Former Players Wrap: 28/04/2015

One note this week before the tables, Ivan Franjic has departed Torpedo Moscow and returned home to Australia after it was revealed he hadn’t been paid by the Russian club. Franjic had a tough time over in Europe, making just four appearances for the club. In his final game for the club, Franjic was an unused sub in a 1-0 loss to Rostov last week

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Late winner sees Brisbane end regular season in style

Disrespecting the competition? Nah. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Disrespecting the competition? Nah. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brisbane Roar (2) Danning 70’, Jackson 86’
Newcastle Jets (1) Montano 77’
8,693 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane: Young, Polenz, Bowles, Jackson, Lambadaridis, Lustica, Sarota, Petratos, Theodore , Brady, Solórzano.
Substitutions: Danning for Theodore (68’), Pavlou for Sarota (75’), Yango for Brady (90’).
Unused Substitutes: Chalmers, Schmidt.
Yellow Cards: Sarota.
Red Cards: Nil

Newcastle: Kennedy, Cowburn, Regan, Mullen, Ki Je, Pepper, Welsh, M. Cooper, Alivodic, Hoole, Montano
Substitutions: Burgess for M. Cooper (52’), T. Cooper for Pepper (72’), Gallagher for Montano (84’).
Unused Substitutes: Solari, Kantarovski.
Yellow Cards: Ki-Je, Alivodic.
Red Cards: Nil.

A late goal from Youth team graduate Lachlan Jackson gave Brisbane a winning farewell to their home and away season last night, with the Roar defeating the Jets 2-1.

Jackson’s late winner, in just his second start for the Roar was the third goal in 15 crazy minutes with Kofi Danning and Edson Montano cancelling each other out.

Brisbane made just one change from last weeks game against the Victory, with Jerome Polenz coming into the side for Jade North who was rested after two games in four days earlier in the week. That meant the ‘roar cubs’ got another chance to shine on the big stage.

Newcastle meanwhile went with the same side which came so close to taking a point off Sydney FC last week. A lot of the build up was surrounding claims that Brisbane were disrespecting the competition due to the amount of players rested, but both teams youth filled line-ups acquitted themselves well.

The game itself was a very open one with the field becoming stretched early on and both sides going for it and creating chances. Steven Lustica had the better chances for the Roar, hitting the post early on in addition to an effort later in the half which forced a good save.

The midfielder then hit the post for a second time towards the end of the half from 25 yards, in what was a strong attacking performance from the midfielder.

Newcastle’s best chances of the half fell to Serbian import Enver Alivodic, however he was wasteful in front of goal. Andrew Hoole also stung the palms of Jamie Young, forcing a smart save.

Both teams pushed for a goal in the second, however after Lee Ki-Je wasted a chance at one end, substitute Kofi Danning got on the end of a miscued Solórzano shot at the back post to turn the ball home and open the scoring.

Brisbane’s defence then went to sleep with Edson Montano unmarked in the box, tapped home past young after Travis Cooper headed the ball down to the Ecuadorian.

Brisbane then scored what would ultimately be the winner 5 minutes from time with a scramble in the box fell to Lachlan Jackson who turned the ball into the back of the net from close range.

The drama wasn’t over however, with Daniel Mullen coming up with arguably the miss of the entire first decade of the A-League, sending the ball over the bar from barely a metre out. Luckily for him he was ruled offside.

Jean Carlos Solórzano had the games final chance, however the Costa Rican’s effort wasn’t much better than Mullen’s, getting his wires crossed after a good run on the counter from young Abrahim Yango.

Up next: It’s finals time for season 10 of the A-League, and the only certainty is that Brisbane will be on the road on Friday night, with the opponent to be decided this weekend. Currently, Brisbane would be headed across the Tasman to start the finals, however that could all change depending on who finishes 3rd.

