Season Review part 4 (squad players)Posted: June 16, 2016
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll take a look back at the season that was, the success stories, the disappointments and take a brief look to what may lie ahead for next season. Previously we’ve looked at the season as a whole and the players who were regulars, today we’ll look at a bunch of younger players who rose to prominence in 2015-16.
Games– 0 (2)
Starting with the young winger, who found himself with limited playing time this season at all levels. Brady, 19, and in his first season as a professional footballer has been starved of playing time this season with just the two substitute appearances in the first team -21 total minutes- and just a handful of youth team games. That however goes to a greater point in the apparent breakdown of youth development, something I’ll get to in future weeks.
Looking ahead to next season it’s tough to see how things improve for the natural wide player, with the likes of Thomas Broich, Brandon Borrello and Tommy Oar all established in the matchday squad. The youngster has plenty of potential but he needs game time in some form if he is to realise that in the coming years.
It’s easy to forget, but Luke Brattan did play an –albeit small- part in Brisbane’s 2015-16 campaign, as he played the full 90 minutes in Brisbane’s FFA Cup Round of 32 loss against Western Sydney back in August.
That game would prove to be the home-grown midfielders 112th and final for the Roar, as he exercised his right to void his contract due to the off-field financial dramas which saw player payments fall behind schedule. At the time it appeared that Brattan’s career was on the up, with a National Team call-up resulting in a shock transfer to Premier League side Manchester City. Things didn’t pan out however and Brattan spent the year either training with City’s u-21 side or out on loan at second division side Bolton Wanderers, and as a result he’s fallen down the Socceroos pecking order.
Games– 0 (9)
After a breakout season which saw Devante breakthrough as a regular player in the first team, including scoring some key goals late in the season, the 2015-16 season shaped up as a big one for the 20 year old attacking midfielder. Things didn’t pan out that way however, with Clut making just the nine substitute appearances off the bench of 93 minutes of game-time which just isn’t enough for a young player looking to develop his game.
The other big problem for Devante was that because of the new truncated NYL format, his opportunities were limited in that competition as well, with the midfielder playing in only half of the clubs 10 youth games for the season due to his bench duties in the first team.
Due to that lack of first team action, Devante decided to end his two and a half season stint in Brisbane at the conclusion of his contract, opting instead to sign a two year deal with Newcastle Jets. Devante departs Brisbane having scored four goals in 21 appearances.
After some solid form in the 2015 NPL Queensland campaign, young striker Nick D’Agostino was given his debut in the round six clash at home to Perth Glory. While the youngster didn’t have any real impact on his starting debut –one shot-, he didn’t look out of place and did enough to suggest with more experience he has something to offer.
Back in the youth team he’s excelled in the past year, with a strong National Youth League campaign being followed up in the current NPL campaign, where he ranks amongst the league’s leading strikers with 10 goals to his name at the halfway mark. With a lack of striking options in the squad currently beyond Jamie Maclaren, D’Agostino figures to be somewhere in the plans for 2016-17, what part he ends up playing is likely to be determined on the recruitment
2016-17 was a write off for the central defender, who made just two appearances in the National Youth League before further injury setbacks brought an early end to his season. The season for DeVere began with a long term quad injury sustained in the post-season game with Villarreal which caused him to miss the first 10 games of the A-League season.
Due to that, DeVere returned to action via the clubs NYL side making two appearances before he was shut down and limited to training duty only, despite the first teams defensive struggles over the second part of the season.
The big question for next season is just what will DeVere be able to bring to the side. At his best, Luke is one of the league’s best defenders and as evidenced by his March 2015 call-up, a fringe National team member. All of the injuries however have to have had a big impact on him as a player however, and it could take time for Luke to return to that level of play. John Aloisi will no doubt be hoping for the best with limited experience in the centre of defence outside of Jade North.
Games– 7 (17)
After ending the previous season with a serious knee injury, Henrique made his return to action in the round five clash with Perth, scoring an emotional winner in what would become one of the best moments of the season.
All up it was another typical Henrique season, where the Brazilian provided a genuine spark off the bench when it was needed with 8 goals and 3 assists created this season. While Henrique doesn’t enjoy the super sub tag, it’s a role that he’s filled exceptionally for the Roar over the last few seasons and this season was no exception with all of his goals coming off the bench helping win 17 points for Brisbane this past season.
After reports first emerged late in the season of a move to South-East Asia to Thailand, Henrique ultimately departed Brisbane to take up a contract in Malaysia with second division side Negri Sembilan.
Games – 2 (15)
Goals – 0
After arriving in the week of the season opener against Western Sydney, Javi spent the first six weeks of the new season building up fitness having been without a club over the pre-season, eventually making his debut off the bench in round 6 against Perth.
