Random thoughts following the appointment of John Aloisi as Brisbane manager

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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.

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