Via David Lems: John Aloisi’ coaching staff at the new looked Brisbane Roar continues to take shape, with reports emerging that Western Pride manager Karl Dodd is set to take up a High Performance Managers at the A-League side.
Dodd, 34 moved to the Ipswich based club in the off-season after retiring as a player to take up the managers role of the NPL Queensland side, who find themselves in down in 10th place, albeit just 2 points outside the top four as the state league season approaches it’s climax.
In addition to a brief stint at the Jets as a strength and conditioning coach in the 2013-14 season, Dodd has a wealth of experience as a player in the A-League, with the now retired defender forming part of the Roar’s foundation squad.
Dodd made 12 appearances in orange, including the clubs first match in the A-League against New Zealand Knights back in 2005 before departing these shores for a career in Europe. Later on in his career he returned to the A-League with spells at Wellington and North Queensland Fury.
Brisbane’s coaching staff has undergone some changes in the closed season, with Manager Frans Thijssen, Assistant Rado Vidosic and Fitness Coach/ Director of Football Ken Stead all departing.
In addition to the arrival of Aloisi as Head Coach, Brisbane have also appointed Craig Moore as Football Operations Manager. Assistant Jeff Hopkins, Goalkeeping coach Jason Kearton, fitness coach Matt Conwell and physio Tim Oostenbroek have also all been retained, while there’s a chance that Aloisi may opt to bring in a second Assistant of his choosing.
The draw for the 2015-16 A-League season was released today by the FFA, with Brisbane drawn to start the season on the road against Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday, October 8th at Parramatta Stadium.
The clubs first home game is down for the following Sunday -October 18- against Central Coast Mariners, while the Roar conclude the season with a trip to last season’s double winner, Melbourne Victory. Here’s a few take away’s from the draw.
– Brisbane will play two home games this season against Adelaide, Central Coast, Melbourne City, Newcastle and Perth, while Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC, and Western Sydney Wanderers only make the trip to Brisbane once.
– In terms of away travel, Brisbane will make four trips to Sydney this season and three to Melbourne. They’ll also travel twice to Wellington, and once each to Adelaide, Central Coast, Newcastle and Perth. The Sydney trips will see the Roar face both sides from the harbour city twice, while they’ll travel twice to the Victorian capital to face the Victory, and once to face City.
– There will also be a regional game, to be held on Saturday, December 12 against Wellington Phoenix at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns- the first time Brisbane has held a regional home game in the north of the state. Cairns beat Townsville and Gold Coast to host the clubs bi-annual extra home game.
– Brisbane’s round 27 game against Melbourne Victory, which is provisionally set down for Saturday April 9, could yet be moved if there is a clash with the Victory’s ACL commitments.
– One of the downsides of the draw this year is the lack of glamour home ties, with high drawing Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC only playing in Brisbane once this year. To compound that, both aren’t scheduled to visit until 2016, at which point the public interest in those games -and the Roar- could be gone.
– From the players perspective, it’s not a bad one with just the one trip to the West for the season, while nine of the clubs thirteen away games are in NSW or Victoria, so the travel time figures to be lower than last year.
– This season’s farcical scenes which saw the Grand Final hosted at the 30k seater AAMI Park wont be repeated, with the FFA securing venues in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Wellington to host the final should those teams gain hosting rights.
While the draw takes the attention today, there was conformation of some much expected news yesterday, with the Queensland Government announcing their intention to lift the current restrictions on concerts at the Milton venue.
A media statement from Sports and Racing minister Bill Byrne, and Treasurer Curtis Pitt confirmed that the restrictions would go from four concerts a year up to six, with the changes set to be implemented from 2016 onwards. You can read the full statement here.
The changes have been made so that the state owned stadium can attract more high profile music acts after the Milton venue missed out on ACDC, with QSAC picking up the concerts after the venue had exhausted it’s limit of four concerts in 2015.
This upcoming A-League season will see Brisbane’s home ruled out of action for around a month with Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift set to play at the venue on November 28 and December 5 respectively.
