Steven Lustica signs for Brisbane (Again)

Late this afternoon Brisbane Roar have confirmed that Steven Lustica has signed for Brisbane Roar on a two and a half season contract that will keep him in Brisbane through 2016. Lustica, 22, is the fourth Brisbane Roar player to return to the club for a second stint after Matt McKay, Kofi Danning and just last week, Jean Carlos Solórzano. Lustica is free to commence training immediately, however its uncertain as yet if he will be considered for Friday’s game against Western Sydney.

Lustica has spent the last couple of days in the headlines after he told the Adelaide board and coach Josep Gombau that he wanted an immediate release, despite reportedly verbally agreeing to a new contract with the Reds. It was then said that he asked for the release after learning of Brisbane’s interest in him for next season, and that release was ultimately granted to him yesterday after he was left out of the trip to Auckland to take on Wellington Phoenix. Steve has made 15 appearances for Adelaide this season, scoring once and was a key part of the Adelaide midfield. Brisbane for their part in relation to the situation refused to comment, until Mulvey acknowledged in his post-game press conference that an approach had been made for Lustica for next season, but not this year. Either way the situation is now settled.

Lustica made twelve appearances -two goals- for Brisbane last season on a loan from Croatian club Hajduk Split and became a key cog in the Brisbane midfield in the second half of the season and the finals replacing foundation player Massimo Murdocca in the starting line-up. At the time Brisbane’s midfield was set up slightly different with two sitting midfielders and a #10 type, as opposed to this years more fluent midfield trio. He has however played that role in the past for the Gold Coast youth team, and also for Adelaide this season so that’s not a problem. It provides excellent competition for places in the middle third with Lustica, McKay, Miller, Franjic and Brattan all competing for a starting berth, along with the injured George Lambadaridis, Devante Clut, Patrick Theodore and Ben Litfin returning from injury and emerging from the youth team. It also does provide arguably the best replacement for Luke Brattan should he head overseas at the end of the season, given the situation Brisbane find themselves in when it comes to rounding out next seasons squad.

Brisbane Roar squad for 2014-15 by position (As of 04/02/2013)
Goalkeepers: Michael Theo.
Defenders: Matt Smith, Shane Stefanutto, Jade North, James Donachie, Jack Hingert, Corey Brown.
Midfielders: Ivan Franjic, Steven Lustica, Liam Miller, Julius Davies, Matt McKay, Luke Brattan, George Lambadaridis.
Forwards: Henrique, Thomas Broich, Dimitri Petratos.

Uncontracted at end of the season:
Matt Acton, Diogo Ferreira, Jean Carlos Solórzano.

Moving on:
Besart Berisha

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