Brisbane trio named in Olympic Qualifiers squad


 **The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 23/12/15

 Young Brisbane trio James Donachie, Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren were today selected by Australian u/23 boss Aurelio Vidmar for the upcoming AFC u/23 Championships in Qatar which doubles as 2016 Olympic Games qualification.

Australia will play UAE (14/01), Vietnam (17/01) and Jordan (20/01) in the group stage of the tournament and will need to finish top two in the group to progress to the Quarter-Finals. In order to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics next August the Olyroos will need to finish in the top three of this competition.

As preparation for the tournament the side will head to Dubai a week prior to the tournament to acclimatise to the conditions and give the side the bench chance to qualify after the Olyroos fell in the final round of AFC qualifying in 2012.

For Brisbane this means that they will be without the trio for almost the entire month of January, with the players set to depart following the home game against Perth Glory on January 2nd

Maclaren, Borrello and Donachie will definitely miss games against Wellington Phoenix (10/01- A), Melbourne Victory (15/01- A) and Adelaide United (22/01- H) through the group stage of the tournament.

Should they progress to the final stages of the tournament as expected they will also miss the away game to Sydney FC on January 30th before returning to the fold for the home game against Central Coast Mariners on February 6.

This will be a test of the depth of John Aloisi’ squad as they’ll be without two prominent attacking players for the best part of the month and the emphasis will be on the likes of Jean Carlos Solórzano to step up and fill the void. Youngsters such as Nicholas D’Agostino, Devante Clut and Shannon Brady will also move into the selection frame.

At the back Aloisi has been lucky this season with the form and fitness for Jade North and Daniel Bowles limiting the playing time for Donachie this season, while Luke DeVere is on the comeback trial from a long term injury.

Australian squad for the 2016 AFC u-23 Championships
Goalkeepers– Jack Duncan, Paul Izzo, Aaron Lennox.
Defenders– Cameron Burgess, Thomas Deng, James Donachie, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Scott Galloway, Jason Geria, Alex Gersbach.
Midfielders– Mustafa Amini, Terry Antonis, Josh Brillante, Daniel de Silva, Ryan Edwards, Andrew Hoole, Chris Ikonomidis, Stefan Mauk, Steven Ugarkovic.
Forwards– Brandon Borrello, Jamie Maclaren, Connor Pain, Adam Taggart.


Free Agency Options for Brisbane

**The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 17/12/15

With December comes the official reopening of the A-League free agency market. This means players whose contracts expire in May are now able to negotiate with rival clubs.

For Brisbane Roar, who have eleven players out of contract, it looms as an important time for manager John Aloisi and Football Operations Manager Craig Moore as they seek to retain their stars and strengthen their squad for seasons to come.

Yesterday we looked at Brisbane’s crop of players coming off contract, and today we’ll look at those around the league who are coming off contract and which ones could potentially be a fit for the Roar.

We’ll start by looking at the players coming off contract at the other 9 A-League clubs.


Adelaide United (13)
Dylan McGowan, James Jeggo, Craig Goodwin, Dylan Smith, Ben Warland, Mark Ochieng, Jordan Elsey, Bruce Kamau, Pablo Sanchez, George Mells, Mate Dugandzic, John Solari, Eli Babalj (loan from AZ Alkmaar).

Central Coast Mariners (4)
Matt Sim, Daniel Heffernan, Josh Bingham, Tomislav Uskok.

Melbourne City (14)
Connor Chapman, James Brown, Jacob Melling, Robert Koren, Marc Marino, Jack Clisby, David Williams, Stefan Mauk, Jason Trifiro, Patrick Kisnorbo, Wade Dekker, Aaron Hughes, Michael Zullo.

Melbourne Victory (9)
Nicholas Ansell, Kosta Barbarouses, Leigh Broxham, Gui Finkler, Dylan Murnane, Mathieu Delpierre, Archie Thompson, Jesse Makarounas, Giancarlo Gallifuoco.

