Roar look sharp in first hit-out

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Brisbane Roar: 8 (Henrique 25’, 38’, 49’, 56’, Broich 30’, 69’, O.G 85’ Petratos 87’)
Moreton Bay Jets: 1 (Forsyth 48’)

Brisbane starting XI: Theo, Hingert, Smith, Donachie, Stefanutto, Litfin, Lustica, Miller, Petratos, Broich, Henrique.

Brisbane Roar have kick-started their preparations for the 2014-15 season with a resounding 8-1 win over NPL Queensland side Moreton Bay Jets. Henrique started the pre-season in solid form, netting two goals in each half, while Brisbane’s marquee man Thomas Broich chipped in with a brace. Petratos netted the eighth and final goal five minutes from time, just after a Jets defender turned the ball into his own net.

The biggest positive to take from the game was the sharpness of attacking duo Thomas Broich and Henrique. They both looked extremely sharp with some great movement off the ball, and with better finishing could have ended up with another half dozen with better finishing. Young midfielders Devante Clut and Ben Litfin also had impressive games along with the more impressive Lustica who created a wealth of chances for the attacking players throughout the game.

There were a couple of slight injury concerns coming out of the game for Mulvey however, with Liam Miller going off midway through the first half, before Jack Hingert limped off with about 20 minutes to go. Both seemed precautionary and should see them still in contention for the trip to Perth to take on Stirling Lions in two weeks time.

Moreton Bay for their part weren’t the same attacking threat that they’ve been all season in the NPL Queensland, largely due to leading scorer Royce Brownlie and Jared Austin sitting the game out. Brownlie’s attacking partner Charles Mendy struggled to impact the game without the foundation Roar striker alongside him, as he was isolated with precious little support. They had their moments in the early stages of the second half with Dane Forsyth at the heart of their best moments, scoring their goal and having another cleared off the line by Donachie.

There aren’t any more confirmed fixtures between now and Brisbane’s trip to Perth for the FFA Cup round of 32 clash against Stirling Lions, although it would make sense for at least one more trial game going into what is an important game so early in the season.

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Pre-season 2014 preview: Brisbane vs. Moreton Bay United.

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The long wait is finally over with Brisbane Roar to commence their 2014 pre-season schedule tomorrow night at Ballymore against NPL Queensland side Moreton Bay United. The hit-out marks the first steps of the defence of the Premiership and Championship double won last term, while in addition being a warm-up for the upcoming FFA Cup tie against Stirling Lions in Perth next month. These early pre-season games for Brisbane in recent times have tended to see the first team contracted players play the first half, before a combination of youth team players and trialists take over in the second. This year- im not sure there will be too many trialists on show, given that the first team roster seems to be settled, and there aren’t as many pre-season games organised this year.

Brisbane’s first team squad have been back in training for a month now and the majority of the squad will likely see some game time tomorrow night. Ivan Franjic is still out with his hamstring injury sustained in Brazil, while Mensur Kurtisi has headed back to Europe to get married. Other than that, the only other first team player who may not feature is Matty McKay, who has had a longer break given his World Cup involvement. There’s a chance that we may see new signings Jamie Young and Daniel Bowles in action, while were also likely to see a few of the better NYL players who have been kept out of the NPL squad. Lachlan Jackson, Ben Litfin, Patrick Theodore, Fraser Chalmers, Brandon Borrello and Jai Ingham who are expected to be in and around the first team squad this season could all possibly be in action tomorrow night.

Moreton Bay currently sit in sixth place on the NPL Queensland table after a solid run of form earlier in the season saw the Albany Creek based club to catapult to the top of the table. Recently however they’ve won just two of their last five – home to Redlands and away to Brisbane Roar NYL-, and lost 5-1 on Friday night to Olympic FC. While Moreton Bay have played the Roar NYL twice in the NPL Queensland this season (1-1 draw in round 2, 5-1 win to Moreton Bay in the rematch), this is the first meeting between the two senior teams.

Player wise the strength of Moreton bay lies with their front men Charles Mendy and foundation Roar striker Royce Brownlie. Between them they’ve netted a very impressive 44 goals this season, with Brownlie topping the goal scoring charts with 25 goals. Other notable players for Moreton Bay include Mario Aparacio, a mid-season acquisition in goals, and former Roar youth player, -and son of ex Roar boss Frank Farina- Jordan Farina. Moreton Bay have been a solid side in the NPL this season and should provide a good first up test for Brisbane this pre-season.

Kick-off at Ballymore is set down for 7.30pm tomorrow night, and for those that cant make it we’ll have a full recap of the match Thursday morning.