It was then that Hervas made his most memorable contribution of his time here in Brisbane, with an assist for Henrique with his first touch of the game just seconds after coming on. That lead to some high hopes as Javi continued to build fitness, but it wasn’t until the round 14 trip to Melbourne that he would make his first start.
In that game, Hervas made some early mistakes which resulted in an early lead in Victory’s big win. Following another sub par starting performances the next week against Adelaide, Hervas returned to the bench the next week, and following the late arrival of Tommy Oar, he finished the season outside the matchday squad. Following the end of the season, Javi returned to Europe, signing a deal with Bosnian side FK Zeljeznicar.
Games– 0 (1)
Having originally departed Brisbane at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season after his contract expired, George returned to Brisbane on an injury replacement contract as cover for Henrique to start the season and despite being in the squad through the early weeks of the season he made just the one appearance, a last minute time wasting substitute against Western Sydney in the opening round.
Once Henrique returned from injury ahead of the round six clash with Perth Glory, Lambadaridis departed Brisbane for a second time and is now playing back in Victoria with Green Gully.
Games– 6 (16)
While being a regular in the matchday squad once again this season, 2015-16 was another season where Lustica was cast in the role of impact sub off the bench, with 16 of his 22 appearances coming via the substitutes bench.
In that role, Lustica was once again solid, bringing extra energy to the midfield late in games to either maintain the result of help chase the game – most notably in the round 10 clash with Wellington-. Ultimately, the lack of regular starting time lead to Steven deciding to depart Brisbane for a second time, opting to take up a one year contract with Western Sydney.
Games– 2 (4)
The 2015-16 season began in the English Championship with Ipswich Town for Tommy after a free transfer move from FC Utrecht in the European summer, however things didn’t work out in the UK with Oar making just nine appearances before agreeing to a mutual termination late in the January transfer window.
After rumours of a move to China and the Middle East, Tommy made a somewhat surprising return to Brisbane on a two and a half year deal as the A-League moved towards the business end of the season.
After a couple of weeks to regain some fitness following period of not playing, Oar made his return to the domestic game in the round 24 away game to Melbourne City. In just a handful of appearances late in the season, Tommy looked lively but failed to have the impact desired on the right hand side in place of Brandon Borrello.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see where Tommy plays in the front third, with John Aloisi having some solid options to choose from in the wide areas. Which two of Borrello, Oar and Broich are the starters, and which side they start on, but that looms as one of the positions to watch when the pre-season campaign begins.
Due to the form this season of Jack Hingert, Polenz found himself on the outer this season with just the one appearance against Wellington in round three. Brisbane had a reshuffled defence that week due to injuries and international call-ups, and when Shane Stefanutto returned the next week, Polenz found himself out of the side once again.
For the rest of the season, the closest Jerome would get to first team action was a handful of unused substitute appearances, with his only game time coming in a handful of National Youth League appearances.
Going forward, it’s hard to see where Polenz fits into the plans for 2016-17 and beyond due to the emergence of Jack Hingert as a regular in the starting line-up, opportunities figure to be limited once again. With his contract up at the conclusion of next season, it will be interesting to see what happens.
Jean Carlos Solórzano
Games– 2 (5)
Since returning to Brisbane in January 2014, the one constant which has inhibited Solórzano and last season was no different. A combination of hamstring, foot and thigh injuries saw him miss 17 games due to the trio of injuries, all of which limited him to just the seven appearances in 2015-16.
Following the season, Jean Carlos announced his departure from Brisbane after 62 appearances -18 goals- joining Brisbane Premier League side Rochedale Rovers for the rest of the season to gain some match sharpness in the hopes of attracting a deal elsewhere in the league.
Clean Sheets– 1
After missing almost the entire 2014-15 season due to injury, the new season continued on in the same vein for Theo, who missed eight games due to his ongoing quad injury. After a pair of games in the Youth League to gain some match sharpness, Theo returned to the first team in the round 16 loss at home to Adelaide.
In the nine games in which Theo played, Brisbane won just the three, conceding 18 goals –including a 4 game stretch with 13 goals conceded- with just the clean sheet. Following a penalty conceded against Western Sydney in round 22, Theo was dropped in favour of Jamie Young for the next weeks clash with Melbourne, and remained on the outer for the remainder of the season.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see if Theo is able to regain his place in goals for Brisbane over the course of the pre-season. With his contract up at the end of the season, and with Jamie Young having just re-signed for two years, it will be interesting to see who John Aloisi opts to go with. Given the improvements this season from Jamie Young, it could well come down to the form and fitness of the current #1.
Games– 0 (1)
Another player who played a minimal part in the 2015-16 season, Yango came off the bench for a late cameo in the FFA Cup Round of 32 loss to Western Sydney back in August. That was the third and final appearance for Yango here in Brisbane, with the young forward released following the conclusion of the 2015 NPL Queensland season. Following his departure from the Roar, Abrahim made the move to NPL Victoria joining Avondale for the 2016 season.