2016-17 Preview- Right Full-BackPosted: September 20, 2016
With the new season set to get underway in just 17 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 tea. Yesterday we took a look at the goalkeeper position, today we’ll look at the right full-backs.
Last season the right back position was one of the most stable ones in the side with Jack Hingert establishing himself at the position, and with the question marks over some of the other positions in the back four John Aloisi will no doubt be hoping for more of the same this season particularly given the lack of alternatives.
When you exclude Hingert from the conversation there’s a legitimate argument that there’s no other specialist right full-backs in the first team or the youth set-up, meaning that the likes of Jacob Pepper, Daniel Bowles, Mark Rodic and Cameron Crestani are all in the frame to fill in with their versatility should it be required.
2015-16 Appearances– 30
Last season was a massive one for Hingert, 25, who emerged from the shadows of Ivan Franjic to secure his spot in the starting XI ahead of German import Jerome Polenz, with Hingert missing just one game over the course of the season.
Last season Hingert compared reasonably well statistically with the leagues best full-backs from a defensive stand point in a side which was prone to leaking goals at times while from an offensive side he ranked amongst the best in passes completed, crosses and chances created at the position.
This season John Aloisi will be hoping for continued progression from Jack in the role and for his relationship with Brandon Borrello on the right wing to continue to develop.
He’s also be very much hoping that the injury problems which have plagued Hingert in years gone by are a thing of the past as there’s limited options at his disposal should Aloisi need them.
The form and fitness of Hingert is doubly important due to the fact that there’s no obvious candidate to step in should, following the departure of nominal back-up Jerome Polenz who was released in July.
Over the preseason Jacob Pepper has spent some time at right back and could be in line to play a utility role similar that of Diogo Ferreira back in 2013-14, although he’s also the primary cover in the centre of midfield.
Daniel Bowles is a another option in the side and has played some right back in the past although he’s always looked more convincing in a central role, and given the question marks around that part of the pitch as well likely that Bowles will be called on forma stretch of games at some stage.
I suppose having Pepper and Bowles as cover at Right Back could work out well, but it’s entirely dependant on the form and fitness of Luke DeVere in defence and the midfield duo of Thomas Kristensen and Matt McKay.
With the potential of an Asian Champions League campaign at the back end of the season should Brisbane win their qualifier against a yet to be named opponent, that already thin depth could be further tested.
In terms of youth team options threes two that spring to mind; Mark Rodic and Cameron Crestani.
Rodic, 20 arrived in Brisbane at around this time last season and has been a part of the youth setup for the past year as a right back and a right sided centre back.
Crestani meanwhile is a long serving member of the youth side and has expelled in recent times as a centre back but has shown versatility in the past to play both full-back roles.
The right back position has been a problematic one for the young roar in recent times however with a number of players tried and none really sticking in the role. Depth in the position was also depleted when Jaiden Walker – who had previously been a regular at RB- transferred to Gold Coast City in June.
For the 2016-17 Brisbane Roar side Jack Hingert will be an important part of the puzzle and his performances will need to be of a similar or higher level for Brisbane to be once again competing for the silverware. There’s no doubt that Jack is capable of that given the rise in consistency over the past season, but with less than optimal options beneath him in the pecking order his importance to the side is now higher than ever.