Off-season speculation: Possible free agents

Season 10 of the A-League is officially in the books after Melbourne’s 3-0 win against Sydney on Sunday, which means that the free agency frenzy is officially underway. There’s plenty of possible names out there who could be good fits in the Brisbane side for next season, although it remains to be seen just how much cap space is available, and how much the ownership is willing to spend.

Last week we looked at the situation here in Brisbane in regards to off-contract players and possible youth promotions, coming up with a list of possible needs to fill, today we’ll look at free agent players around the A-League who could fill those needs.

Pablo Sanchez (fgn), Miguel Palanca (fgn), Cameron Watson, Paul Izzo.
Adelaide are yet to announce their intentions with their four free agents, but given the fact that they’ve offered contract extensions to a number of other players earlier in the season, it would seem that these four are unlikely to be back next season. None of them really fill a need for Brisbane, with the two visa players going missing at times, while they’ve already got their own version of Watson and Izzo in house.

Central Coast: John Hutchinson (retired), Matt Simon, Dejan Pandurevic, Travis Major, Isaka Cernak, Hayden Morton, Zac Anderson, Brent Griffiths, Tom Slater, Eddy Bosnar.
The Mariners have already announced that they won’t be re-signing nine of those 10 players, with only Eddy Bosnar’s future still up in the air. There’s perhaps 1 or 2 interesting players here in the shape of Matt Simon and Zac Anderson, however Brisbane don’t need another centre back, and Simon has been a disappointment since returning from South Korea.

Melbourne City: Damien Duff (fgn), Kew Jaliens (fgn), Rob Wielaert (fgn), Iain Ramsay, Mate Dugandzic, Jonatan Germano (fgn), Harry Novillo (fgn), Tando Velaphi, Massimo Murdocca.
City announced they’d be releasing five players last week, including foreign trip Duff, Jaliens and Wielaert. There’s not a lot that would be a fit for Brisbane, perhaps Ramsay as a left back- but id be hoping for someone a bit more solid defensively.

Melbourne Victory: Nathan Coe, Daniel Georgievski, Lawrence Thomas, Archie Thompson, Andrew Nabbout, Jesse Makarounas, Jordan Brown, Michael Turnbull (injury replacement)
Victory’s season only ended at the weekend of course, and as such they’re yet to announce their retention decisions, however their salary cap would be close to breaking point after the re-signings of Ben Khalfallah and Delpierre.

There is one player here however that could make a lot of sense for Brisbane, and that’s full-back Daniel Georgievski. Georgievski, 27, made 21 appearances this season for Melbourne and played very well on the left side despite playing almost all his football as a right back. He showed the ability to get forward while also being solid defensively and would be a nice upgrade over Brown if Stefanutto retires.

Newcastle: Jess Vanstrattan, Sam Gallagher, Zenon Caravella, John Solari, Alan Welsh, Travis Cooper, Taylor Regan, James Virgili, Max Burgess, Edson Montano (fgn- on loan).
Not a lot to see here, with all but the last two told they’re not wanted, while they may still keep Burgess or Montano. Nothing here makes any sense.

Perth: Jack Duncan, Daniel de Silva, Rostyn Griffiths, Jamie Maclaren, Riley Woodcock, Mitch Oxborrow, Brandon O’Neill, Dennis Kramar (fgn- injury replacement), Dejan Paljic (fgn- injury replacement).
Duncan and de Silva have deals in Europe, while Griffiths and Maclaren have declared their intent to depart the Glory. Maclaren seems destined to return to his hometown of Melbourne with the Victory, while Griffiths could be an interesting option should a vacancy emerge in midfield.

Sydney: Ivan Necevski, Shane Smeltz, Corey Gameiro, Peter Triantis, Hagi Gligor, Matt Jurman, Bernie Ibini (on loan), Sasa Ognenovski, Nick Carle, Milos Dimitrijevic (fgn), Marc Janko (fgn- Marquee), Robert Stambolziev (injury replacement), Jacques Faty (fgn- injury replacement), Mickael Tavares (fgn- injury replacement).

Sydney are yet to announce their intentions after their season ended at the weekend, however it’s unlikely that Necevski, Triantis, Gligor, Ognenovski or Carle will be retained. Injury replacement trio Tavares, Faty and Stambolziev are all high on Arnold’s retention list as are  marquee Janko, Ibini and Dimitrijevic however isn’t unlikely they’ll be able to keep them all.

Brisbane have already been linked to Dimitrijevic this off-season, however it could be that the more defensively minded Tavares makes more sense, especially if Luke Brattan moves on. Corey Gameiro could also be worth a shout as a backup striker, however he’s coming off serious knee surgery.

Wellington: Joel Griffiths, Kenny Cunningham, Tyler Boyd, Jason Hicks, Michael Boxall, Josh Brindell-South.
Not a lot to see here, all of the above have been confirmed to be departing with Tyler Boyd heading to Portugal. Youngster Josh Brindell-South will likely be returning to the domestic leagues here in Brisbane after moving to Wellington from Moreton Bay Jets.

Western Sydney: Ante Covic, Sam Gallaway, Antony Golec, Adrian Madaschi (injury replacement), Yusuke Tanaka (fgn), Martin Lo, Yojiro Takahagi (fgn), Iacopo La Rocca (fgn), Nick Ward (injury replacement), Jason Trifiro, Nick Kalmar, Yiannis Perkatis, Jashua Sotirio, Nikita Rukavystya (Aus. Marquee), Tomi Juric, Kerem Bulut.

The Wanderers have released half a squad since their season ended a couple of weeks ago, while the futures of Japanese duo Tanana and Takahagi, fullback Gallaway and youngsters Sotirio and Lo remain in limbo. The majority of these players released offer little to Brisbane, but a couple could be interesting additions.

Strikers Nikita Rukavystya, Tomi Juric and Kerem Bulut have all been let go and represent the best Australian strikers available on the market this off-season. Of the trio Juric is probably the safest option, however the now fringe Socceroo turned down a big money offer in Chine back in January and could want to cash in now.

Rukavystya retuned to the country as the Wanderers Australian marquee and failed to hold down a regular spot in the side, which could price him out of a move here to Brisbane. Bulut is the most risky of the trio, but he could be the one that makes the most sense. It’d be a risk to bring someone with that baggage into the locker room, but five goals in nine games since arriving back in Australian in January makes him a compelling option.

So of all the free-agents across the league, the ones which would seem to make the most sense for Brisbane would be Daniel Georgievski and either Tomi Juric or Kerem Bulut. Rostyn Griffiths, Mikael Tavares or Milos Dimitrijevic could all make sense if one of the starting midfielders depart.


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