Newcastle Jets (12)
Joshua Barresi, Brendan Lundy, Mark Birighitti, Ben Kantarovski, Enver Alivodic, Lachlan Jackson, Jason Hoffman, Cameron Watson, David Carney, Leonardo, Milos Trifunovic, Ryan Kitto.

Perth Glory (16)
Diogo Ferreira, Ruben Zadkovich, Josh Risdon, Richard Garcia, Chris Harold, Sidnei Sciola, Michael Thwaite, Jordan Thurtell, Jacob Collard, Mitchell Oxborrow, Ante Covic, Guyon Fernandez, Diego Castro, Marc Warren, Hagi Gligor, Aryn Williams.

Sydney FC (14)
Ali Abbas, Alex Brosque, Alex Gersbach, Vedran Janjetovic, Chris Naumoff, Aaron Calver, Jacob Tratt, Jacques Faty, Riley Woodcock, Robert Stambolziev, Alex Mullen, Ivan Necevski, Zac Anderson, Anthony Bouzanis.

Wellington Phoenix (15)
Alex Rodriguez, Michael McGlinchey, Kwabena Appiah, Tom Doyle, Manny Muscat, Lewis Italiano, Vince Lia, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante, Roy Krishna, Matthew Ridenton, Alex Rufer, Troy Danaskos, Blake Powell, Justin Gulley.

Western Sydney Wanderers (14)
Daniel Alessi, Dean Bouzanis, Romeo Castelen, Shannon Cole, Alusine Fofanah, Gol Gol Mebrahtu, Andreu, Federico Piovoccari, Brendan Santalab, Dimas, Alberto, Josh MacDonald, Liam Reddy, Jaushua Sotirio.

Below we’ll break it down position by position and take a look a few players who could be interesting options from other teams for next season.

Goalkeepers- Jordan Thurtell

It’s unlikely that Brisbane will be in the market for a first choice goalkeeper this season, however should Theo’s injury issues continue or Young depart they could be forced into looking for a new understudy.

While there are a couple of in-house options, there’s also an interesting option in the shape of young Jordan Thurtell, a young keeper currently with Perth Glory. The 19 year old who grew up in the Sunshine Coast region hasn’t made his debut as yet for Perth but he’s playing regularly in the youth side for the Glory.

The Roar also have the option of upgrading one of their NYL shot stoppers with both Andre Jannese and Tomi Bilic showing good potential. Jannese seems to have the upper hand at the moment as evidenced by his elevation to the A-League bench ahead of Bilic, and Aloisi is clearly a fan of the former AIS keeper.

Full-Backs– Craig Goodwin, Michael Zullo, Diogo Ferreira

The one position that we know will be open next season is at left back, and luckily for Brisbane there’s a host of options out there for John Aloisi to fill that void.

Either of the first two options mentioned above in Goodwin and Zullo would fit the bill of a Brisbane full-back; solid defensively and having the ability to get forward and make overlapping runs beyond Thomas Broich.

Obviously Zullo has connections with Brisbane having made his debut here in 2007, however Craig Goodwin also has a small connection to the Roar as he played a part in John Aloisi’ young Melbourne Heart side of 2012; eventually making his A-League debut at the end of that season.

The questions here are fitness related for Zullo as he’s had a string of injuries in recent time, while Goodwin has played more as a winger recently as opposed to a left back and there have been questions in the past about his defensive abiltities.

The other outside possibility is another former Brisbane player Diogo Ferreira, who could reprise his role of the 2013-14 season where he served well as a defensive utility filling in at both full-back roles and possibly in a sitting midfield position. It’s an unlikely one, but it could be an option if they view Corey Brown as the long term successor at left back, or if the rumours of Jerome Polenz moving on are true.

Central Defenders-Lachlan Jackson, Michael Thwaite, Nick Ansell, Jordan Elsey.

With three central defenders out of contract at the end of the season, the heart of the defence is an area that Aloisi will need to be strong in. Luckily for he and the Roar there are a few options available.

Michael Thwaite, who was strongly linked to Brisbane in the off-season is a free agent at the end of the year so Aloisi could reignite his interest there, although Thwaite alongside North would be the oldest defensive pairing in the league.

