Serbian Striker Andrija Kaluderovic’s short stay here in Brisbane has ended after new Brisbane boss John Aloisi decided not to offer him a contract extension.
Kaluderovic, 27, arrived here in Brisbane in January to replace the misfiring Mensur Kurtishi after leaving Swiss side FC Thun in December.
A goals ratio of seven in 16 games (13 starts) is a more than fair return for a player who took time to work up to match fitness, a tally which includes two goals in the AFC Champions League.
Despite a goal scoring record that is on par with Brisbane’s best strikers in the past such as Sergio van Djik and Besart Berisha, Kaluderovic seemed to lack the work rate both with and without the ball.
The burden now falls upon Aloisi –whose recruitment hasn’t been the best- to find a striker capable of leading the line in the Brisbane system, with the Roar trying twice now to replace the Albanian who helped lead the Victory to the double this season.
Meanwhile Aloisi also confirmed that veteran left-back Shane Stefanutto had been offered a 1year contract extension before he was announced as head coach.
Assuming that is accurate, all of Brisbane’s out of contract players now have their futures confirmed, with Kaluderovic joining George Lambadaridis, Adam Sarota, Kofi Danning, Ben Litfin and Jesse Daley in departing Brisbane.
Brisbane Roar contracted players for 2015-16 and beyond
Goalkeepers: Michael Theo, Jamie Young
Defenders: Jerome Polenz (fgn), Jade North, Luke DeVere, Shane Stefanutto, Jack Hingert, Daniel Bowles, James Donachie, Corey Brown.
Midfielders: Luke Brattan, Matt McKay (Marquee), Steven Lustica, Devante Clut, Thomas Broich (fgn), Patrick Theodore (FT NYL).
Forwards: Henrique Silva (fgn), Jean Carlos Solórzano (fgn), Dimitri Petratos, Brandon Borrello (FT NYL), Shannon Brady.
Brisbane Roar today held a press conference introducing John Aloisi as the clubs new manager for the next two seasons. Those available for questions were Aloisi, in addition to the clubs outgoing Chairman Chris Fong, and club captain Matt McKay Here’s a recap of what was said in dot point format- almost all of which are quotes from either Aloisi, McKay or Fong.
Fong opening statement
– Exciting era, a reboot as such
– A change in the direction that we’ve been heading in over the last year or so
– We’re very excited to announce John Aloisi as coach
Aloisi opening statement
– Really excited to be here, to be coaching such a talented squad after observing from afar over the past few years
– It was never easy playing against Brisbane, due to the playing style which everyone now expects
-Been very successful, and I want to be successful again
– I want to bring success to this club and the supporters to the supporters, because they expect it. So do the players
Questions to Aloisi
How do you feel about the squad? Changes, ect?
– Having a look at the squad over next couple of weeks. – ¾ full currently (18 currently contracted), but will assess things before deciding who to bring in
– We’ve got a great group of talented players’ – we’ve also got a good group of young players coming through (Mentions Borrello and Donachie as examples).
– Queensland always has talented young players coming through, so that’s something that will happen. They’ll get a chance
What did you learn from your stint at Melbourne Heart?
– It was my first job, so you learn from mistakes. You learn when your not successful because you look back on what you didn’t do so well, but also at the club.
– Spent time off ‘wisely’ – Spoke to people who have been successful (Ange). Ange has been a mentor for me
– Spent time overseas with various sides and with Fox Sports analysing games, ect.
– Coaching the MV u/20’s- I really enjoyed working with them. Has made me a more well rounded coach
What made you decide now is the time to return to A-League coaching?
– Wanted to wait for the right opportunity, the right club. I believe this is the right place for me
– Came out of the blue, happy working with the MV u/20’s but this was too good of an opportunity to pass up working with these players, at this club.
– Im ready, im confident I can help this club become successful again
Can this group get back to the top given the constraints of the competition working against long term success (salary cap, ect), or will it take some time?
– Are you saying these players are old? (Rhetorical question)
– I still believe these players have a lot left in them, and it’s up to me along with the players to get the best out of themselves
-The younger boys will play a big part as well
– I definitely believe that this group can be successful again
Have you been told there’s a set style to play (no TD anymore), or is that implicit in BR and the success?
– Brisbane Roar have it in their DNA to dominate a game -Doesn’t just mean keeping possession, it means hurting teams
– With the players we have here it would be silly of me to sit back and play on the counter attack
– The players we have are players who dominate
– That’s 1 reason I was attracted to this club. All the clubs I went to O/S had a similar philosophy (references Barcelona)
– Im not saying were going to play exactly like Barcelona, but they play a certain way because of the club’s DNA. Brisbane is exactly the same.
Aim for the first season?