Brisbane’s fixtures around the concert time will include Newcastle away (Nov 28), Western Sydney away (Dec 5), Wellington home* (Dec 12) and Central Coast Dec 20th. Brisbane’s first home game at Suncorp after the concerts is set down for Dec 27th against Melbourne City meaning the ground staff will have over 3 weeks to get the ground right after the concerts.
*The home game against Wellington is a regional round game to be held at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns.
This off-season has been one of, if not the most eventful in the Roar’s 10 year history, with the club seemingly going from one drama to the next. Since the season ended we’ve seen a coaching change, numerous player and front office departures and growing rumours of financial instability.
Here’s a look back on the events of this off season -to date-. Orange squares are facts confirmed by the club or a media outlet, or are common knowledge. Black squares are things reported by media outlets which are yet to be confirmed.
Brisbane’s season ended prematurely obviously with the Elimination final loss to Adelaide and a Group Stage exit in the ACL, however the changes started almost immediately. Within 24 hours of the loss on the Gold Coast to Urawa Reds, Director of Football Ken Stead had announced his resignation from the role he’s held for the past two years.
It was also at this time that reports first came out alluding to the clubs financial plight, with a newspaper story speculating that Brisbane were set to lose 2.5 million for the 2014-15 calendar year, primarily due to the AFC Champions League. That report sparked speculation that the club may go and cut costs in order to minimise losses.
Barely a week after Director of Football Ken Stead resigned from his role, General Manager Sean Dobson also followed suit, standing down after three years in the role. With Dobson and Stead seen as the two men who primarily pushed Mike Mulvey out the door, it was seen as a fresh slate for the club as they look to rebuild. Chris Fong, the clubs Chairman announced he would take over day to day control of the club.
Aside from the resignation of Dobson, very little else was confirmed with the clubs position up in the air, with no manager and very few football people remaining to oversee the appointment of a new Manager. Chris Fong jetted back to Indonesia, while Melbourne Victory went on to win the double to conclude the season.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom however, with Seven of the clubs talented W-League players selected for the Matildas World Cup squad. Clare Polkinghorne, Larissa Crummer, Laura Alleway, Elise Kellond-Knight, Tameka Butt, Hayley Raso and Katrina Gorry were all selected, while defender Kim Carroll was unlucky to miss out. With Germany selecting goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, there would be 8 Brisbane players in Canada.
It was then in late may when the club made a string of announcements, firstly with the appointment of David Pourre as the clubs Interim CEO before then announcing John Aloisi as the clubs new Manager 24 hours later. Aloisi joined on a 2 year contract and was given the task of rebuilding the club and returning the Roar to the top of the league.
Chris Fong meanwhile announced his intention to stand down as Chairman of the board, with Pourre taking over day to day operations.
There was also some movement on players with Andrija Kaluderovic, Ben Litfin, Kofi Danning, Jesse Daley, George Lambadaridis and Adam Sarota all moving on to pastures new. Shane Stefanutto however signed a new 1 year contract, while youngster Lachlan Jackson headed to the NPL Victoria in an off-season loan move.
Matt McKay won the clubs player of the year award at a hastily arranged end of year function.
It was at this point of the off-season that the on the field action was again front and centre with a high profile friendly against Villarreal CF, a game which Brisbane won handily thanks to two goals from Devante Clut.
That game was the last game of the Frans Thijssen era, with the Dutchman departing the scene, despite it being strongly suggested that he would be taking up some kind of Technical Director role following his coaching stint. Assistant Rado Vidosic, who returned in January, was also shown the door with Aloisi hinting at bringing in his own assistant as a replacement.
The on field action was also with the National Teams’, with Matt McKay playing a role in the Socceroos win over Kyrgyzstan which kick started the Road to Russia 2018. Meanwhile over in Canada at the Women’s World Cup, Katrina Gorry was busy creating the goal which would give the Matildas a 1-0 win over Brazil, and a 1/4 final berth.
There were no players coming in or going out, however there was a loose link to Eli Babalj, a striker who has worked with Aloisi in the past.