Others include Nick Ansell, Jordan Elsey and Lachlan Jackson, with the latter having left the Roar in June to take up a contract at the Jets. Jackson has been a solid ever-present at the back so far this season in Scott Miller’s Newcastle side, and has the added advantage of knowing the Brisbane system having spent a number of years in the youth set-up here.

Across the backline there aren’t a lot of options for the Roar in their youth set-up, with only Cameron Crestani and Jaiden Walker having played enough youth football to be realistically in the picture, both of which would be a stretch. One outside possibility is full-back Mark Rodic who arrived from Blacktown this pre-season after strong form in the NSWNPL.

Midfielders– Gui Finkler, James Brown, Hagi Gligor, Stefan Mauk, Mitch Hore, Adam Sawyer.

With three midfielders out of contact there’s a good chance that Brisbane will be brining in at least one midfielder, who that is and the role they fit into however will depend on which players leave however. At the high end you have an elite midfielder like Gui Finkler, who in combination with McKay and Broich would look fantastic in a Roar jersey.  It would be difficult to pry him away from the Victory, although a substantial offer may be beyond their reach with their huge commitments to other players already locked in.

Other options could include the likes of James Brown, Hagi Gligor and Stefan Mauk, all players who are still young with upside and have been in and out of their respective sides this season.

There’s also a decent chance that should Brisbane maintain the majority of their midfield depth they could look to fill any holes by promoting from within, in which case the likes of Mitch Hore and Adam Sawyer would be in contention.

Forwards-Kosta Barbarouses, Roy Krishna, Jaushua Sotirio, Brendan Santalab, Wade Dekker.

Upfront is an area where Brisbane are also reasonably strong, but with Brandon Borrello no certainty to re-sign and Solórzano also out of contract there could be a need in the final third.

The best two options currently on the market are Kosta Barbarouses and Roy Krishna, who’ve both scored plenty of goals in the past 18 months and would fit in very nicely on the right side of Brisbane’s front third. It would probably take a massive offer to get either of them to leave their current clubs, but with so many players out of contract it’s a possibility that shouldn’t be excluded.

Other options to fill a more rotational role could include Western Sydney duo Jaushua Sotirio and Brendan Santalab. Sotirio has shown his versatility by playing on both sides of the park this season, while Santalab –admittedly an unpopular player around the league- could provide some energy and spark upfront which could bring back the defensive pressure lost when Berisha moved to Melbourne.

The other option is Wade Dekker, a young player at Melbourne City whose shown that goal scoring is natural for him as evidenced by being last seasons NYL Golden Boot. It’s unlikely he’d leave Melbourne at this stage, but he has worked with Aloisi in the past so you never know.

Like in the backline, there’s no obvious candidate who can step up into the first team next season, with the majority of the Roar’s better young attackers only in their first year of NYL football and still needing more development before being considered.

That’s just a selection of the players who could fit for the Roar next season, although it should be mentioned that with two visa spots free for next season Aloisi could look to the European market for players as well.

Whatever happens it will be interesting to see how he reshapes this squad, as he’s only really been able to make a handful of moves to date.

Big decisions loom as free agency begins

**The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 16/12/15

With December comes the official reopening of the A-League free agency market. This means players whose contracts expire in May are now able to negotiate with rival clubs.

For Brisbane Roar, who have eleven players out of contract, it looms as an important time for manager John Aloisi and Football Operations Manager Craig Moore as they seek to retain their stars and strengthen their squad for seasons to come.

Brisbane’s list of free agents includes a wide ranging group of players, who’ve both played a big part in the squad over the past seasons and are about to enter their prime years. It’s a substantial group of players out of contract, and there’s no doubt that more than a few of them will be highly sought after by rival clubs in the coming months which will make it tough to retain them.

Below is a list of who is out of contract at the end of the season, and the situation regarding if Brisbane should retain them along with the potential difficulties.

Jamie Young
After arriving in Brisbane as the clear second choice keeper, a series of injuries to Michael Theo has allowed the 30 year old to establish himself as a first choice calibre keeper here in Brisbane.

