2016 brought with it plenty of ups and downs for Brisbane Roar with some dramatic late winners in big games, coupled with some big defeats. There was also yet more off field drama. As 2016 winds down, lets look back on the year as a whole. You can also read our recap of 2015 here.
2016 for the A-League side began with a home game against Perth Glory on January second, with a 2-1 win over Perth sending Brisbane back to the top of the table. That game however would be the final game that Jamie Maclaren would play for a month, with the inform striker joining the Olyroos Rio 2016 qualification campaign and Brisbane’s results suffered as a result.
In three games without Maclaren’s services, Brisbane picked up just one point out of nine, scored just the one goal and suffered a 4-0 thumping away to Melbourne Victory. Upon Maclaren’s return, Brisbane picked up a 3-1 win away to Sydney to round out January.
January however is also a busy time off the park with the mid-season transfer window in affect and Brisbane made a couple of significant moves in this time. Youngster Joe Caletti was brought in as one for the future, while a former prodigy return to Brisbane with Tommy Oar signing a 2.5 year deal. A number of the clubs off-contract stars also had their futures secured around this time, as the likes of Jamie Young, Daniel Bowles, Brandon Borrello and Jack Hingert recommitting for future seasons.
February began with a comprehensive home win against Central Coast Mariners, however two poor performances on the road against Perth (6-3) and Adelaide (3-0), in addition to a draw at home to Newcastle left Brisbane sitting slightly off the top of the table.
March saw three massive home games against Western Sydney, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC, all of which brought about dramatic scenes. Two late goals against the Wanderers from Maclaren and Dimitri Petratos were follow by a 5-0 revenge win over the Victory and a late Henrique winner against Sydney FC, all of which put Brisbane right back into Premiership contention.
The final month of the regular season saw Brisbane looking forward to the final two rounds of the season with their destiny in their own hands, and the capitalised on that with a 2-1 come from behind win over Newcastle Jets.
Results elsewhere around the league dictated that if Brisbane defeated Melbourne Victory away from home in round 27, Brisbane would pick up their third Premiers Plate at the home of the outgoing Premiers. Ultimately however it was a case of the one that got away, as Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas denied Brisbane time and again as the game ended scoreless.
That 0-0 draw, coupled with a win for Western Sydney ultimately saw Brisbane end the season in 3rd place and opening the A-League Finals series with a second clash in 6 days against Melbourne.
This time back in Brisbane there were goals, and the defending champions had one hand on a semi-final place after Besart Berisha gave Victory the lead late on, before an immediate equaliser from Matt McKay seemed destined to send the tie into extra time.
Extra time however was avoided in the most dramatic moment of 2016 as Thomas Broich leaped highest to head home the winner at the near post in the final minute of stoppage time, sending Brisbane into a semi-final clash against Western Sydney.
That semi-final couldn’t have started any better for Brisbane, who led 3-0 after 25 minutes, before a Romeo Castelen hat trick inspired a spectacular comeback. After Jamie Maclaren equalised late on to send the tie into extra time, Dario Vidosic scored what would ultimately prove to be the winner in the first period of extra time, sending the Wanderers to Adelaide for the Grand Final and ending Brisbane’s season.
Following the season, John Aloisi began to reshape his squad, with the likes of Devante Clut, Jean Carlos Solórzano, Shane Stefanutto, Javier Hervas, James Donachie, Jerome Polenz, Steven Lustica and Corona all moving on.
In addition to those mentioned above, long-time fan favourite Henrique also departed the club, after 142 appearances and 39 goals. The naturalised Brazilian, whose Grand Final heroics will live long in the memory, received a warm welcome upon his return to Brisbane earlier this month.
Amongst the new players ahead of the 2016-17 season were Danish midfielder Thomas Kristensen, who arrived as a replacement for Corona, Spanish winger Manuel Arana and former Western Sydney midfielder Jacob Pepper. Youngsters Connor O’Toole, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Kye Rowles, Nicholas D’Agostino and Joey Katebian were also added to the mix.
