Season Preview Series: Brisbane RoarPosted: October 3, 2014
Last Season: 1st (Won Grand Final against Western Sydney Wanderers)
Last season went about as well as you could possibly wish for from a Brisbane perspective, with Mike Mulvey’s men running away with the Premiership to win by 10 points after a solid, consistent season. Brisbane then did the double by winning a third Championship by beating the Victory, then coming from behind in the Grand-Final against the Wanderers with just minutes remaining.
1) Michael Theo, 2) Matt Smith, 3) Shane Stefanutto, 4) Adam Sarota, 5) Corey Brown, 6) George Lambadaridis, 7) Mensur Kurtishi, 8) Steven Lustica, 10) Henrique, 11) Liam Miller, 12) Jean Carlos Solórzano, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 17) Matt McKay, 18) Luke Brattan, 19) Jack Hingert, 20) Kofi Danning 21, Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 26) Lachlan Jackson, 27) Ben Litfin, 28) Brandon Borrello, 29) Shannon Brady, 33) Fraser Chalmers, 34) Patrick Theodore, 35) Jai Ingham.
Jamie Young (Hayes & Yeading United- England), Daniel Bowles (Adelaide United), Mensur Kurtishi (FK Shkendija- Macedonia), Adam Sarota (FC Utrecht- Netherlands (season long loan)).
Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory), Matt Acton (Yangon United- Myanmar), Diogo Ferreira (Perth Glory), Julius Davies (Otelul Galati- Romania), Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moscow- Russia).
Brisbane have a settled squad going into the new season, however they’ve also added in some more depth to their already strong squad. With Jamie Young coming in as a goalkeeper, Michael Theo seemingly has some legitimate competition for the first time since his arrival, while the loan signing of Adam Sarota adds even more depth to the midfield stocks. The real question here will be how Mensur Kurtishi replaces Berisha who will no doubt be a massive loss. As will Ivan Franjic whose versatility brought a lot of flexibility to the selection.
Expected Starting XI:
When everyone is healthy, Mike Mulvey has a real selection dilemma on his hands in a number of positions. Starting at the back, Jack Hingert will likely start the season as the right back, however Daniel Bowles will be waiting in the wings for his chance. In the midfield, it’s likely that last years successful trio of Miller, Brattan and McKay will get the first chance to start this year, but with Lustica and now fringe Socceroo Adam Sarota in the fold there is plenty of options. Meanwhile upfront Kurtishi will come in to replace Berisha, with Petratos and Henrique likely fighting for one spot in the XI.
Brisbane’s pre-season has a been a bit hit and miss, particularly against the A-League opposition, with just the one win in four games against rival clubs. They have however scored freely against opposition from the NPL Queensland, including when they put 10 past Olympic earlier this week. The majority of the pre-season has been taken up by the two FFA Cup tie, and also the inaugural Townsville Football Cup, where Brisbane came in second place behind Sydney FC.
Brisbane Roar 8-1 Moreton Bay United
Brisbane Roar 3-0 Redlands United
Stirling Lions 0-4 Brisbane Roar (FFA Cup)
Brisbane Roar 4-0 Newcastle Jets
Northern Fury 1-5 Brisbane Roar
Sydney FC 2-0 Brisbane Roar
Brisbane Roar 1-1 Central Coast Mariners
Brisbane Roar 3-0 Brisbane City
Brisbane Roar 9-0 Palm Beach Sharks
Adelaide United 2-0 Brisbane Roar
Olympic FC 0-10 Brisbane Roar
Brisbane’s squad is once again right there with the best in the league and there’s more than enough depth to cover just about any injury crisis. The pre-season form has been a bit up and down, but there have been some promising signs mixed in there. The big question will be how Kurtishi fares- if he fires Brisbane will be right there near the top once again, if he starts slowly Brisbane may find themselves fighting for a spot in the finals.