-Adelaide will finish 3rd if they beat Melbourne City, and Wellington Phoenix loses to Sydney FC.
– Wellington Phoenix will finish 3rd if Adelaide fail to beat Melbourne City, and Wellington draw/lose with Sydney FC.
-Sydney FC will finish third if they lose to Wellington Phoenix.

Whoever they face, the Roar will have a luxury they’re unaccustomed to of late –preparation time- with a full seven days between games. The regular season is now over, now it’s finals time.

Running down a potential list of coaching candidates

*Id pretty much finished this last night before Marco’s piece in the paper today came out Tribulietx, although with today being game day I was probably going to delay this Monday. However since this is a big topic today I figured id bring it forward.
FWIW I had Tribulietx on this list even before his name was in the paper today, his record of winning  including what he did in the Club WC+ noted style of play made him an obvious candidate for this list.

Ever since the decision back in November, the biggest decision facing Brisbane going into the off-season is deciding on who will coach the side going forward. It’s a decision that will go a long way to defining the success or otherwise of the off-season, with the majority of the playing group under contract next season limiting the amount of player changes possible.

Today we’ll look at a couple of the candidates that have been mentioned as possibilities, while also throwing a couple of other names into the mix.

Paolo Bento  untitled
This one is more of a hope than an expectation but there were rumours at the time when Mike Mulvey was sacked that there was an unnamed Portuguese coach in the frame and im wondering if it was Bento given he was sacked around the same time.

Bento for those unaware was the Portuguese coach at last years World Cup and was ultimately let go after a poor start to Euro 2016 qualifying; however the Group Stage exit in Brazil probably didn’t do him any favours.

It’s not his stint with the Portuguese team that makes him an interesting candidate however, it’s his work previously with Sporting Lisbon where he coached for four years that makes him compelling.

Bento got the job at Sporting, barely a year out of the game and with only minimal youth team coaching experience under his belt, leading the team to a resurgence which saw them qualify for the Champions League.

While he didn’t win any silverware during his time at Sporting, he did lead the side to regular European Football,  overseeing the development of some of Portugal’s best youngsters of recent times.

The likes of Nani, Ricardo, Joao Moutinho and Miguel Veloso were all developed under the Bento regime and all ultimately sold off for massive profits. Given Brisbane’s apparent youth movement over the next 12-18 months or so, a coach who has the experience of developing players at that level would no doubt be appealing.

The question regarding Bento is a rather simple one- could they convince him to move down here to Australia? It would seem unlikely given his resume, however since departing the Portugal set-up in September, Bento remains a free agent so there may be a window of opportunity there.

It’s probably an extreme long shot, but someone with the experience and resume of Bento would be an amazing choice, if he is indeed an option.

Ramon Tribulietx O-League Champions League, Auckland City FC v Hekari United
Tribulietx is perhaps an unknown to a lot of people, but the little known Spaniard has done a good job with Auckland City since he took over in 2010. In that time Auckland City have won the New Zealand Premiership three times and the Championship twice, in addition to four successive OFC Champions League campaigns.

The moment when Tribulietx became a known name however was at last years FIFA Club World Cup. That campaign could of ended before it started if it wasn’t for a penalty shootout win over Moroccan side Moghreb Tetouan who qualified as the host nation representative, but they got through and end beat ES Setif in the quarter finals.

That then set Auckland up for a clash with a South American champions San Lorenzo, and the part timers took the Argentina outfit to extra time before bowing out. They then however bounced back to win the 3rd placed playoff against Cruz Azul, making them the most successful Oceanian side in the history of the Club World Cup.

With that much silverware behind him, there’s no doubt that Tribulietx has the ability to win matches at a consistent rate, something which has rightly or wrongly become expected these days in Brisbane. The two major questions regarding Tribulietx are the way he likes his team to play, and can he handle players at a higher level.

In regards to the second question it’s tough to judge without seeing him in the job or watching him closely, but we can get some kind of insight into his view on football from a story on back in December last year where he went into detail about his philosophy on the game.