That brings us to this week, which started with a leaked email from Chris Fong to members of the staff, after it was revealed that player and staff payments were significantly overdue. It was revealed that the club has ‘serious liabilities’ and that 3.5 mil of capital is set to be injected to turn things around. It was also strongly suggested that legal action could be forthcoming against the clubs former General Manager, Sean Dobson, who resigned from his role a month ago.
Despite this apparent shortage of capital, the club announced that former captain Craig Moore would be returning to Brisbane as Football Operations Manager, a role that has been created to support John Aloisi in his role as Manager.
Barely 24 hours later, we saw arguably the biggest sign that finances were tight when the Roar forfeited two NPL Queensland clashes against FNQ Heat and Northern Fury due to what they called fixture congestion. The decision was universally panned, with many quick to the conclusion that the club couldn’t afford the travel costs associated with the two trips up north.
There was also speculation that the clubs former manager, Mike Mulvey was set to add to the clubs financial problems, with the sacked manager seeking the remainder of his payout. It was also suggested that the Coffee Club was set to walk away with their sponsorship up, while they were also left scrambling to find a training venue for pre-season which begins next week.
Finally, young goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers left the Roar in search of regular football, opting to move across Perry Park to the Brisbane Strikers, who the Roar face tomorrow in the NPL.
It’s been a hectic off-season with many twists and turns, and with pre-season set to get underway next week there’s no doubt plenty more to follow in the days and weeks to come.
Young goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers has opted to depart the Brisbane youth setup, taking up a contract at local rivals Brisbane Strikers for the remainder of the season.
Chalmers, 20, had been a regular for the Roar in both the National Youth League and National Premier Leagues over the past 12 months and looked to be cementing himself as a goalkeeper of the future at the Roar.
Infact Chalmers spent the majority of the second half of last season acting as the first team’s deputy goalkeeper, serving as Jamie Young’s understudy while Michael Theo was sidelined with an ongoing wrist injury.
Chalmers didn’t make any first team appearances for the Roar in a competitive game, however he did get a cameo appearance in the recent LFP World Football Challenge game against Villarreal, when he came on with minutes remaining.
The move to the Strikers is an opportunistic one for Chalmers, who will be getting guaranteed first team football with the Strikers in both the NPL and also the FFA Cup, a platform which he hopes will showcase him to potential A-League suitors.
His departure sees Brisbane’s youth goalkeeping stocks filled by Denver Crickmore and Tomislav Bilic, both of whom are less experienced goalkeepers at the NPL/NYL level, but have time on their side.
Chalmers is likely to make his debut for his new club, against his old one tomorrow night when the Roar and Strikers meet at Perry Park in the local derby.
All the best to Fraser in his chase for A-League football, who knows, it may even be with Brisbane at some point in the future.
Despite the swirling speculation surrounding the clubs finances, earlier this week Brisbane announced the appointment of Craig Moore as the clubs new Football Operations Manager.
While details on what the role requires are scarce, it’s thought that this is somewhat of a replacement for Ken Stead, with Moore set to work hand in hand alongside Aloisi in shaping the Football department.
Since retiring Moore has been working with the FFA as an elite player mentor and has written semi-regular columns in the papers about the Roar.
Im sceptical about the impact Moore will have here in Brisbane, there’s a bit of a ‘jobs for the boys’ look to it, but time will tell. There’s a lot of work to be done no doubt in recruitment and organising the pre-season schedule.
*This is a two part post, the first part will be a recap of everything that’s happened this week, while the second will be in dot point format and purely my own thoughts on the matter.
Over the course of the off season we’ve seen a few signs that the already shaky foundations at Perry Park were beginning to crumble, however with the appointment of Aloisi the perception was that things had began to stable. The events of the last 24 hours however have plunged fresh doubt on the future of the club.
This all started on Tuesday with a series of tweets from Ray Gatt -Football reporter for The Australian- which alluded to fresh financial difficulties for the Roar.
The series of tweets alleged that the players hadn’t been paid as scheduled and that there were irregularities in the clubs financial accounts, while the FFA were aware of the situation.
