made his debut as a late substitute against Wellington late last season before earning regular playing time this year with solid pre-season form. Kwame hasn’t featured on the international stage to date however it’s s surely only a matter of time. I thought about Andrew Hoole of Newcastle for this position given that Yeboah has been making his name as a #9, but he’s played on the right as well and he impacts the game more at this stage.

Left Wing:
Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory)
: 20
Games: 18

Connor Pain (Scott Barbour - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Connor Pain (Scott Barbour – Getty Images AsiaPac)

Pain burst onto the scene in the Melbourne Derby with his pace and direct style earning him a regular spot in Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne revolution in the run to the finals. If there’s one knock on his game right now it’s a lack of goals –just one- to go along with all his great play. Internationally Pain was a standout down the left flank for Australia in the recent u/20 World Cup which earned him his Socceroos debut

Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets)
Games: 36
Taggart has been one of the league’s biggest revelations this

Adam Taggart (Tony Feder - Getty Images AsiaPac)

Adam Taggart (Tony Feder – Getty Images AsiaPac)

season scoring the last 6 goals for Newcastle including a hat-trick at the weekend against the Jets. He made his debut against Brisbane back in 2010 as a sub with Perth Glory before going on to establish himself in the Hunter. His impressive form earned him the attention of former national team boss Holger Osiek and he made his debut in the 2013 East Asian Cup Qualification series where he also got his first international goal against Chinese Taipei. Taggart was also a member of the u/20 World Cup squad this year

HM: Corey Gameiro (Sydney FC)


Here’s how an u/21 A-League side would stack up, and there’s depth as I mentioned above with Kantarovski, Gameiro and Roux amongst a handful of others making their marks in the A-League. If you change the parameters to u/22 you can include the emerging striker from Western Sydney Tomi Juric. From a Brisbane perspective, the Roar have always been one of the better sides at youth development and giving youngsters a chance, but league wide now there’s a group of good young players coming through.

Former Players Wrap: 25/11/2013


Headlines: -Tommy Oar had an assist in Utrecht’s 3-0 win over ADO Den Haag
– Takahashi and Kyoto in J-League playoffs, Dong-Hyun and Gifu in J2 relegation playoff.
– Nichols and Barbarouses shine in Victory’s 3-0 win over Adelaide.

Transfer news:

Issey Nakajima-Farran (Last club- Alki Larnaca)

Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen)

Champions League:
2nd in Champions League Group A (After 4 of 6 games)
Host Manchester United on MD5 on Thursday.

Hertha BSC 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
2nd in German Bundesliga (After 13 rounds)
Robbie came off the bench with 20 minutes remaining.

Ben Halloran (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
Aue 3-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf
9th in German 2.Bundesliga (After 15 rounds)
Halloran was an unused sub.

Tommy Oar and Adam Sarota (FC Utrecht)

Utrecht 3-0 ADO Den Haag
12th in Dutch Eredivise (After 14 rounds)
Oar played for an hour before being replaced by Eduardo Duplan –who was linked to Brisbane in the off-season. Tommy put in the free kick for the 2nd goal.

Stef Nijland (PEC Zwolle)
Groningen 1-1 PEC Zwolle
6th in Dutch Eredivise (After 14 rounds)
Nijland started on the left wing, and played the opening 80 minutes.

Dario Vidosic (FC Sion)

Zurich 4-1 Sion.
8th in Swiss Super League (After 15 Rounds)
Vidosic started, however he picked up an injury and was replaced after 38 minutes.

Michael Baird (FC Universitatea Craiova)

CS U Craiova Universitatea Craiova
5th in Romanian Liga II table (After 13 rounds).
Not sure if Baird featured.

Yuji Takahashi (Kyoto Sanga)

Kyoto Sanga 1-2 Tochigi
3rd in J.2 League (After 42 rounds)
No Takahashi in the squad this week. Kyoto finish the season 3rd and in a 4 team playoff situation with Tokushima Vortis, JEF United and V-Varen Nagasaki. Not sure when that will be played.

Do Dong-Hyun (FC Gifu)
Kataller Toyama 1-2 FC Gifu
21st in J.2 League (After 42 rounds)
Dong- Hyun wasn’t in the squad. Gifu finished the season 21st and in the relegation playoff, I believe against Japan Football League runners up Kamatamare Sanuki. Not sure when that will be played.

Erik Paartalu (Tianjin Teda)

Season is over.