In the piece, Tribulietx tells a story of how he converted Auckland from a direct style of play to a possession style, by working with his goalkeeper to play the ball out of defence. There are a few good quotes from the Spaniard in the story id like to link here for you that outline his philosophy on the game.

“I believe in this style of play. It’s what I was brought up with and have preached all my life, said the Spanish footballing missionary. “We’ve been working for years to show people that we can keep possession of the ball, even if we are a team from New Zealand.” “Structurally, we’re very strong,” explained the Barcelona-born tactician.

“We’re very aggressive in defence and then, when we’re on the ball, we have a very clear idea of what we want to do with it. “I don’t show videos of anyone else,” he explained. “I show videos of us. I take our videos, I edit them and I show them to the players. If I’d gone to New Zealand and used videos of Barça or another Spanish team, I might have got off on the wrong foot and come across the wrong way.

“I prefer to demonstrate things my way, on the training ground and on video. Slowly but surely they started believing in it.”

Those quotes suggest that Tribulietx is almost the exact type of coach that Football Director Ken Stead and the rest of the board were looking for when they set out on this search.

Here’s the link to the full feature up on the Fifa website, I suggest you go read it, even if he doesn’t end up becoming the Roar coach.

If you think back to the Mulvey sacking press conference and the recent fan forum recap I posted, one of the things that was routinely mentioned as a reason for the change was breakdown in the way the team prepares and trains. The above would seemingly fit into what they’re looking for, while the style of play is also very similar.

Tribulietx may not be the biggest name in the world, but he’s a winner, and he’s a winner playing football in a very similar way to which Brisbane has been successful.

Michael Oenning 261925-35c5ca84-d838-11e4-91d8-f0bc1d307f16
Another coach who was linked in the papers a month or so ago was German Michael Oenning, who has been out of coaching since 2011 when he left Hamburg. Since then he has been working as a television pundit over in Germany.

Oenning’s record of clubs is rather impressive given he’s worked with Hamburg, Nuremberg, Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg and the German youth teams in the past, however he hasn’t been a coach in four years now, and one of the things I personally would like in a new coach is someone who hasn’t been out of the game for a long time.

In his first head coaching role he took a Nuremburg side which had just been relegated to the 2.0 Bundesliga and led them to a 3rd placed finish and ultimately a return to the top tier through a playoff against Energie Cottbus.

Things didn’t go so well in the Bundesliga however for Oenning and Nuremburg, and with 11 losses from 17 games, he was shown the door with Nuremburg in the relegation places at the winter break. All up Oenning managed 21 wins from 54 games in charge, with a winning rate of 38%.

His time with Hamburg was less of a success, with an 8th placed finish in 2010-11 after taking over in March. That decent start however ran out fast, and after five losses and a draw in the opening six rounds of the next season, Oenning was shown the door with record of 2 wins in 15 games or a win % of 13.

All of that comes up as just a 33% win rate over the course of his career, which isn’t going to get it done in any competition. It would seem to suggest that while Oenning did some good work in the German 2nd division, he wasn’t cut out to manage at the top level in that country, which may not make him an ideal candidate here.

The one thing that makes Oenning an interesting candidate is the relationship he has with Thomas Broich, with the two working together at Nuremberg for 14 months. While the connection which Broich is a bonus, his record doesn’t scream success, and if push came to shove there are better candidates out there than the German.

Aurelio Vidmar/Ante Milicic
Ange Postecoglou’s assistants have both been linked to the job, however there have been media reports that both have turned the job down in order to remain apart of the National Team set-up and continue to develop.

Of the two, Ante Milicic is considered to be the better prospect moving forward, however Vidmar has the experience of being a head coach previously including leading Adelaide to the Asian Champions League and A-League Grand Final in a matter of months.

With both Vidmar and Milicic seemingly rejecting the opportunity to take up the role, the chances of the new coach being Australian looks to be a long shot. Of the two, id of preferred Milicic given his previous Roar ties and the fact he was highly thought of at both Melbourne Heart and Western Sydney Wanderers.