Minutes later however, things took a new twist with 442 releasing part of an email to Brisbane staff, from Chris Fong outlining the situation in relation to the missed payments.
The email outlines that the current financial crisis is due to some previously uncovered financial liabilities, while also simultaneously saying that the ownership group would be injecting an additional 3.5 million in capital in what Fong called the recapitalisation of the club.
The email also mentioned the likelihood that the ownership group would purse legal action against former Managing Director Sean Dobson.
Here’s the exert of the email which was made public, for those that haven’t seen it
The FFA’s response was a standard one, with a spokesperson saying that “ FFA is aware that Brisbane Roar has some financial issues”.
So to were the PFA, who released a statement of their own, declaring the non payment of players to be completely unacceptable, and called for an immediate resolution to the dramas.
Brisbane’s response to this was to try and deflect attention away from the clubs books by announcing the appointing of former captain Craig Moore as the clubs Football Operations Manager.
Things then got worse yesterday when the club announced that they would be forfeiting the upcoming NPL Queensland clashes against Far North Queensland Heat and Northern Fury due to what they labelled as ‘fixture congestion’
The suggestion being that with 4 or 5 players from the NYL side joining pre-season and preparations for the Liverpool game, there wouldn’t be enough bodies available to play the games up north.
Given the events of the previous day, most were quick to jump to the conclusion that this was another cost cutting measure from the Roar with the regional body not covering the travel of the only professional side in the competition.
The fallout from this has been massive, with Football Queensland, Football Federation Australia and football fans across the state unhappy with what is perceived to be a blatant snub of the local competition.
SBS then made further revelations this afternoon, suggesting that the clubs primary sponsor –The Coffee Club- was about to expire, with no guarantee of a renewal of the partnership which has served the club so well since 2008.
They also allege that former manager Mike Mulvey was set to join a growing list of creditors as he considers launching legal action, with the championship winning manager seeking the remainder of his payout.
Finally, they suggested that Brisbane currently doesn’t have a training base to prepare for the new season, a development which is particularly concerning given the players are due back for pre-season training from July 1st.
SBS’ report says that Perry Park is currently not able to carry any more traffic with regular NPL games conducted at the venue, while the clubs contract with their most recent training venue – Ballymore- has expired with no renewal.
Now that we’ve covered all the facts that have been reported in the last 72 hours of so, he’s my thoughts on all of this mess.
– Starting with the bleeding obvious, everything stated above (assuming it’s true), is deeply concerning. The stuff about the players and staff not being paid is the most troubling of it all, with payments now allegedly 10 days overdue. A resolution to that needs to be found ASAP as a matter of urgency.
– The stuff about uncovering previously undisclosed liabilities was first mentioned by Fong back at the John Aloisi unveiling and while that is a problem, it’s hard to comment on given there’s no public knowledge of what they related to. The stuff about the possibility of legal action against Dobson is interesting, although it’s impossible to comment on for a number of reasons. Be interesting to follow should it come to pass.
– While it’s never good to see any club under the control of the FFA, at this point it could be for the best given the way things appear to be unfolding here in Brisbane. Obviously the governing body are currently pre-occupied by their controlling interest in the Jets, so while the timing may not be the best, it may be a necessary evil in a short term measure until new (preferably local) owners are found.
– Obviously nobody is buying the whole ‘not enough bodies to compete at this time’ line, and rightly so. Just last week for example the players who were mentioned as training with the first team were absent for the game against Brisbane City, and they were replaced by players from the u/18. There’s enough players available to do it if they wanted to.
– The training ground problem could be the most immediate problem facing them given that the players are due back. Perry Park didn’t look all that bad to me at the weekend against City, but with the additional traffic it could begin to look tired. May end up being the only option however if a deal with QRU can’t be reached for Ballymore.
– The appointment of Craig Moore is hardly a surprise, after he was sighted sitting next to John Aloisi at a recent NPL game. This timing of this announcement was clearly designed to take some of the spotlight away financial dramas, however the reaction has hardly done that. Given the circumstances of Moore’s departure as a player in 2010, and the way the culture turned around afterwards, im sceptical of the impact he will have. Time will tell however.
