Round 21 squads: Brisbane vs. Perth


Friday, 28 February 2014
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 7.00pm local (8:00pm AEDT)
Referee: Ben Williams
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Hakan Anaz
Fourth Official: Matthew Gillett

TV broadcast: 8.0 0pm (AEDT) Live coverage on FOX Sports 1HD, SBS2 and on Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand).

Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local Radio QLD, 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital, Online/Mobile phone app. SBS Radio.

Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Michael THEO, 2.Matthew SMITH (c), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA, 8. Steven LUSTICA, 10.HENRIQUE, 11. Liam MILLER, 13.Jade NORTH, 15. James DONACHIE, 16. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 17. Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 20.Matthew ACTON (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS

Ins: Nil
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 25.George LAMBADARDIS (knee – season)

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 7. Jacob BURNS, 8. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10. Jamie MACLAREN, 14.Steven MCGARRY, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17. Chris HAROLD, 18. Jack DUNCAN, 19. Josh RISDON,20.Daniel DE SILVA, 28. Darvydas SERNAS, 36. William GALLAS

Ins: 3. Brandon O’NEILL (promoted) , 10. Jamie MACLAREN (promoted)
Outs: Michael THWAITE (suspension-1 week), 25. Riley WOODCOCK (Omitted),
Unavailable: Travis DODD (knee – indefinite), Scott JAMIESON (Achilles – indefinite).


Disciplinary Record: February


Over the course of the season we’ll keep tabs on the yellow and red card situation for both Brisbane and the rest of the league. It all adds up to the ‘Fair play Award’ on the A-League’s annual awards night, and Brisbane Roar won both the A-League and Youth League fair play award. In fact Brisbane have won the award for three successive seasons, and four times in six years all up. For those unaware of how the points are tallied up- here’s a reminder:

Awarded to the team with the lowest number of points on the Hyundai A-League fair play ladder at the conclusion of the regular season.
Points will be awarded as follows:
a. Yellow Card – 1 point
b. 2nd Caution Red Card – 2 points
c. Direct Red Card – 3 points

Here’s how things are shaping up as we approach the conclusion of the season:


Since the last update Liam Miller has become the first, and so far the only player to receive an automatic one match ban for accumulating five yellow cards. That goes up to eight after this weekend, so if Smith and Hingert avoid a caution this week they should be able to avoid a suspension for the remainder of the season.

The other big news on the disciplinary side of things is the two red cards Brisbane have received since the last update. Firstly Besart Berisha was sent off for two daft challenges over in Perth, before Diogo Ferreira saw red the next week after two bookable offences. To emphasise how disciplined Brisbane have been in recent times, the last player to be sent off for Brisbane prior to this was James Donachie in R14 last season.


League wide Brisbane still sit at the top of the disciplinary table despite the two red cards, largely in part because of the fact they’ve accrued seven less bookings than the second placed side. With seven rounds remaining, this will be the last disciplinary update for the season. The final results will be revealed on the A-League award night.

Former players wrap: 25/02/14

– Vidosic scores in Sion loss
– 8 former Brisbane players in the 2014 ACL group stages

– Erik Paartalu (Last club: Tianjin Teda)
Erik is currently undergoing a trial with Thai side Muanthong United.

– Issey- Nakajima-Farran (Last club: Alki Larnaca)
– Rocky Visconte (Last club: Suphanburi)
– James Meyer (Last club: Pune FC)

2014 ACL:
The Champions League kicks off tonight, and there’s a host of ex Brisbane players in the competition:
– Alex Brosque (Al Ain- Group C)
– Sergio van Djik (Sepahan- Group D)
– Mitch Nichols (Cerezo Osaka- Group E)
– Liam Reddy, Nick Fitzgerald, Isaka Cernak (CCM, Group F)
– Kosta Barbarouses, Jason Geria (MV, Group G)
– Tahj Minnieccon (WSW, Group H)

Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen)

Wolfsburg 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen
2nd in Bundesliga (After 22 games)

Champions League:
Round of 16 First Leg:

Bayer Leverkusen 0-4 PSG
Second leg is next week.

Robbie is out for the season with an ACL injury.