 


Former players wrap: 28/07/2014

With the European League’s not far from recommencing, there’s a host of pre-season friendlies going on currently. Robbie Kruse played 10 minutes off the bench for Leverkusen in a 1-1 draw with Aachen. Adam Sarota played half an hour off

Sarota in pre-season (telegraaf.nl)

Sarota in pre-season (telegraaf.nl)

the bench in Utrecht’s 3-0 loss to Sporting Lisbon. Tommy Oar wasn’t involved. Ben Halloran played 45 minutes for Düsseldorf in a 4-1 win over Wigan. Alistair Quinn has dropped down from Eredivise side NAC Breda to join Jupiler League side SC Telstar, and played the second half of their recent 2-0 pre-season win over Bnei Yehuda. Recently departed midfielder Julius Davies starts his first season at Romanian side Otelul Galati next weekend with a trip to Dinamo Bucaresti. They rounded out their preparations with a 2-2 draw against Braila. One European league that has already started is the Swiss Super League, and Dario Vidosic came on with 10 minutes remaining in FC Sion’s 1-0 win over St. Gallen. Sion sits third on the Swiss Super league table after the opening two rounds.

Recently departed back-up keeper Matty Acton played 90 minutes for Yangon United against Yadanarbon 2-1. Yangon sit second in the Myanmar National League table after 15 rounds. In Thailand, Muanthong United lost 2-1 to Bangkok Glass, with Erik Paartalu missing with a quad injury. Former Youth team defender Albert Edward has moved across to USL Pro League side Wilmington Hammerheads and played 65 minutes in their 0-0 draw with Arizona United. Wilmington sits 6th after 16 rounds of the competition. Finally, former Brisbane flyer Tahj Minnieccon has signed for NSWPL side Rockdale City Suns following his release from Western Sydney. Sadly, after what was a blistering start to his career here in Brisbane, it seems like Tahj’s career at the top level of the game has come to an end. It’s a shame really, he looked every bit as talented as Zullo, Kruse and Oar, all of whom are now Socceroos and playing overseas.

In the women’s game, Clare Polkinghorne’s Kobe Leonessa hosted Elise Kellond-Knight and Tameka Butt’s IGA FC, with Polkinghorne’s side coming out 2-1 winners. Polkinghorne and Kellond-Knight played 90 minutes, while Butt was an unused sub. Kobe sit 4th with 3 rounds to play, while IGA FC sits 9th.


Former players wrap: 22/07/14

Now that the World Cup has come to an end for another four years, club football resumes with pre-season commencing in Europe while the Asian league’s kick off the second half of their leagues. With that in mind it seems like a good time to see how some of Brisbane’s former stars are going around the world. Also, with a host of W-League stars spending their off-season playing in Asia and America, we’ve included them for the first time.

Europe:

Starting in Germany Robbie Kruse is back in training after seeing his World Cup dreams dashed with a torn ACL midway through last season. Leverkusen’s pre-season so far has consisted of wins against Carl Zeiss Jena (5-1) and

Robbie Kruse back in training after his ACL injury

Robbie Kruse back in training after his ACL injury

Lierse (6-0).   Elsewhere, Ben Halloran came on at half-time in a 5-1 win over Austria Salzburg. Düsseldorf have also recently had a 1-1 draw with Lokomotiv Moscow amongst others as they try and gain promotion back to the Bundesliga. Meanwhile Kwame Yeboah is in the midst of his first full pre-season at Borussia Monchengladbach, still playing in their second team.

Across in the Netherlands, Michael Zullo is back at the Eredivise club after his Adelaide loan and joins Tommy Oar and Adam Sarota at the club. So far in the pre-season they’ve had wins against JSV (5-0), Serooskerke (0-9) and Dundee United (2-1). Sarota was the only one of the ex-Roar trio to feature in the most recent game against Dundee. Elsewhere Stef Nijland remains at PEC Zwolle for the upcoming season, while ex NYL defender Alistair Quinn seems to have been released by NAC Breda. Meanwhile in Switzerland, Dario Vidosic and his FC Sion side started their 2014-15 campaign at the weekend with a first up trip to FC Luzern. Vidosic started the game before being substituted on the hour mark.

Asia:
Luke DeVere has worked his way back into the Gyeongnam side playing a full game against Ulsan Hyundai. Gyeongnam sit 11th in the K-League after 16 rounds. Elsewhere, Erik Paartalu –who has been linked with moves to Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne in recent days-, was out injured as Muanthong United drew 2-2 against Ratchaburi. Muanthong sit top of the Thai Premier League after 24 rounds. Suphanburi –for whom Sergio van Djik has 1 goal in 2 games- sit eighth.

