Thoughts following the signing of Brett HolmanPosted: September 2, 2016
1) After even more off-field drama in recent weeks it’s good to see some positive news in the shape of a signing, particularly a name that brings the experience and qualities of Holman. It remains to be seen how Holman fits in and what he brings to the side, but with everything that has happened it feels like something of a coup to bring Holman to Brisbane given the reported interest from other clubs.
2) Holman does bring versatility with him, it’s pretty clear that he’s been signed to play in the creative midfielder role currently occupied by Dimitri Petratos. In the two games we’ve seen this season there’s been something lacking in that role with both Tommy Oar and Petratos struggling to break down defences so far, although it’s still relatively early in the pre-season playing time wise.
3) While it’s likely that Holman will fulfil a no.10 type role in John Aloisi’ system at the Roar, we’ve seen in the past with both previous clubs and the National Team that Holman brings a bunch of versatility to the side. That versatility could see Holman act as an option in both of the wide positions, or as a false 9/secondary striker should Aloisi decide to change the system.
4) Another positive from the signing of Holman is the competition he offers for a number of the players currently projected to be in the first XI. The obvious candidate here is Dimitri Petratos, who despite have an excellent conclusion to last season has been inconsistent in his time with Brisbane.
5) When the deal was announced yesterday afternoon, it was initially unknown how long Holman had signed on to be apart of the Roar, however last night Marco Monteverde provided clarity in his story online outlining that it his a two year deal. Marco also confirmed that the contract would be back-loaded, with Holman to assume one of the clubs two marquee roles in the second year of his deal. It’s a similar arrangement to a deal which Tommy Oar has which will see him become a marquee in 2017-18 as well, something else Marco confirmed last night.
6) With the announcement yesterday from Marco that Holman and Oar would become marquee players as of next season, the clubs current marquee duo now are now in an interesting position with incumbent marquee duo Thomas Broich and Matt McKay both out of contract at seasons end. That doesn’t necessarily mean that both will depart after the season, but it does mean the duo will need to be given contract extensions that fall within the salary cap which will make for an interesting set of negations when the time arrives.
7) If there’s a downside to the deal, the fact that Brisbane could start the new season with three midfielders aged 32 or older is it. Add in the likes of Thomas Broich, Jade North and either Michael Theo or Jamie Young in goal and there’s a chance that Brisbane could start games with six players aged 30 or old. While the Australian season is less rigorous in terms of intensity and matches in an Australian summer as opposed to the European winter, things could become hectic should Brisbane qualify for the Champions League in the final third of the season. Individually the ages of the midfield isn’t a worry, but collectively it could become one as the season goes on.
8) Currently Brisbane has 22 contracted players –including Full-Time youth player Joe Caletti- meaning the squad is probably very close to being complete. Despite that however, on the pregame show last night John Aloisi let slip that there’s likely to be one final addition to be made. With just two visa players contracted there’s a strong chance that the clubs final signing will be a visa player. That would work well for the clubs roster management and would allow the clubs full contingent of foreigners to participate in the Asian Champions League campaign.
Here’s the current breakdown of the Brisbane squad
9) So if Aloisi is correct and there’s still one player to bring in, which position will it be? Looking at the graphic above there’s only one right full-back on the roster, but with the likes of Mark Rodic and Cameron Crestani waiting in the wings. The most likely option is likely to be another more experienced striking option to provide competition for Jamie Maclaren and allow extra development time for the clubs young striking duo Joey Katebian and Nicholas D’Agostino, who reportedly has returned from a period training with Genk.
10) It’s early days, but the direction of the club in the post Daniel Cobb era seems to be positive. New Managing Director Mark Kingsman has in the limited time since his arrival began to improve the clubs operations with the move to Ballymore finally occurring followed by re-engaging Holman’s representatives to secure the signing. It’s early days, but perhaps things are changing for the better? Time will tell.