The biggest off-season acquisition however was former Socceroo Brett Holman, who arrives in Brisbane on a two year deal and is expected to drive the sides style of play this season.
The pre-season began behind closed doors down on the Gold Coast as Brisbane Roar lost 2-1 to Sydney FC, with Thomas Broich scoring the first goal of the long campaign. Further pre-season hit-outs against Western Sydney and Central Coast were arranged, with an extra game against Perth scheduled after the Mariners game was washed out.
In addition to games against rival A-League clubs, two fixtures against BPL and NPL select games were scheduled, with both games more competitive than the respective games in 2015.
The clubs FFA Cup campaign ended at the Round of 32 stage for the second straight season in mid August, as a Dino Djulbic brace gave Perth Glory a 2-0 win at Ballymore. The A-League season began at home in October with another clash against the Victory, and it was late heroics once again as Luke DeVere scored with the last kick of the game to rescue a point.
A 4-0 loss away to Newcastle in round two sparked a 10 game unbeaten run, with wins against Central Coast and Perth rounding out October. November began with a home game against Melbourne City, whose high priced attack was shut out by the Roar in a 1-0 win making it 3 straight, however four straight draws saw Brisbane drop behind the pace of league leading Sydney FC.
The playing surface has been a big topic in December, and while it wasn’t a factor in the 4-0 win over Adelaide, it most certainly was in the clubs last home game of 2016 against Western Sydney. In Brisbane’s final game of 2016 the Roar lost 2-0 away form home against Sydney FC, which saw them slide 12 points behind the Sky Blues, ending the calendar year in 3rd place but well and truly in contention for the silverware this season.
2016 for the W-League squad began in Adelaide with a 3-1 victory over the Lady Reds which saw Brisbane all but secure a return to the finals. That finals spot however would only be secured on the final weekend of the competition as a 0-0 draw away to Newcastle saw Brisbane finish the regular season in 4th place and set up a Semi-Final clash against the unbeaten premiers Melbourne City.
That semi-final was an instant classic as Haley Kopmeyer and the Brisbane backline denied the highly favoured City attackers for 120 minutes as the game went all the way to penalties. Brisbane left-back Angela Beard was the unlucky player to miss in the shootout as City went on to secure a home Grand Final.
For Brisbane, despite the disappointment of going out on penalties, a return to the finals made the season a relative success and hinted at a return to glory in future seasons.
The long W-League off-season this year was punctuated by the Matildas campaign at the Rio 2016 Olympics, with Katrina Gorry,Clare Polkinghorne, Tameka Butt and new signing Mackenzie Arnold representing the nation. A quarter-final loss to hosts Brazil –once again on penalties- was perhaps disappointing but understandable.
Ahead of the new W-League season there were a host of changes to the squad, starting with the coaching role where Mel Andreatta stepped in to replace the outgoing Belinda Wilson who departed the role after four seasons. The playing roster was also refreshed with Mackenzie Arnold, Maddy Evans and Nina Frausing-Pedersen coming in to strengthen the squad, with the likes of Haley Kopmeyer, Ruth Blackburn and Gabe Marzano moving on.
On the eve of the season however there were dramas off field with the playing group asked to sign new contracts at a reduced rate, an issued which seemingly stemmed from the clubs previous management team and was quickly resolved.
On the park the season started in front of a stand alone W-League regular season record crowd of 3,105 people at Spencer Park as Brisbane defeated Sydney FC 2-1. Just two wins from the following seven games sees Brisbane end 2016 in 5th place, two points out of the finals with four regular season games remaining.
2016 for the Young Roar began with the team halfway through their NYL campaign and in position to make an assault on the Conference A title, before a 1-0 loss at home to Perth Glory which ultimately saw Brisbane finish the season in second place despite strong wins over both Melbourne sides to round out the season.
After a short break the 2016 NPL Queensland campaign got underway with a Brisbane derby at Perry Park as Jesse Daley’s strike earned Brisbane a point against the Strikers in what was a fiery encounter.
