2016-17 Season Preview- Left WingPosted: September 30, 2016
With the new season set to get underway in just 7 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, attacking midfielders and right wingers, today we’ll look at the left wingers.
If there’s one outfield position that looms as the selection battle to watch over the course of the season it’s on the left hand side of midfield with both Tommy Oar and Thomas Broich having strong claims on the role. Both will likely get their chance over the course of the season and the decision on who starts could well come down to a tactical choice between two different types of wingers.
After playing just a bit part role following his arrival in January, this season figures to see the fringe Socceroo re-establish himself as an important member of the first team squad.
Last season was a disrupted one for Tommy who departed English side Ipswich Town just months after signing for the Championship side, before going on to make just the six appearances late in the season with the Roar.
As a player Oar brings a different style to the left hand side for the Roar, with the 25 year old being a more direct and pacy proposition for defences as opposed to Broich who uses his quick feet to create chances for his teammates. As a duo it could prove to be an effective tandem with coming off the substitutes bench midway through the second half to offer fresh legs and create a different problem should Brisbane be chasing the game.
This year is an important one for Oar, who will be desperate to regain his place in the National Team set-up ahead of next years’ Confederations Cup. In the pre-season Oar has been a regular in the sides before a recent injury which has kept him out of the previous two matches, and perhaps tellingly in the FFA Cup Round of 32 loss to Perth it was Oar who started on the left hand side ahead of Broich.
Having been considered an automatic started since arriving in 2010, this could be the year that Thomas Broich transitions from the starting line-up to a substitutes role.
As mentioned in the above discussion around Tommy Oar, playing time and starting appearances could come down to tactical decisions as much as how either player performs.
Despite all of that however, Thomas is still amongst the most talented players in the league and even with diminished playing time he still figures to have a big impact on the outcome of Brisbane’s 2016-17 season.
This pre-season has seen Thomas feature regularly in the side, although perhaps in a sign of things to come he was dropped to the substitutes bench for the FFA Cup loss to Perth. With his contract up at the end of this season and the recent public comments about winding down, this could be the last season we see Thomas in orange.
While Oar and Broich are likely to command the majority if not all of the playing time on the left, youngster Joseph Champness is another promising young winger waiting in the wings of the clubs youth ranks.
Like Prasad on the right Champness arrived in the Young Roar squad at this time last season following a successful season with Moreton Bay United, and has been a regular in the National Youth League and NPL Queensland campaigns.
Champness made 14 appearances in the NPL this past season, scoring four times playing mostly from the left hand side but he has shown the versatility to play on the right at times.
Over the course of the pre-season, Champness has been in and around the first team squad, appearing in a couple of games but was an unused substitute in the FFA Cup lost to Perth. Champness has also been part of the Young Socceroos squad, scoring the winner in the AFF u-19 Championships and was today named in the squad for the AFC u-19 Championships which double as the qualifiers for next years’ u-20 World Cup in South Korea.
The left wing position figures to be fascinating with an interesting one with two outstanding options at John Aloisi’ disposal, and it’s a luxury that the other nine managers in the league would love to have. With Oar missing a couple of games with injury I wouldn’t be surprised if Broich is preferred in round one, but both will feature prominently.