– I think everyone should want to win. Im no different
– It will be about improving every day. Both as a team and individually
– Asking players for the commitment to working hard, and if we do that we will be successful
– If all that happens, we will come close to winning it, if not winning it
What specifically did you learn from Barcelona?
– Saw training every day + spoke to the coaches. ‘Unbelievable’ intensity at training
– If you can do that, performance in game will be better.
– Making things a competition. Driving that competiveness.
– That’s why they perform like they do
Thoughts on the fans (largely negative reaction). Similar to Ange?
– I expect that. Normal that people aren’t convinced given my stint at Heart. I understand that.
– I can only do a job.
– Ange wasn’t so well received and look at what he achieved.
– The players will work hard together to ensure we are successful
– If I was worried about perceptions, or that we wouldn’t be successful, I wouldn’t of taken the job
Did Ange council you?
– Ever since I was sacked from Heart he’s been helping me make sure im ready for the next move
– A few weeks ago we spoke and he mentioned his experiences in Brisbane
– ‘Who else to ask but Ange on this club, these players’
– He’s a great person to fall back on
Question about current FIFA situation
– Haven’t read a lot about it, been focused on getting across matters here
– If FFA see fit to support change, I’ll support them
– Hard to comment, not great to hear about that however.
Did the financial situation make you reconsider your interest in the club?
– Of course I did my background check. Wanted to know what he was walking into
– Didn’t want to walk into a situation where the club would struggle
– Spoke to a few people, including Chris Fong.
– Comfortable with the situation, focusing on the football side
Questions to Matt McKay Players’ reaction to the appointment
– Unbelievable record as a player, and now as a coach we want to see and help him development
– Our responsibility is to do what were told, but get what we can from his coaching to progress
– We’ve got a great bunch of players, and if we progress under his leadership, were looking forward to more success
3rd coach of the year, players looking forward to stability?
– of course. We want our squad to stay together, and the coaches to stay together
– They plan for a reason, and we want to be successful as a group
– At this stage of pre-season, its a great opportunity for JA to get us ready for the new season
– Important year for us to bounce back from last year
Questions to Chris Fong
You also spoke to Ange, what did he say?
– I spoke to many people (inside and outside Australia), and we took their advice
– Discussions with Ange were about how we should structure Brisbane as a club, and we took his advice on board and proceeded with that.
– We think it’s the right move
When you asked John about what he learned from Heart, what did he say? How did he convince you?
– Sat down and had a discussion about what’s gone on in the past, both from John’s and the clubs point of view
– I like giving people a chance, an opportunity. I like doing that
– Sometimes we get it wrong, but this time we’ve gone through the right processes to understand how to get here. It’s a process we’ve gone through and we feel it’s the right call, but nothings guaranteed.
– What we are doing is were committing to John. He has a 2 year contract and we intend for him to see that through.
What’s the current financial situation- everyone been paid?
– We announced recently we came across some previously undisclosed liabilities. Were going through that
– Undertaking a forensic audit currently to work out the problems. Will take some time.
– Gone back to the owners to clarify. They’ve made certain commitments to the future of Brisbane Roar, but we are also talking to potential investors. It’s an ongoing process.
Brisbane Roar have began to re-shape their squad for the upcoming season with five players departing the club with Kofi Danning, Ben Litfin, Adam Sarota, George Lambadaridis and Jesse Daley all moving on.
Danning and Daley are headed for Melbourne joining Oakleigh Cannons and the Melbourne Victory NPL side respectively, while Sarota returns to FC Utrecht and Ben Litfin returns to his native Gold Coast with Palm Beach. George Lambadaridis’ future is yet to be confirmed.
Sarota, 26, returned back here to Brisbane in an attempt to re-start his career after a knee injury saw him lose his spot in the Eredivisie club’s starting line-up. All up he’s made 29 appearances in two stints for Brisbane Roar (22 start, 7 sub), after first making his debut in Round 9 of the 2008-09 season.
Danning, 24, has had a tough time since returning from Belgium in 2013, making just five substitute appearances this season, scoring his solitary goal of the season against Newcastle in round 27. All up he made 20 appearances -2 goals- after making his debut against Central Coast in Round 1, 2011-12.
Lambadaridis, 23, has had similar issues with injury here in Brisbane with a series of knee injuries ruining his chance of becoming a regular in the first team. All up he made just 9 appearances over four seasons, with just two this season at left back.. His best moment on orange would have to be his late winner in the final M1 derby in Round 27 of the 2011-12 season.
Litfin and Daley were both apart of the clubs youth setup and never made an appearance for the first team. Litfin however was the clubs youth team captain and was rewarded for a solid start at the Roar with a full time NYL contract back in 2013.
Daley has only sporadically featured for the Young Roar side in the NYL and NPL Queensland over the past season, however he was recently apart of the Young Socceroos squad.
The list of players still to sort out their futures is down to two, with Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic and left back Shane Stefanutto out of contract. Ultimately I think both will be retained, however time will tell.