For the Young Roar however it’s about more than just results as the players strive to impress and force their way into the A-League squad, and a number of players pressed their claims for a spot with Nicholas D’Agostino headlining the group with 10 goals in 11 games.
Others such as midfielders Nicholas Panetta, Nathan Konstandopoulos and Jesse Daley, wingers Joseph Champness and Jayden Prasad, and defender Cameron Crestani all putting in strong performances over the year.
Arguably the biggest highlight of the season came in round 15 as Aaron Reardon’ sensational overhead goal gave Brisbane three points against Olympic FC. If you missed it, or would like to relive the strike, here’s the link.
Brisbane ended the season in 9th place on 25 points, with seven wins from 22 games, with Nicholas D’Agostino winning the Young Player of the Year award.
Following the conclusion of the NPL Queensland there were a number of changes with James Robinson coming in to replace the outgoing Josh McCloughan, who departed late in the season. In terms of players, Western Pride duo Joseph Duckworth and Hayden McHenery, joined the set-up, while the likes of Jesse Daley and Jaiden Walker moved on.
Then began the 2016-17 National Youth League where Brisbane fought back from 3 goals down at half-time to salvage a point in the opening game, before wins against Adelaide and Perth set a top two clash with Melbourne City. At the first time of asking Brisbane were 2-0 up approaching half-time before the weather intervened, with the resulting replay won comprehensively by the away side.
That result sees Brisbane end 2016 in 2nd on the table, one point behind City and with all to play for early in the new season.
While there’s been plenty of on field news over 2016, there’s also been no shortage of off-field news with plenty of ups and downs over the last 12 months.
Starting with a positive development and back in March there was an announcement which was long overdue of a new training and administration facility to be built in the City of Logan. Updates on the progress have been limited although it’s believed that preliminary work has began with the aim of having the facility operational by the start of pre-season in 2017.
From there however the off-field news went south with David Pourre announcing his departure from the Managing Directors role in the weeks following the end of the season. An advisory board consisting of Pourre, former MP Robert Cavalucci and former W-League midfielder Alicia Ferguson forming the board, a board which was ultimately shut down by Daniel Cobb.
The end of May is when things really kicked off when the FFA once again issued an ultimatum to the Bakrie Group -3rd in 12 months- over their long term intentions of the Roar. After a request for extra time to prepare a response was asked for –and granted- the Indonesian owners were able to stave off an intervention from the FFA with the promise of an investment of capital and a replacement for Pourre to be appointed.
That appointment arrived barely 24 hours later as Daniel Cobb arrived as the clubs new Managing Director, followed by the shock news that Cobb would be leading a consortium which would ultimately purchase the licence from the beleaguered owners.
Cobb however was a somewhat controversial appointment after his chequered history in the game was exposed in the days following the appointment and his tenure would only add to that.
Over the coming two and a half months, Cobb had a falling out with the clubs Football Department, oversaw multiple off-field issues and was regularly out of reach for staff on the ground.
Cobb’s contentious and tumultuous tenure ultimately came to an end in August after the players’ payments were once again late, with Cobb and the owners having disagreements over who was responsible for this latest drama. On his way out of the door, Cobb made one final offer for the clubs licence which was ultimately rejected.
Looking briefly to 2017 however and Brisbane may not have seen the back of Cobb with the clubs former MD claiming in December that he was part of a bid to purchase the licence. Cobb however has his own legal dramas to deal with however, with an appearance in the Adelaide magistrates court over charges relating to his business interests.
After Cobb’s departure, Mark Kingsman became the clubs third Managing Director of 2016, with a quick resolution to negations over the use of Ballymore as a training base for 2016-17 amongst his early priorities. Following Kingsman’ appointment, things off field have seen a return of the stability seen under Pourre, with hopes high that 2017 will see the clubs off-field stability remain in tact.
2016 brought with it no silverware for Brisbane Roar there were plenty of fantastic moments, most memorably the Thomas Broich injury time winner in the finals. As we move on to 2017, there’s plenty to look forward to with Brisbane still alive in all three competitions currently underway, in addition to which there’s the FFA Cup coming up in July, the NPL gets underway in March and offcourse the AFC Champions League which for Brisbane begins with a qualifier at home in late January.