No doubt there will be others in the frame from overseas, but it’s near impossible to guess or predict which ones would be interested in coming to Brisbane.

The other Australians who could be in the frame may include Sydney United coach and Fox Sports Analyst Mark Rudan, who has long been touted as a future A-League coach, Australian u-20 mentor Paul Okon and former Sydney FC and Adelaide United coach John Kosmina. None of those are overly appealing, with Rudan the pick of the trio.

Of those listed above, my preference would be for Bento purely due to his European experience and his track record of taking youth team products and makings stars of them, but Tribulietx would seem to be a strong candidate with his style of play and results seemingly what Brisbane are looking for.

Either of those would be a fine choice. Regardless, this decision looms as the biggest of the off-season for the Roar, with the short and long term prospects for the team resting on the decision they make.

Round 27 Match Preview: Brisbane Roar vs. Newcastle Jets

Jets H

It’s been a long, interrupted season with a bunch of obstacles from a Brisbane perspective, but we’ve arrived at the final game of the 2014-15 regular season and Brisbane will be looking to close out a disappointing season on a high note against a Newcastle side who routinely come to Brisbane and leave with the points.

Brisbane should be going into this game with their tails up after a fantastic result over in China midweek which kept their AFC Champions League hopes alive, however most if not all of the players from Tuesday night are highly unlikely to play tonight.

Newcastle meanwhile are finishing a bitterly disappointing season on a bright note with some impressive performances to round out the season even if they aren’t getting the results.

The prime example of their turnaround was their last road game, a highly unexpected 1-0 win away to Melbourne where they defended doggedly and scrapped a goal on the counter and that’s likely to be their tactics again tonight

Brisbane however have won the two previous meetings between the two sides this season -3 if you count pre-season-, although the two performances couldn’t of been more contrasting.

In the first one, Brisbane clicked for the first time this season, with a Henrique hat-trick propelling them to a 4-0 rout of the Jets down in Newcastle. Any hope of that being the start of something however was quickly dashed with a loss the next week against Melbourne, and we all know what happened after that.

The second meeting between these two was just after the Asian Cup break and despite a performance which Matt McKay called ‘garbage’, Brisbane squeaked out a gritty 2-1 win. Jean Carlos Solórzano netted from close range to open the scoring and while it looked like Newcastle had secured a point with youngster Radovan Pavicevic equalising late on, only for substitute Alan Welsh to turn the ball into his own net in the 94th minute after only just coming onto the field as a substitute.

The key theme of this game figures to be youth, with the Jets having been fielding a youthful side ever since the mid-season departures of Birighitti, Carney, Jaliens, Celeski, Madaschi and Griffiths. Players such as Pavicevic, Nick Cowburn, Travis Cooper and Andrew Hoole have all held their own in the A-League.


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Brisbane meanwhile have turned to youth now thanks to their hectic travel schedule and the fact that their finals berth is now secure. Tonight’s game is their 5th in the past 13 days, in which time they’ve travelled from Suwon, to Adelaide, back to Brisbane, up to Beijing and now back to Brisbane again.

That means that this game will once again feature many of the clubs successful NYL side which finished second this season. Infact there are as many as eight players in contention to play tonight who started the year as part of the clubs youth side, some of whom now are establishing themselves as part of the first team squad.

The line-up is highly likely to resemble the one which played Victory on Saturday, however 1 possible change to that may be young Matthew Schmidt making his debut at left back ahead of George Lambadaridis.

There’s also the chance that Michael Theo will make his long awaited return to the team, while Jerome Polenz should be ready to start after making his return off the bench last week. Should Schmidt of Ben Litfin make their debuts, they would become player number 112 and 113 to play for Brisbane Roar.