Now that Brisbane have a new manager, the work to get the team back to the top of the competition can really begin, and there’s plenty of work to do. Here’ just five things on a list just a couple of things that should be on his to do list.
1) The biggest ting John will need to work through is the dynamic of his working environment. It was stated in the press release that Aloisi would have total control of the football department, however there are conflicting reports that Frans Thijssen will be retained as a Technical Director. Working out who is in control of what should be the first thing on his to do list to ensure everyone is heading in the same direction, assuming it hasn’t been sorted out already. It was a breakdown of this relationship which ultimately cost Mike Mulvey his job.
2) Once that is sorted out, John will need to sort out his coaching staff for the new season. The outgoing Frans Thijssen had Ken Stead, Jeff Hopkins and Rado Vidosic as assistants during his tenure, however Stead has since departed and the other two are reported to be out of contract. Decisions may also need to be made on goalkeeping coach Jason Kearton and the remainder of the support staff. Id like to see Rado remain as an Assistant with Hopkins also retained either in the first team or back with the youth side, but that should be up to the new man who may want to bring in someone he’s familiar with.
3) The next thing on the list he’ll need to get his head across is the talent that exists on the books here at Brisbane, and no doubt there’s plenty to work with. With the likes of Theo, Polenz, Donachie, Brattan, McKay, Broich, Henrique and possibly Kaluderovic now at his disposal, on paper at least he’s got a far more talented group than he did at Heart. For his tenure to be a success however, he’ll need to look beyond those established names.
4) The end of the season just gone showed that the talent here in Brisbane runs much deeper than just the first XV, with a host of youngsters all showing their potential against Melbourne and Newcastle. Given his previous work with Heart and Victory in a youth capacity, im expecting him to bring through and nurture youngsters like Lachlan Jackson, Luke Pavlou, Devante Clut, Shannon Brady, Patrick Theodore, Abrahim Yango and Brandon Borrello, amongst others.
5) Finally on his list of priorities is strengthening the squad. A lot of work was done in January with Kaluderovic, Polenz and DeVere arriving, but more is needed in order to return to the top of the league. He’ll need to make decisions regarding the aforementioned Serbian striker, as well as veteran club man Shane Stefanutto, while also bringing in 1-2 players to shore up the side experience and quality wise. His recruitment was more miss than hit in his time at the Heart, and it’s critical he gets it right this time around, because he may not have a lot of room to move with 18 senior players currently locked in for next year.
There’s probably a bunch of obvious stuff im overlooking like relocation and settling down in a new city ect, but once he’s here those should be high on his list of priorities. Plenty of work to be done for the new man, and high expectations given the recent success.
1) I think we were all caught on the hop yesterday by the sequence of events and the speed of which things took place. Things went from a rumour to confirmed with a press release within about an hour with little warning that an announcement was immanent. It certainly caught me by surprise yesterday when the rumours began.
2) I will admit that I was at first surprised and underwhelmed at the appointment, but after waking up this morning I’ve had a slight change of heart. Im still sceptical that he’s the right man for the job with candidates like Mark Rudan and Ramon Tribulietx reportedly out there, however there were certainly worse moves they could have made.
3) His coaching experience is still rather minimal and he bombed out at the Heart, there’s no getting around that. He has however from all reports dedicated himself to improving his coaching methods by spending time learning from the best, and no doubt he’s learned from his mistakes at the Heart. Hopefully he’s got the ability to apply those learnings to his coaching this time around.
4) The big area where Aloisi struggled in his time at the Heart was with his recruitment and retention which left him in a hole from the start. Foreign flops like Steven Gray, Josip Tadic, Marcel Meeuwis, Rob Wielaert, Andrea Migliorini and most notably Michael Mifsud undermined his attempts to build a squad. That’s definitely something that he’ll need to get right this time around, with this season illustrating perfectly the importance of getting your recruitment, particularly your foreign recruitment absolutely correct. In fairness to him however, he was able to lure some big names with him to the Heart, with former Socceroos teammates Harry Kewell and Vince Grella, in addition to big Dutchman Orlando Engelaar who was a smash hit in the league after returning from a serious injury, after Aloisi had departed the club.
5) The one positive I can perhaps grab from this appointment is his previous work with young players in his time as Heart youth coach and Victory u/20 coach. During his time at Heart he gave playing time to youngsters such as Aziz Behich, Ben Garuccio, Mate Dugandzic, Eli Babalj and Stefan Mauk amongst others so he did show a willingness to throw youngsters in. That perhaps alludes to the possibility of some of the talented young Roar cubs such as Janes Donachie, Devante Clut, Brandon Borrello, Shannon Brady, Patrick Theodore and Lachlan Jackson getting more of a run in the team.