Sydney FC (2) Brosque 36’, Ninkovic 63’
Brisbane Roar (0)
16,510 at Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney.
36’ (1-0) Sydney opened the scoring 10 minutes before the break with a well crafted move resulting in Alex Brosque scoring against his former side.
62’ (2-0) The home side then doubled their advantage on the back of a Brisbane mistake as Milos Ninkovic found the back of the net.
While it’s unfair to say that Brisbane were poor tonight and in truth showed they could trouble the league leaders, they were far too inefficient to get anything out of the game. Petratos, Maclaren and Borrello combined to spurn the Roars best chances, while Manuel Arana hit the crossbar with his effort. The fact that Brisbane failed to create one clear cut chance in the final 20 minutes against a 10 man Sydney side sums up Brisbane’s ability to create in the final third.
Strong Sydney While we are all lamenting the profligacy of Brisbane upfront today, we’ve got to give some credit to Sydney who put in another strong showing tonight which extended their unbeaten streak to 13 matches. The front four in particular for Sydney combine well and have a strong understanding, while Wilkinson and Jurman were comfortable at the other end of the park.
Despite that however, the Sky Blues did reconfirm their position as the most cynical side in the competition with 16 fouls and four cards picked up on the night from Shaun Evans. It’s not just the number however it’s the nature and context of the fouls which make them so cynical, mostly to stop counter attacks.
Brisbane XI- Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Petratos, Oar, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutions- Arana for Oar (56’), Borrello for Hingert (69’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, Bowles, Pepper.
Yellow Cards- Arana.
Red Cards- Nil.
Sydney XI- Vukovic, Grant, Wilkinson, Jurman, Zullo, Brillante, O’Neill, Holosko, Ninkovic, Brosque, Bobo.
Substitutions- Ibini for Holosko (63’), Simon for Bobo (79’), Ryall for Ninkovic (89’).
Unused Substitutes- Manos, Carney.
Yellow Cards- Brosque, Brillante, Zullo, Simon.
Red Cards- Brosque.
p Next Brisbane return home for a clash with 5th placed Newcastle Jets in the Saturday late afternoon game. Here’s hoping the playing surface at Suncorp Stadium is of similar standard to that of the Sydney Football Stadium tonight, which recovered well from back to back concerts earlier this month.
While all the talk of unbeaten streaks has surrounded tonight’s opposition, Brisbane Roar have quietly chalked up their own 10 game unbeaten streak, which is their second longest in history.
While the first half last week against the Wanderers was a bit of stalemate –in part due to the pitch-, before the game really opened up in the second half. The big story this week for Brisbane has been around Jamie Maclaren with his future once again generating headlines in the press.
While his record of six goals in eleven game this season is still impressive he’s been a bit flat in recent weeks, and had the chances last week in particular to win the game for his team.
What have they done lately?
Not a lot, Graham Arnold’s side has only gone and become the only side in the history of the A-League to enter round 13 unbeaten, and have been drawing comparisons with Brisbane’s historic side that went 36 games unbeaten.
The Sky Blues long unbeaten run has been underpinned by the form of foreign duo Filip Holosko and Milos Ninkovic, in addition to evergreen former Roar player Alex Brosque, with the trio contributing 17 goals between them.
In addition to that attacking trio, Sydney also possesses the leagues meanest defence with just five goals conceded so far making them an all-round tough proposition.
Brisbane– Jamie Maclaren (6)
Sydney– Alex Brosque (7)
John Aloisi has been consistent in his selection this season with his first XI and substitutes seemingly ingrained in their positions. If there was to be a change in the Brisbane starting XI it would likely be Thomas Broich reverting to a role on the bench, but the 7 day break between games means he should be ready to go.
Brisbane- Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Oar, Petratos, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Young, Bowles, Pepper, Arana, Borrello.