– Finally, with all this going on, it’s a baptism by fire for new boss John Aloisi who must have thought that his days of being in charge of an instable club were behind him after he left Melbourne Heart. No money, no training ground and uncertainty in the air, over to you John.
In: Bruce Kamau (NYL Promotion)
Out: Nigel Boogaard (Newcastle Jets)
Out of contract: Miguel Palanca, Cameron Watson
Adelaide are the most settled of the teams across the league with minimal changes to Josep Gombau’s side which fell 90 minutes short of the Grand Final. In terms of needs, the biggest need to fill is at the back with a defender needed to replace the departed Boogaard. Another striker to play either in place of, or alongside the oft-injured Bruce Djite could also be on the agenda. It’s a settled side with a nice mix of experience and young local players however, not a lot to be done.
In: John Aloisi (Head Coach), Shannon Brady (NYL Promotion)
Out: Andrija Kaluderovic (Released), George Lambadaridis (Released), Kofi Danning (Oakleigh Cannons- NPL Victoria), Adam Sarota (FC Utrecht- Netherlands (Loan Return)), Ben Litfin (Palm Beach Sharks- NPL Queensland), Jesse Daley (Melbourne Victory NPL), Frans Thijssen (Head Coach), Rado Vidosic (Assistant Coach), Ken Stead (Technical Director).
Out of Contract: Nil.
It’s been an off-season of change for Brisbane off the park with the ownership cleaning house by removing the GM, the Technical Director and the coach, with John Aloisi given the job of bringing the Roar back to the top. In terms of players there’s no new arrivals as of yet, however a few players have departed, most notably Andrija Kaluderovic who scored 7 goals in 16 games. The biggest need will be upfront, with depth in the middle third also needed. The clubs bevy of talented NYL side gives them plenty of options should they look in that direction.
Central Coast Mariners
In: Roy O’Donovan (Mitra Kukar- Indonesia), Mitchell Austin (Cambridge United- England)
Out: Richard Vernes (Budapest Honved- Hungary (Loan Return)), John Hutchinson (Retired), Dejan Pandurevic (Manly United), Zac Anderson, Brent Griffiths, Matt Simon, Tom Slater, Isaka Cernak, Hayden Morton (All Released).
Out of contract– Eddy Bosnar.
Tony Walmsley has a lot of work to do when it comes to re-working this roster, with Irish journeyman Roy O’Donovan and young Australian Mitch Austin the first step. Of those leaving, Anderson was probably their best and is someone who would fit in a few teams across the league. There’s a lot more to do however, and he may look in the direction of Everton, with whom they have a player development relationship. Rebuilding the Mariners, with the restrictions the ownership have implemented will be a tough gig.
In: Ivan Franjic (Free Agent), Steven Kuzmanovski (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Out: Andrew Redmayne (Western Sydney Wanderers), Damien Duff, Kew Jaliens, Iain Ramsay, Mate Dugandzic, Rob Wielaert (All Released).
Out of contract: Jonatan Germano, Massimo Murdocca, Harry Novillo, Tando Velaphi.
City fell one game short of the Grand Final and have wasted little time in re-tooling with the release of three of their visa players. Coming in is Ivan Franjic, whose back in the A-League after a disappointing year in Russia with Torpedo Moscow. City find themselves in a position where their final recruits will most likely be visa players who they’ll hope make the difference this season. A goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and winger could all be on the agenda.
In: Danny Vukovic (Perth Glory).
Out: Nathan Coe, Andrew Nabbout, Jordan Brown, Michael Turnbull (All Released), John Paul de Marginy (Newcastle Jets- Assistant Coach).
Out of Contract: Daniel Georgievski, Lawrence Thomas, Archie Thompson, Jesse Makarounas.
Last years double winners are another stable side as they look to defend their title, with Danny Vukovic the only new arrival as yet. All eyes are however on Georgievski and Thompson, who could be waiting for the new CBA to be announced to see if they can afford to keep both or if they’re forced to choose between the two. Victory’s recruitment is almost done, with the majority of their squad in tact, however that could change if Mark Milligan departs for the Middle East.
