2016-17 Season Preview- Right WingPosted: September 29, 2016
With the new season set to get underway in just 9 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. Previously we’ve covered the Goalkeepers, the right backs, the left backs, central defenders, central midfielders and the Attacking Midfielders, today we’ll look at the right wingers.
Last season youngster Brandon Borrello cemented his spot as the first choice on the right wing with some high energy performances, acting as a solid foil for striker Jamie Maclaren. This year however his competition has changed with fan favourite Henrique moving on, he’s now got the displaced Dimitri Petratos fighting for his old spot back in addition to a couple of youngsters who are in a similar position to which he found himself in just two years ago.
Last season in his first full season as a starter, Borrello netted a respectable five goals in as a secondary attacking option for John Aloisi’ side, although four of those did come in the opening month of the season.
As is expected with younger players making there way there was a dip in form midseason which resulted in a few weeks out of the starting side before he fought his way back into the side towards the end of the season.
The development of Brandon over the past 18 months or so does raise the question of how long he will remain with Brisbane, with reported interest from both European and Asian suitors before the 21 year old signed a fresh two year contract extension earlier this year. Should he continue to develop as expected over the next year or so, that interest is likely to return.
In terms of what would mark as progress for Borrello this season, playing in all 27 league games –he played 22 last time around- and adding an extra 3-4 goals to his tally for the season –pushing him towards double figures- would put him in the frame for higher honours and a move abroad.
Borrello has been a regular in pre-season occupying his usual right wing position in the games he’s playing, putting in sold if unspectacular performances and is set to start the season as the first choice on the right hand side.
As mentioned in the attacking midfielders preview Petratos spent most of last season playing as the most attacking minded of the midfield trio, although the arrival of Brett Holman could see him lose out in that position as John Aloisi utilises the talents of his big off-season signing.
In that eventuality, Petratos would likely either be limited to a substitutes role where he could cover any of the front four positions in the side, or be in competition for the right wing slot with Borrello.
Petratos of course did arrive in Brisbane to fill that role in 2013 following the departure of Ben Halloran and ended up playing a big part in the teams double winning season on that side, before shifting back into a midfield role the following season under new boss Frans Thijssen.
While Petratos has spent the majority of the pre-season playing that central role, Petratos did spend some time on the right hand side in the weekends game in perhaps a sign that he could be transitioning back to his initial role with the Roar.
Having someone with Petratos’ versatility in both roles is a real luxury for Aloisi as he looks for competition for places all across the side, but he’s also got to fill the massive shoes of Henrique who made that super sub role his own in recent times.
One of the forgotten men in the Brisbane squad, Brady has been rarely sighted in recent months, with the 20 year old not featuring on the team sheet since a NPL Queensland team sheet back in June.
It’s possible that given he hasn’t been sighted that Brady is no longer with the Roar, but there’s been no news of that affect so it’s likely that he’s either injured or completely out of favour.
Brady made just the two substitutes appearances last season, totalling just 25 minutes of game time and hasn’t appeared in any of the fixtures this pre-season, behind closed doors or open to attendance.
Assuming Brady is still with the Roar, that fact doesn’t bode well for him and with the likes of Jayden Prasad and Joseph Champness waiting in the wings as part of the Young Roar side there doesn’t appear to be a future for Brady in Brisbane.
This time last season Prasad was getting to know his new Young Roar teammates having just joined the set-up from Redlands United, Jayden quickly established himself in the startling line-up over the summers National Youth League before further consolidating his building reputation in the NPL Queensland season.
Four goals in Eleven games doesn’t sound like the best return, but when you factor in he missed a third of the season on annual break and playing in pre-season with the first team it’s an impressive tally. Those first team opportunities came early in the pre-season in the two games on the Gold Coast against Sydney and Western Sydney.
Since the conclusion of the Young Roars’ NPL commitments, Prasad has spent time in and around the first team set-up and most recently was part of the Australian side which recently won the Asean Football Federation u-19 Championships.
Stylistically there’s a lot of comparisons to be drawn between Prasad and Borrello, with the two sharing similar attributes playing wise and having their youth team performances overshadowed by highly regarded teammates. In the case of Borrello it was Jai Ingham and Kwame Yeboah, while for Prasad currently it’s Nicholas D’Agostino.
While Prasad is definitely talented, the presence of Borrello and Petratos is likely to limit Prasad’s chances to the Young Roar set-up once again this season, but if he continues to take strides forward similarly to those he has over the past season he could find himself in and around the first team.
There’s a number of options of the right wing position this season, and perhaps importantly for John Aloisi they’re all youngsters with high energy which could offset any potential issues surrounding the elder members of the midfield group alongside them. Borrello will once again be the man to watch, and John Aloisi will no doubt be hoping for further progression from his no.28.