2016-17 Season Preview- GoalkeepersPosted: September 19, 2016
With the new season set to get underway in just 18 days time, our annual season preview series is here and over the next two weeks we’ll take an in depth look at the 2016-17 team, starting today with the goalkeepers.
In years past the goalkeeping position has been Michael Theo’s to lose however a second successive injury interrupted campaign, in addition to a down year when on the park opened the door for Jamie Young who ended the season in the role.
Both keepers have claims on the role, but beneath them on the pecking order is one of the better young goalkeepers in the country with former Australian u/17 goalkeeper Andre Jannese waiting in the wings.
2015-16 Appearances– 21
2015-16 Clean Sheets– 7
We start the goalkeeping preview with Jamie Young who seemed to establish himself as John Aloisi’ first choice in goal at the end of last season, however reports over the pre-season have indicated that the race to start in round one could be on once again.
Last season was a good one for Young, who started 21 of the Roars 30 games in all competitions with seven clean sheets along the way, a number which ranks him amongst the best goalkeepers of last season in that start.
Getting his first start in round three, Young went on to establish himself in the side before a 4-0 loss away to Melbourne saw Michael Theo get his chance in the side. Fortunes turned once again in round 23 when Aloisi switched back to Young for the stretch run where his performances played a part in the sides push for the Premiership and the Elimination Final win over Melbourne.
Since arriving in Brisbane ahead of the 2014-15 season the area of concern surrounding Jamie has been his general play and distribution where some early high profile mistakes lead to criticism, last season however saw an improvement in this area with better distribution in general play and goal kicks, while there was just the one goal that came direct from a mistake from Young.
The improvements made helped to silence doubters of Young’s ability and also helped secure his future with the Roar as he was offered a fresh two year contract extension which will take him through the 2017-18 season.
Looking ahead to this season and it was widely believed that Young would hold his place in goal thanks to his strong performances late in the season, but if pre-season is any indication the position may not be fully secure with a finger injury allowing Theo the chance to stake his claim in the side for the two games to be played this week against Perth and the NPL Queensland u-23 side.
2015-16 Appearances– 9
2015-16 Clean Sheets– 1
Having been the undisputed first choice since arriving in Brisbane five seasons ago however a series of injuries over the past two seasons, and a dip in form saw Theo end the season on the bench.
Making just the nine appearances last season conceding on average two goals a game and a poor spell where the team conceded 13 goals in 4 games, Theo was benched in the final weeks of the season with Young preferred as the side chased the silverware.
Despite going into the pre-season most likely as the understudy, a finger injury to Jamie Young has allowed him to play in the clubs most recent trial against the BPL select side and most likely against Perth tomorrow night in Sydney and the NPL Queensland u-23 side at the weekend.
When comparing Theo and Young from a shot stopping point of view there’s very little difference between either keeper at their best, however Theo is superior in terms of distribution and it’s that which keeps him in the frame despite the setbacks he’s suffered in the past two years.
Adding to the situation here is that Theo is entering a contract year and any decision in relation to his future at the club beyond this season is likely to be highly dependant on form and fitness over the course of the season.
2015-16 Appearances– 0
Following a solid season in the Young Roar setup, Andre Jannese figures to once again be the first called into the A-League squad should an injury occur to either Young or Theo.
The former Australian u/17 Goalkeeper spent the first half of last season on the bench in the A-League following an injury to Theo, however he wasn’t called into action to make his debut. Jannese did however play in the NPL Queensland season just completed and put in assured performances in his 18 appearances.
Jannese will in all likelihood be joined by Tomislav Bilic as the two goalkeepers in the upcoming National Youth League campaign.
It will be very interesting to see who lines up in goals on October 7th with both Young and Theo both having strong cases. It seems likely that Young would be given the first shot at nailing down the position due to his strong form at the end of the last campaign. The current finger injury keeping him out of the final pre-season encounters could swing things back in Theo’s favour, with the three time Champion with the Roar getting a chance to stake his claims this week.