Despite the slow start and at times shakiness playing out from the back, Young has done a solid job for the Roar, and with Theo’s future in some doubt it would be wise to keep him here with the uncertainty.

Jack Hingert
In previous seasons Hingert has been in and out of the side both due to form and fitness however now it seems he has made that right back spot his own, and is keeping Jerome Polenz out of the side.

This year was always going to be a big one for Hingert, who is entering his 5th season with the Roar, and he should be one of the priorities to retain some continuity at the back where there will likely be a transition in at least one other spot in the backline.

Jade North
As a leader at the back, North has been invaluable this season with a young central defensive partner in Daniel Bowles. Reports first emerged a month or so ago that negotiations were underway which would see him finish his career here at the Roar.

With younger defenders like Bowles and James Donachie likely to come to the fore over the next 12-18 months, having an experienced player alongside them makes a lot of sense.

Daniel Bowles
Alongside North so far this season, Bowles has grown from a squad player to a player who now has put a marker down to make that centre back spot his own, keeping James Donachie out of the side.

In his time here Bowles has shown his versatility by playing out on the right side of defence but it’s at the heart of defence where he’s flourished both at the end of last season and the start of this one. It’s that form which could make him an interesting target for a host of rival clubs.

Shane Stefanutto
The future of Stefanutto seems to be the clearest of all those who are off contract at the Roar, with Stefanutto having all but officially confirmed his retirement in the pre-season. A role in either the front office or in the football department likely awaits for a player who is one of just 10 players to play 100 games for the club.

Steven Lustica
Despite struggling for regular game time this season, it sounds as though Lustica is committed to remaining here in Brisbane and fighting for his place if yesterday’s comments are any indication.

There will however again likely be a strong market for a player whose shown the ability to score goals out of midfield, particularly given the depth or lack thereof across some teams in the competition.

Javier Hervas
Hervas has been a bit of an x-factor this season, and in truth we’ve only really seen glimpses of what he’s truly capable of. With that in mind, it’s tough to gauge his situation and it’s worth bearing in mind potential European suitors if he does well for the remainder of the season.

No doubt Aloisi is a fan, and with that in mind he’s a good chance to be retained, but we’ve yet to see the best of him so far and as such it’s impossible to pass a judgement so far.

Devante Clut
Young Clut burst onto the scene last season with his creativity and goal scoring ability adding an edge to the side in the latter part of the season, however he’s been unable to win over John Aloisi so far this season with the 20 year old getting limited time so far.

Young players always need playing time to continue their development, and if he’s not going to get that here, then it would seem inevitable that he will move on in the next few months to a situation where he will get more minutes.

If he does leave, it will be a shame because Devante is somewhat of a cult hero amongst the fans due to his long range goals, and he’s got tremendous potential for growth as a player.

Brandon Borrello
Another young player who has burst onto the scene in 2015. He figures to be one of the hottest properties in the free agent market and will probably be the toughest for the Roar to hold onto.

His form so far this season has been impressive with four goals already this year to back up the six from last season, and he’s become a big part of the new look Brisbane attacking shape.

The difficult factor here is that Borrello seems to have at least some interest in a move to Europe, possibly as soon as January, while other A-League sides –particularly those in the Champions League- would be keen to get hold of him.

Jean Carlos Solórzano
It emerged throughout the course of the past few days that Solórzano is currently in the beginning stages of gaining his Australian citizenship, a move which would be a massive boost for the Roar and would free up a valuable visa spot.

If that process does come to fruition, the decision on whether to retain the striker is almost a no brainer, if that process is held up or falls through however, the future of the Costa Rican could be a question to be asked.

While Solórzano has become a valuable weapon off the bench in recent times including at the weekend, his durability has been a question with a string of niggling injuries which have hindered his progress. As a player he’s still a threat in this league, the question is over the visa spot and if you can convert him into a local player.

One player who has just secured his citizenship is Henrique, and he’s one of those on this list who is highly unlikely to be moving on.

His comeback from a serious knee injury has been positive, and while he will no doubt be wanted around the competition it’s impossible to think that he would leave the Roar given the emotion he showed upon his return.