Kwame Yeboah (Borussia Monchengladbach II)

Bayer Leverkusen II 5-0 Borussia Monchengladbach II
11th in Regionalliga West (After 23 Rounds)

Kwame played the first half

Ben Halloran (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
Bochum 0-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf
13th in 2. Bundesliga (After 22 Rounds).

Halloran is out injured atm, with what I believe is a hip injury.

Tommy Oar and Adam Sarota (FC Utrecht)

FC Utrecht 1-0 Groningen
13h in Dutch Eredivise (After 24 Rounds)

Both started, Tommy played 90, Sarota played 82

Stef Nijland (PEC Zwolle)

PEC Zwolle 1-1 Heracles
8th in Dutch Eredivise (After 24 Rounds)

Nijland came on with 3 minutes to play.

KNVB Beker:

They will play NEC Nijmegen in the Semi-Finals on March 27.

Alistair Quinn (NAC Breda)
Heerenveen 0-0 NAC Breda
10th in Dutch Eredivise (After 25 Rounds)

Quinn wasn’t in the squad, instead he’s playing regularly in the reserves side.

Dario Vidosic (FC Sion)
Swiss Super League:

Thun 3-1 Sion
9th in Swiss Super League (After 21 Rounds)

Dario came off the bench at half-time and scored a late penalty for the visitors in the loss. Here’s the goal:

Mitch Nichols (Cerezo Osaka)

Mitch’s first competitive game for his new side will be in the Champions League against Pohang on February 25. The J-League starts on March 1st with a trip to Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Yuji Takahashi (Kyoto Sanga)
Kyoto starts their 2014 J-2 League campaign away to Giravanz Kitakyushu on March 2nd.

Do Dong-Hyun (FC Gifu)
Gifu start their season at home to Kamatamare Sanuki at home on March 2nd.

Korean Republic:
Luke DeVere (Gyeongnam)

Season starts March 9th with a home game against Seongnam.

United Arab Emirates:
Milan Susak (Al Wasl)
Arabian Gulf League

Al Dhafra 3-1 Al Wasl
10th in Arabian Gulf League (After 19 rounds)

No Susak in the squad.

Alex Brosque (Al Ain)
Arabian Gulf League

Al Nasr 1-0 Al Ain
8th in Arabian Gulf League (After 19 Rounds)

Brosque played 90 minutes, picking up a card in the process.

UAE Presidents Cup:
Semi Final:

Al Ain 2-1 Al Nasr. They play Al Ahli in the final.

Sayed Mohamed Adnan (Al Arabi)
Qatari Stars League

Al Arabi 1-3 Al Kharitiyath
7th in Qatari Stars League (After 21 Rounds)

No Adnan in the squad.

Persian Gulf League

Sergio van Djik (Sepahan)
Mes Kerman 0-0 Sepahan
5th in Persian Gulf League (After 27 Rounds)

No van Djik in the squad

FFA Cup launched in Sydney

FFA CEO David Gallop with former players Paul Reid and Brett Emerton, unveiling the FFA Cup Trophy.

FFA CEO David Gallop with former players Paul Reid and Brett Emerton, unveiling the FFA Cup Trophy.

Today after months of speculation the FFA have officially launched the FFA Cup which will become Australia’s annual domestic cup linking the A-League to the local premier leagues and associations around the country. The preliminary qualification rounds for the local clubs are already underway, with round 2 across Brisbane set to take place starting next week.

After countless rumours on how the State League allocation would be made up, here’s the final allotment. The NSW Premier League will be the best represented with 7 teams, followed by Victoria and Queensland with 4 each. Western Australia and Northern New South Wales have 2 spots each, while South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT have 1 each. Northern Territory will enter in 2015, presumably with 1 spot. The decision here was based solely on numbers of registered players as has been mentioned in the past. Queensland’s 4 representatives will be determined by a knock-out cup which has already begun with the four semi-finalists entering the FFA Cup. I might do an update on that later.

Brisbane Roar –along with the other 9 A-League clubs- will enter the competition at the Round of 32, however who they may face will be determined based on finishing position in the A-League season. The top 4 teams in the finals series will play games against state league teams, while the six teams who don’t reach week two of the finals series will play off against each other. The seeding for the A-League clubs are to give them a fairer chance because the games are very early in their respective pre-seasons and also to avoid potential ACL clashes.

