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)

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