In terms of priorities, without ranking them those who are going to be first XI regulars should be at the top of the list to retain.  For example six of the weekends starting XI against the Phoenix are out of contract come the end of the season, including the entire starting back 4.

Regardless there’s plenty to consider for John Aloisi and the rest of the football department as they reshape the squad over the next few weeks, and they will need to identify which players they wish to keep hold of.

Round 10 Preview- Brisbane Roar vs. Wellington Phoenix

**The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 11/12/15.


Round 10 of the A-League sees the A-League return to Northern Queensland as Brisbane take on Wellington at Cazalys Stadium in Cairns.

This is the first time that Cairns has seen A-League in a competitive match, despite numerous pre-season games being taken to the city, and it’s the first time games have returned to the north since the demise of the Fury back in 2011.

Brisbane have been in Cairns since Wednesday acclimatising to the conditions and ingratiating themselves into the community. This experience is seen as a chance to enhance their reputation of the club for the entire state of Queensland and have undergone a host of promotional activities.

With the Phoenix only arriving late Thursday, this provides something of an advantage for the Roar, particularly given the game is kicking off in the afternoon as opposed to a friendlier night time kick-off.

As for the game itself, it promises to be an entertaining encounter between two attack-minded sides, if the round 3 clash between the two sides which produced five goals is anything to go by..

Brisbane enters the clash against Wellington on the back of a 3 game winless streak, but their football has suggested that they’ve been unlucky not to have picked up more points.

Earlier in the week, John Aloisi indicated his team needs to be more clinical in the final third given the chances which have been spurned in the past few weeks. One positive on that front is the form of Jamie Maclaren, whose netted in the past two games to take his tally to 5 for the season.

For Wellington they arrive after a win over the Victory on what was an extremely poor Auckland pitch, but they put in a solid performance with their attacking talent and counter attacking ability on show.

The form of imports Roy Krishna and Roly Bonevacia has continued from last season to this, with the duo the catalysts for the Nix’s recent run of form with the duo scoring 8 goals between them over the first 1/3 of the season.
Brisbane Roar– 3) Shane Stefanutto, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10) Henrique, 11) Jean Carlos Solórzano, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 17) Matt McKay, 18) Javier Hervas, 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 28) Brandon Borrello, 36) Andre Jannese.
*Two to be omitted.

Wellington Phoenix– 1) Glen Moss, 2) Manny Muscat, 3) Justin Gulley, 4) Roly Bonevacia, 7) Jeffrey Sarpong, 8) Alex Rodriguez, 10) Michael McGlinchey, 12) Blake Powell, 13) Albert Riera, 14) Alex Rufer, 16) Louis Fenton, 18) Ben Sigmund, 19) Tom Doyle, 20) Lewis Italiano, 21) Roy Krishna, 22) Andrew Durante, 23) Matthew Ridenton.
*Two to be omitted.

Despite losing in Sydney last week, it’s unlikely that John Aloisi will make any changes to his starting side against Wellington. If he were to make a change, it would likely be to re-install Brandon Borrello back into the starting line-up in place of Henrique.

There will however be at least one change on the bench with Javier Hervas likely to replace Devante Clut in the side. The fit again Jean Carlos Solórzano could make the bench, however it’s also possible that they take a more cautious approach given his injury history. If he does make the bench, Lustica is the most likely to make way.
Expected Brisbane XI
Young, Hingert, Bowles, North, Stefanutto, Corona, McKay, Petratos, Broich, Henrique, Maclaren.
Subs– Jannese, Donachie, Lustica, Hervas, Borrello.
Omitted– Clut, Solórzano.

Wellington are unlikely to make massive changes to the side which performed so well against Victory last week, with Ben Sigmund replacing Manny Muscat likely to be the only change to their starting XI.

Expected Wellington XI
Moss, Fenton, Durante, Sigmund, Doyle, Muscat, Riera, Rodriguez, Bonevacia, McGlinchey, Krishna.
Subs- Italiano, Gulley, Rufer, Powell, Sarpong.
Omitted- Ridenton.