Korean Republic:
Luke DeVere (Gyeongnam)

Jeju United 0-1 Gyeongnam
4th in K-League Relegation Group *Two games remaining
Luke wasn’t even in the squad this week, and seems to be on his way out- possibly back to the A-League. They’ve got 2 games left and are 3pts clear of relegation. The season wraps up next weekend, after a midweek round on Wednesday.

Rocky Visconte (Suphanburi F.C.)

Season is over.

Sergio van Djik (Persib)

Season is over.

Mario Karlovic (Persebaya 1927)
Season is over.

James Meyer (Pune FC)

Salgaocar 1-1 Pune
2nd in I-League (After 7 Rounds)
Meyer started and played 78 minutes in the top of the table clash, against a side featuring former Victory defender Matthew Foschini.

United Arab Emirates:
Milan Susak (Al Wasl)

Dubai 1-3 Al Wasl
5th in Arabian Gulf League (After 7 rounds)
No Milan in the squad- injured.

Alex Brosque (Al Ain)
Al Ahli 1-0 Al Ain
7th in Arabian Gulf League (After 7 Rounds)
Alex started, played 90 and got a yellow card in the 89th.

Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal)

Al Gharafa 6-2 Umm Salal
14th in Qatari Stars League (After 9 Rounds)
No Sasa for Salal. And for those curious, no Bresc for Gharafa- not sure if that’s to do with his immanent suspension or not.

Sayed Mohamed Adnan (Al Arabi)
Al Saad 2-0 Al Arabi
10th in Qatari Stars League (After 9 Rounds)
Adnan started and played 90 minutes.

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

Limon 0-1 Puntarenas
8th in Costa Rican Primera (After 22 games)
Not sure if Solórzano was involved.

South America:
Reinaldo Elias Da Costa (Operario Ferrivuario EC)

Season is over.

Michael Zullo, Steven Lustica and Daniel Bowles (Adelaide United)

Melbourne Victory 3-0 Adelaide United
8th in A-League (After 7 Rounds)
Zullo started, picked up a 23rd minute caution and was subbed with 20 to play. Lustica started on the bench, but came on for Cassio after 13 minutes. Bowles is injured.

Liam Reddy and Nick Fitzgerald (Central Coast Mariners)
Perth Glory 1-2 Central Coast Mariners
7th in A-League (After 6 Rounds)
Reddy started and played the 90 minutes for the Mariners in their last gasp win, while Fitzgerald played 90 minutes in their 2-0 loss to Perth in the youth league.

Tando Velaphi, Andrew Redmayne, David Williams, Massimo Murdocca and Ross Archibald (Melbourne Heart)
Newcastle Jets 3-1 Melbourne Heart
10th in A-League (After 7 Rounds)
Redmayne, Murdocca and Williams all started for Heart and all played a full game. Tando remained on the bench. Meanwhile Archibald played a full game for the Heart youth side in the 3-1 loss to Western Sydney.

Mitch Nichols, Jason Geria, Kosta Barbarouses and Anthony Proia (Melbourne Victory)
Melbourne Victory 3-0 Adelaide United
5th in A-League (After 7 Rounds)
Nichols and Barbarouses started for Victory, with Kosta playing 90 mins, and Nichols 76. They both scored as well, Barbarouses in the 14th and Nichols in the 76th with Kosta also getting an assist for the 2nd goal. Geria was reportedly rested, while Proia came on for the last 30 minutes of Victory’s 2-1 loss to Adelaide in the youth league.

Isaka Cernak (Perth Glory)
Perth Glory 1-2 Central Coast Mariners
4th in A-League (After 5 Rounds)
Cernak wasn’t in the squad in the A-League, he did however play 90 minutes in Perth’s 2-0 win over Central Coast in the Youth League.

Vedran Janjetovic and Matthew Jurman (Sydney FC)
Sydney FC 2-1 Wellington Phoenix
4th in A-League (After 7 Rounds)
Janjetovic played a full game in goals, while Jurman came on with 13 minutes remaining.

Tahj Minniecon (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Brisbane Roar 3-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
2nd in A-League (After 7 Rounds)
Tahj came off the bench with 20 minutes remaining and looked somewhat dangerous in his cameo.

Report: Arnold chases Brattan.

Via Marco: New Vegalta Sendai manager Graham Arnold is reportedly keen on taking Brisbane midfielder Luke Brattan with him to the J-League. It seems like Arnold is planning on taking a couple of Australians with him as he embarks on his Japanese adventure with Melbourne Victory’s Mark Milligan, Adelaide United’s Osama Malik and Western Sydney Wanderers’ Aaron Mooy all in consideration.