6) Im glad that the board made a decision now however, as they were starting to run out of time to prepare the squad for the season ahead. There may still be five months until the start of the new season, however there’s recruitment to be done and the pre-season still needs to be mapped out with the likes of training sessions, practice games and the like. If they left this decision much longer they could have found themselves in a situation where the best potential recruits had already committed elsewhere and they may have been rushed in mapping out the all important pre-season. Something which could have lead to a slow start when the league season starts again in October.
7) On the timing and the board however, I do find it strange that it took them the best part of eight months to come to this decision. When the club unveiled Frans Thijssen as the interim manager in late November they made it clear he was a short term solution and that they were embarking on a search to find the long term successor. That seemed to be happening with Ken Stead and Sean Dobson seemingly executing that process and coming the conclusion that Ramon Tribulietx was the best candidate. All of that work however seems to have been ignored following the duo’s departure, with Chairman Chris Fong leading the decision making to head in the direction of Aloisi.
8) I do feel slightly bad for the candidate we all thought we were getting a couple of weeks ago, Ramon Tribulietx who was seemingly over the line before the departure of Dobson which seems to have swung things. The Spaniard was thankful for the support of the Roar fans on social media last night. We can debate the reasons for the change of strategy, be it personal or financial, however we must now get behind the man who has been given the job to take the club forward.
9) In Aloisi however, Brisbane have reverted back to a tried and trusted path that the club has walked down in years past when it came time to a coaching hire. They’ve gone for the Australian manager with plenty to prove. Having previously moved for Frank Farina, Ange Postecoglou, Mike Mulvey and now Aloisi, they’ve gone for the local candidate who struggled in his previous job –either in the National Team or A-League- and given him a chance to set things right. Hopefully Aloisi is as successful at that as the previous three were, because if he is we just may be looking back on this decision as the start of a bright new era.
Brisbane’s 8 month search to appoint a new permanent head coach is over this evening with John Aloisi confirmed as the clubs new manager.
After a decorated career as a player for club and country, Aloisi made his first foray into coaching with Melbourne City, where be became manager of their NYL side after retiring in 2011.
Aloisi was then elevated to the clubs first team managerial position after beating Ante Milicic to the role, just 12 months after concluding his playing career at the club.
His coaching tenure at the Heart was hardly a successful one, with a 9th placed finish in his first season, before he was sacked midway through his second season with the side winless and sitting bottom of the ladder.
Since then Aloisi has been an analyst for Fox Sports coverage of the A-League, while also heading off to Europe – most notably Barcelona- to improve his coaching methods in anticipation of a second chance in the A-League which has now arrived.
Most recently he’s been coaching with Melbourne Victory, as their assistant coach in the National Youth League and as the coach of their u/20’s side in the NPL Victoria competition. Currently Victory are winning that competition by 11 points with a game in hand.
Aloisi becomes the 7th manager in Brisbane history and is following in the footsteps of Miron Bleiberg, Frank Farina, Ange Postecoglou, Rado Vidosic, Mike Mulvey and Frans Thijssen who took charge as an interim this season.
John is set to arrive in June, with his first game set to take place against Liverpool on July 17.
In other news today, Kofi Danning and Ben Litfin have been confirmed as departing the club to pursue other opportunities. Litfin returns to the Gold Coast with Palm Beach Sharks in the NPL Queensland, while Kofi Danning heads south to the NPL Victoria where he will join Oakleigh Cannons. Danning is the second former Roar player to join NPL Victoria in the past 24 hours, with Massimo Murdocca signing on with Avondale FC. While Brisbane Roar haven’t confirmed the news themselves yet, the moves have been confirmed on the NPL Queensland and NPL Victoria website.
Adam Sarota has seemingly played his last game for Brisbane Roar after he concluded his season long loan from FC Utrecht after today’s training session.
It was originally assumed the 26 year old would make his final appearance against Villarreal on June 3rd. however he will now go on a break before returning to pre-season training in the Netherlands where he will be fighting for a spot in the first team once again.
Sarota, who arrived in Brisbane rehabbing his previously injured knee, struggled with injury and consistency this season and as a result was limited to just the 14 appearances (12 start, 2 sub), primarily as a backup for Luke Brattan in the holding midfield role.
All up the former youth team product who was first sold in 2010 has made 29 appearances for Brisbane Roar (22 start, 7 sub), after first making his debut in Round 9 of the 2008-09 season.
Sarota’s departure is hardly unexpected, as it was always assumed he’d be returning to the Netherlands. Brisbane have still got plenty of depth in midfield with Brattan, McKay, Lustica, Clut, Broich and youngsters Luke Pavlou and Ben Litfin waiting in the wings, however it’s possible they may look to bring somebody in with a bit more experience.
For now though, best of luck to Adam as he attempts to re-start his European career and get back into the Socceroos setup.