Recent Form
Brisbane: LDDWD
Wellington: WDLWD

Top Scorer
Brisbane: Jamie Maclaren (5)
Wellington: Roy Krishna, Roly Bonevacia (4)

2015/16 against Wellington Phoenix
Round 3: Wellington Phoenix 3-2 Brisbane Roar

All-Time Record against Wellington Phoenix


Round 9 Match Preview- Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Brisbane Roar

**The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 04/12/15


Round 9 of the A-League see’s Brisbane play their third game of the campaign on the road against the Western Sydney Wanderers, and while things figure to be relatively quiet off the park due to the league wide active supporter boycotts on the park it looks to be an intriguing contest.

These two sides have already met twice this season, with Brisbane winning the more recent of the clashes 3-1 on the opening night of the new season after the Wanderers were victorious in the FFA Cup. Since then both of these sides have gone on to have solid starts to the season, with both looking like they will be a factor in games at the business end of the season.

Going into this game the Wanderers are on a five game winning streak, their best since their debut season when they won eleven in a row to clinch the Premiership at the first attempt. The driving force of this recent form is the resurgence of former Brisbane midfielder Mitch Nichols, who’s scored four goals already this season including in the last meeting between the two sides.

Brisbane meanwhile arrive on the back of consecutive 1-1 draws which have seen the Roar slide from 1st to 3rd on the competition table as they continue their month long road trip due to the concerts and field refurbishments at Suncorp Stadium.

Despite playing some impressive attacking football in recent weeks, Brisbane have been unable to capitalise on their chances in the last couple of weeks. The creativity however is there, with Thomas Broich and Dimitri Petratos having strong games last week, before changes in the second half saw Hervas come onto the park and his combinations with Corona and Broich nearly earned the Roar a late winner.

On this week specifically, the midfield battle this week looms as the key, as it does in a lot of game between two good sides. Corona was outstanding in his debut last time out against the Wanderers, however since then Dimas and Andreu have emerged as one of the best midfield pairs in the competition this season, so it figures to be a tougher task this time around. Matt McKay, who missed the round 1 win due to National Team commitments will be back however to give Corona greater support in the middle of the park, however Javier Hervas will miss the game with a minor injury.

Brisbane’s set pieces were also influential in the outcome of the clash last time around, with goals from corners to Daniel Bowles and Jamie Maclaren ensuring the win for the visiting side. While it’s unlikely the set pieces will be as influential this time around, the Roar have scored three of their thirteen goals this season from corners.

Brisbane Roar squad

3) Shane Stefanutto, 5) Corey Brown, 6) Jerome Polenz, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10) Henrique, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 17) Matt McKay, 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 28) Brandon Borrello, 36) Andre Jannese.
*Two to be omitted*

Western Sydney Wanderers Squad

1) Dean Bouzanis, 3) Scott Jamieson, 4) Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 6) Mitch Nichols, 7) Romeo Castelen, 8) Dimas, 9) Federico Piovoccari, 10) Dario Vidosic, 11) Brendan Santalab, 12) Scott Neville, 16) Jaushua Sotirio, 17) Alberto, 18) Andreu, 19) Mark Bridge, 20) Andrew Redmayne, 21) Jacob Pepper, 22) Jonathan Aspropotamitis, 34) Mario Shabow.
*Two to be omitted*

Brisbane will likely continue with an unchanged starting side for the third game running, however with Henrique now nearing full fitness time may be running out for players in the front third to guarantee their starting places.
The one change to the side will be on the bench with Javier Hervas set to miss the trip to Sydney due to muscle tightness. That should open the door for Devante Clut to get another opportunity in the first team squad, with defenders Corey Brown and Jerome Polenz likely to have to wait for their chance.

Expected Brisbane XI

Young, Hingert, North, Bowles, Stefanutto, Corona, McKay, Petratos, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Subs– Jannese, Donachie, Lustica, Clut, Henrique.
Omitted– Brown, Polenz.