Round of 32 draw layout

Round of 32 draw layout

Continuing on to the final stages of the competition the final 16 teams will be thrown into a draw that will determine each team’s path to the final. Pot A will be the A-League teams, while Pot B will be the local league sides. The idea behind this is to create as many chances as possible for the local sides to create that upset win; although for mine I personally would have preferred an open draw. The draw will also mean that at least one local club will qualify for the semi-finals, so while the final may become an all A-League affair, there will be a chance for a local team to be in that final.

Competition Dates

Competition Dates

The semi-finals and finals are set to take place in November and December which does provide a significant disadvantage to the state league clubs who will be out of season, with the 2014 Final set for Tuesday December 16. That date however will change to a Saturday from 2015 onwards, with the Asian Cup in the way this time around. The final venue will be determined by the FFA after the semi-final round based on who has qualified and venue availability. The cynic in me says it’ll be in Sydney regardless but we shall see.

Final stages draw layout

Final stages draw layout

Few other points of interest coming from the draw:
– Despite earlier rumours they wouldn’t be involved, Wellington Phoenix will be in the Cup as they are an Australian registered club, and they are eligible to win the ACL spot on offer. All Wellington games will be in Australia.

– Ticket revenue goes to the host clubs which will provide a financial boost to the state league clubs who will always be at home against an A-League side. The FFA however will take the revenue from the final.

– In cases where two A-League or State League teams draw each other, the home teams will be determined by who is drawn first. As mentioned above, State League teams will always play at home if they are drawn to play an A-League side.

– Matches will be played on Tuesday nights wherever possible in an attempt to identify that as a night to watch football. With leagues games on the weekends and also competition in winter for primetime weekend slots on TV this makes sense.

– The cup will be broadcast on Fox Sports who will show a minimum of 10 games in the competition. These include the first game of the round of 32, two round of 16 fixtures, and all of the games in the final stages, including the final itself. They may also choose to broadcast additional early round games should they so desire. All nationally broadcast games will kick-off at 7.30pm Eastern.

Disappointment in Melbourne for all three Brisbane teams

It hasn’t been the best weekend for Brisbane down in the Victorian capital with the Youth team losing to the Heart yesterday, before the Victory beat Brisbane in the W-League decider today. More on those two later on but for now we’ll focus on this afternoons 1-0 loss to Melbourne Heart in the A-League.

Melbourne Heart (1) Engelaar 61’
Brisbane Roar (0)
at Melbourne Rectangle Stadium, Melbourne

Theo, Franjic, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Brattan, Miller, McKay, Henrique, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutions: Petratos for Henrique (76’), Donachie for Miller (77’), Solórzano for Brattan (85’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Ferreira.
Yellow Cards: Stefanutto, Miller
Red Cards: Nil.

Redmayne, Hoffman, Kisnorbo, Gerhardt, Behich, Murdocca, Engelaar, Germano, Dugandzic, Ramsay, Williams.
Substitutions: Kalmar for Germano (70’), Mauk for Engelaar (84’), Ramsay for Garuccio (89’).
Unused Substitutes: Velaphi, Vrankovic.
Yellow Cards: Behich, Gerhardt, Murdocca, Ramsay.
Red Cards: Nil.

Last week I wrote about how the team struggled in possession with slow and sloppy ball movement, and a week later the same problems exist. The ball possession and movement was once again far too slow particularly when a quick transition attacking opportunity presented itself. While there were patches that were reasonably good, it still wasn’t the typical Brisbane ball movement and it seemed like they went back to Smith and North more than usual. I thought the midfield was better today, particularly in the case of McKay who worked hard despite getting more than a couple of whacks on his ankle. But in general they seemed to occupy the right spaces more often and were in position to provide a link more often and even though Miller was largely ineffective when he got on the ball, he still found himself in a position to receive the ball in the front third, which is an improvement on last week.

One problem that re-emerged last week was Berisha’s movement and in particular his dropping off the front line into the midfield, and this was something that got worse today and is one of the reasons for the teams’ ineffectiveness in the front third. At times Berisha was dropping so deep that he was almost playing in the holding midfield role, which is not where he’s at his best, and it’s not where Brisbane needs him. Perhaps it’s an issue with the midfield where he feels the need to drop in to provide a passing option I’ve also got no idea why he didn’t pull the trigger earlier on that last minute chance, he was free on the edge of the box and went for the extra touch, take the shot Bes!