Brattan, 23, has emerged into one of the league’s premiere central midfielders since filling the void left by Erik Paartalu’s departure. All up Brattan has made just shy of 50 appearances in Orange with two goals and has long been touted as having the best passing game in the club and also has international experience with the Australian u/20 side.

Brattan has been in fantastic form so far this season

Off to Asia? (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Off to Asia? (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

starting every game in his now customary #6 position, and also scored against the Jets a couple of weeks back. He’s also been a cornerstone of the side under the early months of Mulvey’s reign and has a contract here in Brisbane through the 2014-15 season and Mulvey has made it clear in the press today that he’s not available and on the transfer list.

“We don’t sell our good players, there’s no offer that’s going to be too good to refuse when it comes to Luke. We don’t need to sell him and we’re not going to sell him. He’s committed to Brisbane, we’re a big club and he’s doing very well. Luke wants to be with us.”

At this stage having yet to complete a full season as a starter in this league, it’s probably not the ideal time for Brattan to move overseas. It would be interesting to see how Brattan went in the J-League, I think he’s got the technique to make it in Japan, but im not sure it would be the greatest move for him. It goes without saying that it would be a massive loss for Brisbane should a move eventuate, and would create a massive hole in the side, which would initially have to be filled by Diogo Ferreira, or youngsters Devante Clut and Ben Litfin. Despite the seemingly strong interest of Arnold, I don’t think Brattan will be going anywhere in January.

Brisbane go top of the league with win over Wanderers

Back on top! (442/Getty Images)

Back on top! (442/Getty Images)

Brisbane Roar (3) Berisha 5’, Franjic 19’, Yeboah 91’
Western Sydney Wanderers (1) Santalab 28’
Crowd: 19,066 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane: Theo, Hingert, North, Smith, Brown, Franjic, Brattan, McKay, Henrique, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutions: Yeboah for Berisha (62’), Petratos for Henrique (70’), Donachie for Hingert (82’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Ferreira.

Western Sydney: Covic, Polenz, Spiranovic, Topor-Stanley, D’Apuzzo, Poljak, Mooy, Ono, Cole, Bridge, Santalab.
Substitutions: Haliti for Ono (41’), Minniecon for Cole (69’), Heffernan for Santalab (83’).
Unused Substitutes: Tyson, La Rocca.

Brisbane Roar have bounced back to the top of the A-League ladder after a 3-1 victory over the Wanderers last night. First half goals to Besart Berisha and Ivan Franjic, and an injury time goal to Kwame Yeboah was more than enough to cancel out Brendan Santalab’s first half strike.

Brisbane started out extremely quickly and with a lot of purpose, putting pressure on the Wanderers in their half, with Berisha shooting just wide in the opening minutes. The Albanian, who was making his return from injury, wasn’t to be denied for long however with more good defensive pressure forcing Aaron Mooy into an error, and the Albanian nutmegged Topor-Stanley and beat Covic at the second attempt to send Brisbane 1-0 in front.

Brisbane then doubled their lead after 20 minutes when Ivan Franjic –who spent the week in Socceroos camp, and playing his 100th game for Brisbane- unleashed a superb volley into the corner of the net that left Covic stranded and Brisbane 2-0 in front. Not a bad way to cap of a pretty special week for Ivan that included 90 minutes for the national team, his 100th game for Brisbane, a goal and a win over the league leading Western Sydney Wanderers.

From then on however the game began to turn back in the Wanderers favour, who after conceding their first ever goals inside the opening 20 minutes, began to assert themselves more on the contest. In the opening 20 minutes Brisbane’s defensive pressure was excellent and the Wanderers really struggled to get out of their defensive third, however they then got forward and created their own opportunities. Santalab had one glorious chance from inside the 6 yard box which he turned wide, before finally beating Theo and giving the Wanderers a route back into the game despite Ono going off injured.

The goal however once again came from another sloppy defensive error, with Bridge and Santalab applying pressure, with Jade North’s pass being intercepted rather easily. Despite the solid displays in the front third, the recurrence of these defensive errors is a tad worrying. Shannon Cole had a great chance to equalise for the visitors on the stroke of half time, however a poor touch saw him overrun the ball and with Theo narrowing the angle, he turned it round the post for a corner.