Expected Brisbane XI: Theo, Polenz, Jackson, Bowles, Schmidt, Lustica, Sarota, Petratos, Theodore, Brady, Solórzano.
Young, Pavlou, Lambadaridis, Danning, Yango.
Omitted: Chalmers, Litfin.

Newcastle meanwhile have named an unchanged squad to the one which narrowly lost to Sydney FC last week, indicating that manager Phil Stubbins is either happy with his sides output or limited in personnel currently.

Expected Newcastle XI: Kennedy, Cowburn, Mullen, Regan, Ki-Je, Welsh, Pepper, M. Cooper, Hoole, Alivodic, Montano.
Substitutes: Solari, Gallagher, T. Cooper, M. Kantarovski, Burgess.

Recent form
Brisbane: WLLWL
Newcastle: LWLLW

Top Scorer
Brisbane: Henrique (9)
Newcastle: Montano (5)

This season against Newcastle Jets
Round 6
Newcastle Jets (0)
Brisbane Roar (4) Henrique 49’, 72’, 89’

Round 16
Newcastle Jets (1) Pavicevic 72’
Brisbane Roar (2) Solórzano 35’, O.G- Welsh 90+3.

All-time record against Newcastle Jets


Brisbane keep Champions League hopes alive

(CFP/Getty Images AsiaPac)

(CFP/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Beijing Guoan (0)
Brisbane Roar (1) Kaluderovic 39′
35,578 at Workers Stadium, Beijing.

Brisbane: Young, Hingert, North, Donachie, Brown, Brattan, McKay, Clut, Broich, Borrello, Kaluderovic.
Substitutions: Bowles for North (79’).
Unused Substitutes: Chalmers, Jackson, Sarota, Lustica, Brady, Petratos.
Yellow Cards: Brown, Donachie, Clut, Borrello.
Red Cards: Nil.

Beijing: Zhi, Yunqui, Yunlong, Pengxiang, Hejing, Dae Sung, Bouxan, Batalla, Dabao, Fejzullahu, Damjanovic.
Substitutions: Lei for Yunlong (46’), Zhizhao for Fejzullahu (68’), Jiayi for Dabao (81’).
Unused Substitutes: Sen, Xiaobin, Cheng, Tiancheng.
Yellow Cards: Dae Sung, Dabao, Lei.
Red Cards: Nil.

Brisbane Roar have kept their 2015 AFC Champions League hopes alive with a hard fought win away to Beijing Guoan. Former Beijing striker Andrija Kaluderovic popped up with the all important goal, five minutes before half time after a slick through ball from Devante Clut.

Beijing started out the more aggressive of the two sides, and had a couple of great chances to open the scoring, however Fejzullahu and Yu Dabao were wasteful in front of goal with Brisbane’s back-line in particular taking time to settle into the game.

Brisbane’s first chance of the game fell to Devante Clut, however the youngster making his second start in the competition, however he couldn’t keep his shot down after some good lead up play on the left hand side.

It was however the youngster who set up the defining moment in the game five minutes before the break, with his through ball finding Kaluderovic, who managed to stay onside before placing his shot into the corner of the net.

With a halftime injury to defensive leader Xu Yunlong, the home side started the second half sluggishly and could have been 2-0 down but for Brandon Borrello blazing over the bar from a good position.

Chasing the game, and a spot in the last 16, the home side became more and more dominant as the second half wore on, however they struggled to create any clear cut chances, with the back four of Brisbane along with Jamie Young defending strongly.

The result validates the decision to rest players at the weekend, with only Jamie Young and Jade North backing up from Saturday’s loss to the Victory. Given the short turnaround before Friday’s game with Newcastle, we may see a vastly different side once again.

Elsewhere tonight in Group G, Suwon booked a place in the last 16 with a 2-1 come from behind win away to Urawa Reds. Zlatan Llubijankic opened the scoring for the home side, before late goals from Ko Cha-Won and Brazilian Kaio turned the game around.