While I don’t want to take anything away from Heart or the tactics they went into the game with, the majority of Brisbane’s problems were self inflicted as they had control of the game for long enough to create chances to win the game. Heart however adopted a muscular approach with Engelaar putting in a solid shift in the middle of the park, and they look a far better side with him on the park. The pacy front line they possess was kept largely in check for mine, with North doing a fantastic job on Williams, and even Dugandzic and Ramsey were quiet for the majority of the game. The goal however did come from that side -albeit slack marking in the centre on Engelaar was as big of a reason as Stefanutto getting beaten in the build up-, and it wasn’t Shane’s best game either in truth.

Screenshot_2014-2-23 21.47.26

Up next:
Brisbane are at home next Friday in what will for the second straight week be a top vs. bottom clash as the Heart have now jumped up level on points with the Glory following today’s win. With 5 of the remaining 7 games at home, now is the time to get back that early season fortress, especially with the title race tightening up this weekend.

Meanwhile across town at the Lakeside Stadium it was a dominant performance from Melbourne Victory in the W-League decider. The trio of Stephanie Catley, Lisa De Vanna and Jessica Fishlock along with others helped pin the Brisbane side deep in their own half for long periods of the game, with Brisbane’s striker Emily Gielnik often left isolated. Despite that Brisbane’s best chance fell to Hayley Raso early in the second half, however the youngster who has had a solid season couldn’t beat Davey in goals.

A Brisbane side missing inspirational captain Clare Polkinghorne –who was an unused sub due to injury- hung in the game but were unable to get a handle on the control of the game. Victory played very well at home with Lisa De Vanna and Lauren Barnes finding the net for the hosts. Commiserations to the women, who had another impressive season, and will now turn their attentions towards participating in the NPL Queensland.

Melbourne Victory (2) De Vanna 38’, Barnes 41’
Brisbane Roar (0)

Meanwhile yesterday the youth team made it a trifecta of losses with a 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Heart. Brisbane lead the game 2-0 and 4-2 before ultimately losing their penultimate game of the season with three goals in as many minutes midway through the second half turning the tide Heart’s way. Their final game of the NYL season is next Saturday in Newcastle.

Melbourne Heart (7) Dao 39′ 86′, Schroen 45′ Walker 65′,Mifsud 66′, Espindola 68′, Kaya 79′
Brisbane Roar (4) Clut 28′, Lustica 38′, Borrello 50′, Ingham 53′

Round 20 Preview: Melbourne Heart vs. Brisbane Roar


Round 20 sees Brisbane play their third last away game of the regular season on Sunday with a trip to improving cellar-dwellers Melbourne Heart. Despite being on the bottom of the table the Heart are a team on the rise under the stewardship of manager John van’t Schip having lost just once since his arrival at the turn of the year. Brisbane have had the wood over the Heart historically and in recent times winning six of the previous ten encounters, including the previous two, however not in Melbourne. On four previous trips to the Victorian capital to face the Heart, Brisbane have just the one victory, and that was in season where Brisbane lost just once to win the double.

Last week Brisbane were held at home by a compact, counter attacking Newcastle side who continued their inexplicable record of success in Brisbane. However despite the Jets strategy, Brisbane were off their games last weekend, with precious few clear cut opportunities for Broich, Berisha and co. The midfield wasn’t functioning as we’ve come to expect with Lustica and Ferreira slow on the ball, and not providing the option in an attacking sense around the edge of the box often enough. To that end having Miller and McKay back will be a big boost for the side.

Heart meanwhile are coming off their best performance of the season with a 5-0 demolition against the Phoenix in Wellington. Reported Brisbane target for next season David Williams netted a hat trick while Orlando Engelaar opened his goal scoring account. While there’s no doubt it was an off day for the Phoenix, Heart have been vastly improved in recent weeks picking up results and playing with much more confidence. One interesting change that van’t Schip made last week was to bring Patrick Gerhardt into a defensive midfield role in order to limit the effectiveness of Carlos Hernandez, a plan which seemed to work reasonably well. It will be interesting to see if it’s something they look to try again, possibly in a man marking role on Broich if he plays central.