 

Elsewhere, Do Dong-Hyun remains at J.2 side FC Gifu, a competition where Yuji Takahashi (Kyoto Sanga) also plays. Kyoto sit in 11th place at the midway mark, while Gifu sit 16th. Do has made just the three appearances this season, while Takahashi is yet to play for the first team. In the Middle-East, Mohamed Adnan has returned home to Bahrain to play for Al Hadd for the upcoming season. Finally in Asia, former youth team defender Dane Milovanovic has moved to the exotic Dhivehi league in the Maldives to play for New Radiant FC. His new side sit top of the table after a 3-0 win over Valencia –no, not that Valencia.


Americas:

Issey Nakajima-Farran has made six appearances for Montreal Impact since his mid-season trade from Toronto FC. In Montreal’s last game they lost 2-1 against Columbus Crew on Sunday. Issey came on with 10 minutes remaining. Meanwhile in Brazil, Reinaldo is close to making a return after year out of the game with a broken leg.

Women:
Captain Clare Polkinghorne has been playing in the Nadeshiko League for INAC Kobe Leonessa who sit 4th in that competition with four rounds remaining. Polkinghorne played the full 90 and scored the 4th goal in a 6-0 romp. Elsewhere in the Nadeshiko League Elise Kellond-Knight and Tameka Butt played out a 1-0 defeat against Vegalta Sendai with Kellond-Knight playing a full game while Butt came on as a sub with 10 minutes to play. IGA FC sit 8th with four games to play. In the states Katrina Gorry was an unused sub for FC Kansas City in their 1-1 draw with Western NY Flash. Kansas City sits second in the American Women’s Soccer league. Meanwhile goalkeeper Nadine Angerer has made 17 appearances for Portland Thorns who sit in third place, and had 6-3 a win against Boston earlier today.


Brisbane add striker Mensur Kurtisi to squad

Kurtisi at training this morning (Brisbane Roar)

Kurtisi at training this morning (Brisbane Roar)

Brisbane Roar have replaced one Albanian striker with another with Mensur Kurtisi signing on for the 2014-15 season. It’s a one year contract which maintains flexibility for the club, probably with the upcoming reduction in foreigners from 5 to 4 next season. This signing isn’t really much of a surprise and it was first mentioned on Roar Review earlier this month when someone linked the striker to the Brisbane squad on Wikipedia, before reports from Europe all but confirmed the news. Last night’s Instagram photo from Ivan Franjic was the final proof.

Kurtisi, 28, has a lot of experience in Eastern Europe starting out at Austrian club Rapid Wien before impressive stints at Parndorf 1919 -47 games, 24 goals-, FC Tobol -37 games, 20 goals- and most recently FK Shkendija -14 games, 10 goals-. Perhaps with an eye on the ACL, Kurtisi also has some experience in Asia playing with Middle-Eastern clubs Al-Taawon and Al-Shaab. Kurtisi is also a full international with two caps for Macedonia in 2010.

Kurtisi figures to be a straight replacement for now departed striker Besart Berisha, bringing a proven goal scoring record to Brisbane. Kurtisi however, also seems to have the flexibility to float around the front three, as evidenced by this highlights video from his most recent stint at FK Shkendija last season. While it’s not ideal to judge solely on an online video, it does seem that he’d fit in very well into the Brisbane way of play. Kurtisi figures to start the season as the clubs primary striker, with competition coming from Jean Carlos Solórzano and youngsters Brandon Borrello and Jai Ingham.

Brisbane now have 21 first team contracted players, 5 visa players and two marquees- the maximum allowed under A-League rules. 2 visa players will miss the ACL next year, but more on that when the time comes. Given that there’s 21 contracted players + three full-time NYL players under contract, this may be the final transfer of the off-season. Although Kofi Danning, who is currently uncontracted after his knee injury 18 months ago may yet be added to the squad.

Current Brisbane Roar roster (1st team contracted players only)
Goalkeepers: Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders: Ivan Franjic, Matt Smith, Jade North, Shane Stefanutto, Jack Hingert, James Donachie, Corey Brown, Daniel Bowles.
Midfielders: Luke Brattan, Liam Miller, Matt McKay, Steven Lustica, George Lambadaridis, Devante Clut, Ben Litfin (FT NYL), Patrick Theodore (FT NYL).
Forwards: Mensur Kurtisi, Thomas Broich, Dimitri Petratos, Henrique, Jean Carlos Solórzano, Brandon Borrello (FT NYL)


Brisbane confirms signing of Bowles and Young

Brisbane Roar have this afternoon confirmed the first additions to the squad for the upcoming season in the shape of Daniel Bowles and Jamie Young. Both, who have Brisbane roots, join the club on two year contracts and will provide competition for the first team. Essentially Bowles and Young are direct swaps for the departed Diogo Ferreira and Matt Acton.

