2016-17 Season Preview- StrikersPosted: October 2, 2016
With the new season set to get underway in just 6 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. Previously we’ve covered the Goalkeepers, the right backs, the left- backs, central defenders, central midfielders, Attacking Midfielders right wingers, and the left wingers, today we preview the finial position in the team; the strikers.
Last season was a breakout year for Jamie Maclaren, who went from super sub with Perth Glory to the most prolific Australian striker in the history of the A-League before earning his National Team debut. This year figures to be more of the same for Jamie, although there’s a couple of talented youngsters’ waiting in the wings for a chance.
Jamie’s importance on the 2016-17 side cannot be underestimated with Maclaren scoring 20 of the teams 52 goals last season, becoming just the second Brisbane player after Besart Berisha to score that many in a season for the Roar.
Last seasons stellar form earned praise from experts and fellow players alike with calls for a Socceroos debut a constant over the second half of the season, with Ange Postecoglou giving him the chance in the post-season friendly against England. It was a tough first test for Jamie on the international stage but there’s plenty more to come, and should the goal scoring for of last year translate to this it could be sooner rather than later.
Should those goals continue to flow this season, the question regarding the future of Maclaren is likely to crop up once again, with the strike in significant demand from various suitors towards the end of last season. Maclaren chose to stay with Brisbane for the second year of his two year deal, however with that due to expire at seasons end, and the likelihood of further overseas interest he won’t be short of options for his next contract. For now though the focus will be on performing here once again with Brisbane, and allowing National Team and contractual matters to sort themselves out.
2015 was a good one for Katebian, scoring 33 goals for Melbourne Victory in NPL 2 Victoria helping his former side win promotion. That run in front of goals saw Katebian score make his debut for the Victory in their FFA Cup run, going on to make two appearances for the club before being released at the end of the season.
Appearances have been rather thin in the pre-season for Katebian, which probably means that the majority of his football will be in the National Youth League, although a substitute’s appearance or two over the course of the season can’t be ruled out.
For Melbourne Katebian mostly played upfront, including in a game last season against the Young Roar in the NYL down at the Cleveland Showgrounds. On that day Katebian was the standout for the Victory despite Brisbane’s 3-1 win.
D’Agostino was on fire in the NPL Queensland this season, scoring 10 goals in 11 matches before being withdrawn to prepare for pre-season with the A-League side where the young striker has made a couple of substitutes appearances in the games.
Those goals in the NPL however were enough to secure a one year deal with Brisbane and the a trial with Belgian side Genk, which despite falling through shows that he’s on the radar of clubs in Europe.
While there’s no doubt D’Agostino would do a job in the A-League if given the opportunity, it’s unlikely that he will get more than a handful of in the first team this season so the majority of his playing time will likely be in the National Youth League.
Last season Jamie Maclaren was one of the biggest success stories for both Brisbane and the league as a whole becoming one of the league’s best strikers, and with just young duo Joey Katebian and Nicholas D’Agostino in reserve to Maclaren, the form of Brisbane’s #9 will be pivotal to the sides’ success this season.