Recent form:
Brisbane: LDWWD
Melbourne: WWWDW

Top Scorer:
Brisbane: Besart Berisha (8)
David Williams (9)

Brisbane welcome back key midfield duo Liam Miller and Matt McKay and both are expected to start today. McKay made his return last week from an ankle off the bench last week against Newcastle, meanwhile Miller missed that Newcastle game due to a 1 game ban for accruing 5 yellow cards. After struggling to assert any influence over the game in the middle of the park last week, Steven Lustica and Diogo Ferreira will likely make way for the duo. Infact the starting XI and substitutes were more or less flagged yesterday with Lustica, Brown and Hingert all playing 90 minutes in the youth team. Ferreira seems to have won favour as the back-up midfielder role over the recently signed Lustica.

Expected Brisbane XI: Theo, Franjic, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Miller, Brattan, McKay, Petratos, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutes: Acton, Donachie, Ferreira, Henrique, Solórzano.
Omitted: Brown, Lustica.

The Heart will be coming into this game flying and full of confidence following their outstanding 5-0 win over Wellington last week across the Tasman. They should be stronger again this week with the availability of utility Jonatan Germano again, a player who has made a habit of scoring against Brisbane in the past. Like Brisbane, they’ve flagged their intentions by playing Michael Mifsud and Luke O’Dea in the youth league yesterday, which should lead to an unchanged starting XI, with Germano replacing O’Dea on the bench.

Expected Melbourne XI: Redmayne, Hoffman, Wielaert, Kisnorbo, Behich, Engelaar, Gerhardt, Murdocca, Dugandzic, Ramsay, Williams.
Substitutes: Velaphi, Germano, Garuccio, Mauk, Kalmar.
Omitted: Mifsud, O’Dea.

This season:
Round 4: Brisbane Roar (Henrique 48’, 65’, Smith 77’) 3-0 Melbourne Heart

The only meeting between these sides in a competitive game was so long ago that it’s borderline insignificant given the changes to the Heart since that day. On that day despite the emphatic score-line the Heart created more than enough chances to get a goal and were more than competitive, especially in the first half before Brisbane raised their performance and ran over the top of them. Incidentally 3-0 was also the score in a pre-season trial in Lismore for the Copa d’Fozz (Craig Foster Cup); this is a different Melbourne Heart however.

Tale of the tape vs. Melbourne Heart:

Kick-off this afternoon is from 4.00pm Queensland time, and the game can be seen live on Fox Sports or on ABC Grandstand radio. The game also unfortunately clashes with the W-League Grand Final, which can be seen on ABC1 from 3.00pm.

David Williams potentially returning to Brisbane next season?


Reports today have emerged in the Courier Mail that Brisbane are at least considering the idea of luring Melbourne Heart attacker David Williams back to the club. Should a return occur, Williams would become the fifth former Brisbane player to return for a second stint in the past 12 months following in the footsteps of Matt McKay, Kofi Danning, Jean Carlos Solórzano and Steve Lustica.

The now 25 year old was apart of the Roar’s foundation season making two late season cameos off the bench before jetting off to Danish club Brondby at the end of the season. After three years seasons in Europe the Mitchelton junior returned to Australia with new club North Queensland Fury where he netted 8 goals in 49 appearances for the Townsville based club before they left the competition in 2011.

At that time then Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou made an effort to sign the off-contract attacker however after a short term stint with Sydney for their Champions League campaign he opted to head south to the Victorian capital. His time in Melbourne has been up and down but he has managed 15 goals in 57 games for the Heart including a hat trick last weekend across the Tasman.

As a player he’d be pretty solid fit in the front third for the Roar given his versatility in playing both as a striker and also in wider positions. That kind of versatility seems to be the direction Brisbane are heading with interchagability a buzz word at Ballymore. He’d likely be competing for the #9 position with Solórzano or a potential new signing, as well as competing with Petratos and Henrique for wide attacking roles. I’ve thought for a while that of all the off-contract attacking players in the A-League that Williams would be the best fit for Brisbane.