Bowles, 22, returns to the Roar after three years away playing

Bowles in his Brisbane NYL days (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Bowles in his Brisbane NYL days (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images AsiaPac)

for firstly Gold Coast in their final year and latterly two seasons in Adelaide. During that time he racked up 33 A-League appearances -3 goals- predominantly as a right full-back, however in his Gold Coast days Mulvey did use him as a right winger. Bowles was also a regular of the NYL side in the early days from 2008 through 2011 before being offered a short term contract in the 2010-11 seasons. Despite not making an appearance that season, he was on the radar of Ange Postecoglou and was an unused sub on a couple of occasions towards the end of the regular season, before departing for more opportunities on the Gold Coast.

Young, 28, is originally a Brisbane boy however he departed Australia a decade ago to pursue a career in Europe. Along the way he’s played for English lower league sides Reading, Wycombe,

(Oldham Evening Chronicle)

(Oldham Evening Chronicle)

Aldershot and last season with Hayes & Yeading. Despite being Australian, Young opted to represent England at international level and he represented the three lions at u/18, u/19 and u/20 level. His most successful stint was with Aldershot town where he made 124 appearances between 2010 and 2013 before departing after they were relegated from League 2.

Both of these players have been linked for months it seems and both are likely to be solid depth pieces with the added games this year in the FFA Cup and the Champions League. Young with start the season on the bench behind Theo, who is thoroughly ensconced as the teams #1, with youngster Fraser Chalmers likely to be the primary NYL keeper again this season. Bowles, while not quite as versatile as Ferreira, will fill the same role as the now Glory man, providing cover for both the right back and centre back slots. Brisbane have also confirmed that Julius Davies has departed the club for Romanian side Otelul Galati, something that we mentioned over the weekend.

These moves see Brisbane’s roster currently sit at 20 players, which is the minimum requirement. Don’t expect the spending to end here though, with a new striker still on the agenda, with Macedonian Mensur Kurtisi the current favourite after reports from Europe over the weekend suggested he was headed for Brisbane this week. Although it should be noted, Kurtisi has been removed from the squad list on Wikipedia since appearing on the weekend.

Current Brisbane Roar roster (1st team contracted players only)
Goalkeepers: Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders: Ivan Franjic, Matt Smith, Jade North, Shane Stefanutto, Jack Hingert, James Donachie, Corey Brown, Daniel Bowles.
Midfielders: Luke Brattan, Liam Miller, Matt McKay, Steven Lustica, George Lambadaridis, Devante Clut, Ben Litfin (FT NYL), Patrick Theodore (FT NYL).
Forwards: Thomas Broich, Dimitri Petratos, Henrique, Jean Carlos Solórzano, Brandon Borrello (FT NYL)


Julius Davies to Romania?

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Reports online overnight have emerged that young Brisbane midfielder Julies Doe/Davies is headed to Romania to sign for Otelul Galati. The story originates from Dolce Sport, a Romanian TV network claims that Davies is currently on his way to Romania to complete the deal.

A translation of the article is as follows:

“Australian Julius Davies (Brisbane Roar) will come Saturday, when more are expected and other foreign players.”

Davies, 19, has been a disappointment since his arrival in Brisbane in January 2012, making just two brief cameo appearances off the bench in the first team before spending the rest of his time in the youth team. During his time with the NYL side he showed flashes of his undoubted talent however drifted in and out of games and never put in a consistent performance and ended up being relegated to coming off the bench in the youth league- something which is very uncommon for first team contracted players.

Given that Davies has failed to fulfil his potential and that Brisbane have a glut of young promising midfielders either on A-League or FT NYL contracts (George Lambadaridis, Devante Clut, Ben Litfin, Patrick Theodore), having Davies moving on is a positive for Brisbane. In short, Devante Clut –who starts a 2 year A-League deal this year-, replaces him in the squad, and this move allows Brisbane an added roster spot and extra versatility to either bring someone in, sign Kofi Danning, or promote another of the teams’ young talents (Lachlan Jackson, Jai Ingham).

When it’s officially confirmed that Davies, Brisbane will have 18 players on A-League contracts for next season, in addition to the three full-time NYL, with both marquee spots filled and four of the five visa spots taken. Areas that reportedly are still to be filled include a goalkeeper to provide competition for Michael Theo, a replacement for Besart Berisha and possibly another versatile defender.