The return from injury of Mark Bridge and a weeks rest for marquee Federico Piovoccari significantly boosts the attacking options for Tony Popovic and creates a selection dilemma. Both are likely to start the game, with Vidosic and Santalab the most likely to make way, while youngsters Sotirio and Shabow could find themselves on the outside looking in. The rest is likely to remain the same as the side who beat Central Coast on Sunday.

Expected Western Sydney XI
Redmayne, Neville, Alberto, Topor-Stanley, Jamieson, Dimas, Andreu, Castelen, Nichols, Bridge, Piovoccari.
Subs– Bouzanis, Aspropotamitis, Pepper, Vidosic, Santalab.
Omitted– Sotirio, Shabow.

Recent form

Brisbane: DDWDW
Western Sydney: WWWWW

Top Scorer

Brisbane: Brandon Borrello/Jamie Maclaren (4)
Western Sydney: Mitch Nichols (4)

All-time record against Western Sydney Wanderers


Disciplinary record- November

**The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 03/12/15

Over the course of the season we’ll keep tabs on the yellow and red cards handed out each week across the A-League . It all adds up to the ‘Fair play Award’ on the A-League’s annual awards night, an award which was won last season by Wellington Phoenix.

Brisbane Roar have been the most successful disciplined side of the first decade, winning the award on five occasions including four straight from 2010-11 through 2013-14. Other winners include Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC. The full list of winners is below.
2005-06: Melbourne Victory
2006-07:  Perth Glory
2007-08:  Newcastle Jets
2008-09:  Brisbane Roar
2009-10:  Sydney FC
2010-11:  Brisbane Roar
2011-12:  Brisbane Roar
2012-13:  Brisbane Roar
2013-14:  Brisbane Roar
2014-15: Wellington Phoenix

For those unaware, the award is decided on a points system, with points accrued for Yellow Cards, Second Yellow Cards and Straight Red Cards.

Here’s a breakdown on how the points system works:
1 Point- Yellow Card
2 Points- Second Yellow Card
3 Points- Red Card

All data in this series is collated from the official match reports posted on the A-League website.

This series initially started out as part of my writing on Brisbane Roar, with a focus on them, however it is now transitioning into a league wide focus bringing the other nine A-League clubs into focus.

Over the course of the season, we’ll keep track of how the points table is standing, in addition to which individual players have accrued cards and could be close to a ban. 1 match bans are issued to players who pick up 5 yellow cards between round 1 and 20, before moving to 8 from round 21 onwards.


We’ll start with the Fair play points table, which is accurate and up to date up to and including the end of round 8. There is one game to be caught up, with the round 5 clash between Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory postponed due to the FFA Cup Final.

Brisbane Roar remain top of this table through the opening two months, and now have a sizeable lead at the top with a average of just over 1 card a game. Western Sydney have moved up from third to second, while the big mover is Melbourne Victory who have gone from 7th to 3rd over the last month. Perth Glory have also improved dramatically in the last month, going from 8th to 4th, although both Perth and the Victory do have a game to play.

At the other end of the table, last months bottom placed club Newcastle has moved off the foot of the table and up to 8th, while Melbourne City are now the least disciplined side in the competition accruing 27 yellow cards in 8 games this season, two cards worse off than Wellington Phoenix.


Onto the yellow card tables and Adelaide’s Craig Goodwin is the player to pick up the most cautions this season with 5, one ahead of Nick Montgomery (CCM), Paulo Retre (City), Ben Kantarovski (Newcastle), Tom Doyle (Wellington) and Scott Neville (WSW).

Melbourne City have the most players to receive cautions with 16 while Brisbane Roar have the least with just 7, neither of which is overly surprising given they sit at opposite ends of the previous table.

All up there has been 110 players cautioned this season, with 194 cautions handed out in the first 8 rounds at an average of 4.9 per game and 24 per round. We’ll keep an eye on that over the course of the season.


Finally we have the tables for second yellow cards and red cards, both of which are relatively short with just six players sent from the field this season, of which five were for second bookable offences.

Only one player, Jake McGing of Central Coast has been issued a direct red card this season, which refers to an incident in the round 6 clash against Newcastle Jets.