The result means that Suwon are definitely through to the last 16, while Urawa are officially out of contention. Despite currently sitting top of the group, Beijing are still not certain of progression, as bizarre as that seems.

With head to head records usurping goal difference as the primary means of separating teams tied on points, Suwon –who have a superior H2H record over Brisbane- are through, while Brisbane and Beijing are tied on H2H with both sides winning away from home 1-0.

That means that it will come down to goal difference after all between Brisbane and Beijing, with the Roar having to overturn a five goal difference on the final matchday, while also hoping that Suwon do the business at home against Beijing. Here’s the table:

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Matchday 6 fixtures
Games to be played on 05/05/2015
Brisbane Roar vs. Urawa Red Diamonds
Suwon Samsung Bluewings vs. Beijing Guoan

Up next
Brisbane return home for the final game of the home and away season against Newcastle on Friday night, in a game which will have little bearing on the final league table.

In Asia, it’s a two week break before Urawa head down to Australia for a Matchday 6 clash on the Gold Coast. That could be a tricky week for the Roar, with their elimination final set to be on the previous Friday, and the potential for a Semi-Final clash just 48 hours later should Brisbane progress past week 1 of the finals.

ACL Matchday 5 Preview: Beijing Guoan vs. Brisbane Roar


Brisbane’s 2015 Champions League hopes go on the line tonight in a must win fixture away from home against Chinese side Beijing Guoan. Going into the night Beijing sit top of the group on 10 points, while Brisbane are third on four points- 3 behind second placed Suwon who travel to Urawa.

While Brisbane’s domestic form has been inconsistent, their Champions League performances have for the most part been solid. Despite failing to take advantage of their home games, they have been in all of their games, with only a poor second half showing last time out against Suwon letting them down.

It is on the road in Asia however where the Roar seem to produce their best, with just two losses in six trips north, as opposed to being winless at home in five attempts.

The home side have also been the big surprise of this group, sitting top and needing just a point to qualify for the last 16 despite having to play against Bangkok for a spot in the group stage.

Beijing have an imposing record at home against Australian clubs, with three wins and a draw from 4 home games against A-League opposition. That draw however was against the Roar, where in 2012 Mitch Nichols popped up with a header to equalise.

When these two sides met on matchday one, it was a game of few chances, with Brisbane unable to capitalise on the visitors playing over an hour with 10 men before the visiting side stole all three points with a deflected free-kick in stoppage time.

Brisbane were left frustrated that night, and with the need for three points they’ll have to make sure it’s not a repeat against the best defence in Group G, with the home side conceding just one goal so far along the way.


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Thijssen pretty much declared his hand at the weekend by leaving out almost all of his established first XI for this game, with only goalkeeper Jamie Young, defender Jade North and possibly Dimitri Petratos a chance to play tonight.

Expected Brisbane XI: Young, Hingert, North, Donachie, Brown, Brattan, Clut, McKay, Borrello, Kaluderovic, Broich.
Substitutes: Chalmers, Bowles, Jackson, Sarota, Lustica, Petratos, Brady.

ACL form

Stadium Workers_stadium_internal_field2
Workers Stadium
Opened: 1969
Capacity: 66,161

Last time against Beijing Guoan
Matchday 1
Brisbane Roar (0)
Beijing Guoan (1) Shao Jiayi (90+3)

All-time record against Beijing Guoan


Group G

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Elsewhere in Group G tonight Urawa play host to Suwon with the home side essentially eliminated from contention to progress to the round of 16. When the two sides met on Matchday 1 it was a 2-1 win for the Koreans, with a similar result – or even a draw- enough for them to progress tonight should Beijing defeat Brisbane.

In short, anything less than a win tonight will see Brisbane eliminated from contention for the last 16, so a repeat of the Matchday 2 heroics in Saitama would be ideal. Kick-off is at 9.30, with coverage to commence at the completion of the Western Sydney Wanderers- Kashima Antlers game.

Former Players Wrap: 20/04/15


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