The second half started in similar fashion to how the first ended, with the Wanderers pushing for an equaliser, however they struggled to create any genuine chances. The closest they came was a looping header that hit the crossbar, and a couple of goal-mouth scrambles. The last commitment in the ditch defending was also rather pleasing, and it played a massive part in holding the Wanderers out. Brisbane then sealed the game in stoppage time when emerging youngster Kwame Yeboah made a run in behind the left channel to get on the end of a pass by Broich and cut inside onto his right foot to rifle the ball past Covic. The goal confirmed the win on the night for Brisbane, and was reminiscent in some ways of the Reinaldo goal in the minor semi-final second leg of 2007.

Mulvey’s tactics in going after the Wanderers early were both bold and correct, and as it’s been stated it was there where Brisbane won the game and there’s no question that the short turn around from a soggy pitch at Hunter Stadium last Friday played a part in Brisbane running on empty towards the end. However despite the win, West Sydney did control a lot of the ball and overran Brisbane towards the end of the game.


(Fox Sports Match Centre)

(Fox Sports Match Centre)

Up next:
Brisbane are at home once again next weekend against Perth Glory on Saturday night, and if they produce anything like they did in the opening 20 minutes last night, they’ll be in good shape to remain top of the table.

Roar youth beat league leaders


Brisbane Roar (3) Ferreira 21’, Borrello 28’, 35’
Sydney FC (2) Mallia 52’, Tratt 77’-P.K

Brisbane: Acton, Ferreira, Jackson, Donachie, Lampard, Clut, Litfin, Petratos, Ingham Theodore, Borrello.
Substitutions: Hore for Petratos (46’), Walker for Ferreira (59’), Altundag for Theodore (59’)
Unused Substitutes: Chalmers.

Sydney FC: Prendergast, Calver, Burgess, Dontiello, Gligor, Petkovski, Taneski, Cajon, Tomleic, Tratt, Mallia.
Subs: Gibson (54’), Zuvela (58’), Symons (58’)
Unused Substitutes: Bouzanis

Brisbane Roar have beaten youth league leading Sydney FC this morning at Goodwin Park, with emerging striker Brandon Borrello netting a first half brace. Brisbane –who put first teamers James Donachie, Diogo Ferreira, Matt Acton and Dimitri Petratos into their starting line-up- started off much faster and got their rewards after 20 minutes. After a scramble in and around the 18 yard box, Petratos got control of the ball and played it to Ferreira who made a run into the box to open the scoring.

Brisbane then doubled their advantage just shy of the half hour when Brandon Borrello cut inside from the left hand side and launched a strike into the top corner, in a goal reminiscent of Yeboah’s from last night. Borrello then proceeded to net a second 10 minutes before halftime as he latched onto a wayward back pass, rounding keeper Pendergrast to net a brace.

Sydney didn’t really seem up for the contest in the opening half, especially once they lost the ball, however they were better in the second half and got their rewards when a long ball thru the middle of the park when captain Jacob Tratt played the ball thru for Mitchell Mallia who rounded Acton to pull one goal back. They then got a second back when a combination of Left Back Jordan Lampard, and central defender Lachlan Jackson gave away a penalty –not sure which-, that Tratt stepped up to dispatch easily to the right of Acton.

Brisbane did however have their chances on the counter attack, the best of which came from some good work down the right hand side from Jaiden Walker and Jai Ingham, which striker Samuel Altundag headed wide. Sydney did hit the post and the crossbar throughout the game, but they couldn’t find the equaliser despite intense pressure towards the end.

Few notes:
-Brisbane played more of a 4-2-3-1 in the first half, in a move which was probably designed to accommodate Petratos into the side. In the second when Hore came on it was back to the usual 4-3-3. It was only a subtle change given they almost always have 1 of the midfield trio pushing forward, however in the first half it was almost solely Petratos with Litfin and Clut sitting more.

– Donachie and Jackson played together in the heart of defence today and struck up a decent understanding. Those in attendance could have witnessed a future Brisbane central defensive partnership. Neither did a lot wrong –penalty aside- and their playing out was decent.

-Petratos played strictly in a #10 role and was involved in a lot of Brisbane’s better movements, getting an assist on the opening goal.
-Diogo Ferreira played at right back for the opening hour, netting a goal and performing his defensive duties reasonably well. He didn’t really do anything however that could earn him more playing time in the first team.

-Borrello really put himself about for the opening 50 minutes of the game before tiring towards the end. He ended up moving out to the left hand side in the second half when Altundag came on and his influence waned from then on.

-Jai Ingham –who has been used solely on the left hand side found himself playing on the right today, and did reasonably well.