In: Nigel Boogaard (Adelaide United), Andy Brennan (South Melbourne- NPL Victoria), Scott Miller (Fulham FC-England- Manager), John Paul de Marginy (Melbourne Victory- Assistant Coach).
Out: Andrew Hoole (Sydney FC), Zenon Caravella, Jess Vanstrattan, Taylor Regan, Sam Gallagher, James Virgili, John Solari (All Released), Phil Stubbins (Manager).
Out of contract: Nil.
It’s been all change for the Jets, who now find themselves under the ownership of the FFA. Unpopular manager Phil Stubbins has been shown the door, with English based Australian Scott Miller announced as head coach yesterday. Player wise Nigel Boogaard is the biggest addition to date, however they’ll need much more than that to lift themselves from the foot of the table.
In: Mitchell Oxborrow (NYL Promotion), Antony Golec (Western Sydney Wanderers).
Out. Daniel De Silva (AS Roma- Italy), Jack Duncan (Randers FC- Denmark), Brandon O’Neill (Sydney FC), Riley Woodcock (Sydney FC), Matthew Davies (Pahang FA- Malaysia), Rostyn Griffiths, Denis Kramar, Dejan Paljic (All Released).
Out of contract: Nil
After last year’s salary cap scandal, it’s an off-season of getting things in order as opposed to making big name additions, with Antony Golec their only addition from outside the club. The loss of both De Silva and Rostyn Griffiths will hurt their depth, as will the loss of home grown trio Woodcock, O’Neill and Davies.
In: Andrew Hoole (Newcastle Jets), Brandon O’Neill (Perth Glory) Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory).
Out: Marc Janko, Ivan Necevski, Sasa Ognenovski, Corey Gameiro, Milos Dimitrijevic, Hagi Gligor, Peter Triantis, Nick Carle (All Released).
Out of contract: Nil.
Sydney are another settled side, as you’d expect of a side who finished top two and made the Grand Final, with the majority of their recruitment completed back in January with Tavares, Faty and Stambolziev all sticking around. Marquee man Marc Janko departs however, as does Milos Dimitrijevic, who was linked to Brisbane back a couple of months ago.
Out: Tyler Boyd (Vitoria de Guimaraes- Portugal), Michael Boxall (SuperSport United- South Africa), Kenny Cunningham, Josh Brindell-South, Jason Hicks, Joel Griffiths (All Released).
Out of Contract- Nil.
Things have been quiet across the Tasman since their season ended in week one of the finals, with Ernie Merrick looking for 2 or 3 additions to his squad to push his side over the top. They reportedly made an offer to Archie Thompson, before withdrawing it after the deadline they imposed passed. Youngster Tyler Boyd is off to Portugal to further his career.
Western Sydney Wanderers:
In: Andrew Redmayne (Melbourne City), Jacob Pepper (Newcastle Jets), Scott Neville (Newcastle Jets), Shayne D’Cunha (NYL Promotion), Luke Youlley (NYL Promotion).
Out: Yianni Perkatis (Blacktown City- NPL NSW), Antony Golec (Perth Glory), Ante Covic, Tomi Juric, Nikita Rukavystya, Kerem Bulut, Iacopo La Rocca, Nick Ward, Jason Trifiro, Nick Kalmar, Adrian Madaschi, Sam Gallaway, Yusuke Tanaka, Yojiro Takahagi, Martin Lo (All Released).
Out of Contract: Nil.
After an extremely long season, the Wanderers have taken the opportunity to make sweeping changes to the roster after they gave Tony Popovic a new long term extension. Out go players who helped them to the ACL victory like Juric, Covic and La Rocca, in addition to midseason revelation Kerem Bulut and Japanese duo Tanaka and Takahagi. All up a massive 15 players have been let go by the Wanderers after a disappointing domestic season. Replacing them so far are goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, defender Scott Neville and utility Jacob Pepper. You’d have to think there’s something big coming for the Wanderers with that much turnover.