The next update will be at the conclusion of round 12, which will include date up to and including December 27. The New Years eve clash between Central Coast and Wellington will be included in the January update.


Round 8 Match Preview- Newcastle Jets vs. Brisbane Roar

**The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 27/11/15


Round 8 of the A-League see’s Brisbane travel to the Hunter to take on this season’s surprise package, Newcastle Jets.

Brisbane sit top of the table right now, but they’re about to enter a testing month with four straight road trips which could go some way to defining their season.

Focusing in on this game, the big key for Brisbane will be keeping wide men David Carney and Enver Alivodic quite. The wing duo have been pivotal to Newcastle’s resurgence this season –particularly Carney- so this should prove a good test for Brisbane’s improved defensive unit.

From Brisbane’s attacking point of view, the young attacking duo of Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren been a touch quieter than their flying start to the season, with Brisbane forced to look for different sources of goals. The good thing is so far they’ve found them, with Henrique and Hervas looking dangerous, however a return to goalscoring form for either would be timely.

Brisbane go into this game after dropping their first at home for the season against Melbourne City, with the home side incapable of capitalising on the chances they created throughout the game. This game now begins a four game stretch away from home for Brisbane, with games in Gosford, Parramatta and Cairns in addition to tonight’s game.

Newcastle meanwhile return home from after a 0-0 draw away to a desperate Adelaide side chasing the three points. The Jets had to hang on a bit with some good saves from Mark Birighitti, however they also had their chances within the game and could of taken the points late on.

These two sides have already met this season, with Brisbane and Newcastle playing out a rather dull 0-0 stalemate at the Cleveland Showgrounds in Redlands.


Brisbane Roar: 3) Shane Stefanutto, 5) Corey Brown, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10) Henrique, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 16) Devante Clut, 17) Matt McKay, 18) Javier Hervas, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 28) Brandon Borrello, 36) Andre Jannese.
*Two to be omitted.

Newcastle Jets: 1) Mark Birighitti, 3) Jason Hoffman, 4) Nigel Boogaard, 5) Ben Kantarovski, 6) Cameron Watson, 7) Enver Alivodic, 8) Mateo Poljak, 9) Milos Trifunovic, 10) Leonardo, 13) Lee Ki-Je, 14) Mitch Cooper, 17) Radovan Pavicevic, 20), Ben Kennedy, 22) Lachlan Jackson, 23) David Carney, 24) Nicholas Cowburn, 27) Braedyn Crowley, 28) Ryan Kitto.
*Two to be omitted.

Despite dropping points at home for the first time this season last Friday against Melbourne City, it’s likely that John Aloisi will name an unchanged matchday squad the first time as Brisbane boss against the Jets.

Supersub Henrique and Javier Hervas are still not fit enough to play from the start ensuring that the likes of Borrello and Petratos will continue in their starting roles. Clut and Brown will likely have to continue to wait for an opportunity, while possibly keeping match sharp in the Youth League on Sunday.

Expected Brisbane XI
Young, Hingert, North, Bowles, Stefanutto, Corona, McKay, Petratos, Broich, Borrello, Maclaren.
Subs: Jannese, Donachie, Lustica, Hervas, Henrique.
Omitted: Brown, Clut.

Newcastle welcome back Brazilian playmaker Leonardo from an ankle injury and he’s likely to replace Cameron Watson in the starting line-up for tomorrow’s clash. Outside of that the Newcastle side is likely to be largely the same which came away from Adelaide with a point last Sunday.

Expected Newcastle XI
Birighitti, Hoffman, Boogaard, Jackson, Lee, Kantarovski, Poljak, Leonardo, Alivodic, Carney, Trifunovic.
Subs: Kennedy, Cowburn, Watson, Cooper, Crowley.
Omitted: Kitto, Pavicevic.

Recent form:
Brisbane: DWDWL
Newcastle: DDLWW

Top Scorer:
Brisbane: Brandon Borrello (4)
Newcastle: Milos Trifunovic (4)

All-Time Record against Newcastle Jets