Graham Arnold is also likely to stick with a winning side, although their Monday night clash against Adelaide could see a couple of changes to freshen the side up. Brandon O’Neill could make a return to the side in midfield, while if Arnold chooses to rest any of his attacking stars he has the likes Bernie Ibini and David Carney in reserve.
Sydney- Vukovic, Grant, Wilkinson, Jurman, Zullo, Brillante, O’Neill, Holosko, Ninkovic, Brosque, Bobo.
Substitutes- Oldfield, Ryall, Dimitrijevic, Ibini, Simon.
This season against Sydney FC
Round 7- Brisbane Roar 1-1 Sydney FC
When these two sides met on ‘Maroon Saturday’ back in November it was arguably the toughest test the league leaders have faced, with the sides playing out an entertaining 1-1 draw here in Brisbane.
Josh Brillante’ strike game the visitors a deserved lead and rewarded the visitors for their strong play, before Thomas Kristensen equalised against the run of play to send the sides in even at the break.
The second half was an open, free flowing affair with both sides creating the chances to win the game, with Jamie Maclaren and Bernie Ibini having the best chances for their respective sides.
The big take away from the night however was that despite Sydney’s methodical dominant style of play, Brisbane have both the weapons and the style of play to hurt the league leaders which should make this a good contest.
All-Time Record against Sydney FC
Over the course of the season we’ll keep tabs on the yellow and red cards handed out each week across the A-League. It all adds up to the Fair play Award on the A-League’s annual awards night, an award which was won last season by Brisbane Roar.
While the fair play award is far from the most important trophy on offer in the A-League, it’s vital to have all of your players fit and available for the big games towards the end of the season and ill-discipline could prove to be crucial if players miss big games at the business end of the season.
Brisbane Roar have been the most successful disciplined side over the 11 year history of the A-League, winning the award on six occasions including four straight from 2010-11 through 2013-14. Other winners include Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC. The full list of winners is below.
2005-06- Melbourne Victory
2006-07- Perth Glory
2007-08- Newcastle Jets
2008-09- Brisbane Roar
2009-10- Sydney FC
2010-11- Brisbane Roar
2011-12- Brisbane Roar
2012-13- Brisbane Roar
2013-14- Brisbane Roar
2014-15- Wellington Phoenix
2015-16- Brisbane Roar
For those unaware, the award is decided on a points system, with points accrued for Yellow Cards, Second Yellow Cards and Straight Red Cards.
Here’s a breakdown on how the points system works
1 Point- Yellow Card
2 Points- Second Yellow Card
3 Points- Red Card
All data in this series is collated from the official match reports posted on the A-League website.
A-League Disciplinary Table
Starting with the A-League disciplinary table and the table has tightened up as we approach the halfway mark of the season with Melbourne Victory continuing to lead the way. At the other end of the table Melbourne City continue to be the leagues least disciplined side racking up 34 yellows and two red cards in 12 games so far.
Last seasons defending champion of the Disciplinary Record table has moved up the table from 8th to fifth in the last month, and are one of five teams within four points of the top of the table.
That strong form over the past month has seen Brisbane hold the best disciplinary record over the month of December, narrowly ahead of Adelaide United. At the other end of the table it’s been a bad month for Western Sydney whose 11 yellow and 2 red cards has seen them drop from 7th to 9th on the table, while Melbourne City consolidated their spot at the base of the table.
Individual Disciplinary Table
Moving on to the individual table and Adelaide United midfielder Isaias has joined Rhys Williams and Neil Kilkenny as the only players who’ve accrued a suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards. There are 14 other players on the cusp of a one match suspension, a list which includes Brisbane left-back Corey Brown.
As we approach the halfway mark of the season, there have been 266 cautions handed out, which is an average of 4.5 per game, which is marginally down from the November average of 4.85 per game.
Matthew Conger became the 12th referee of the A-League season over the past month and as such is the least common referee, while Chris Beath remains the most common having refereed 11 matches so far this season.
Matthew Conger is also the referee with the lowest average cards handed out per game (3 per game), with Stephen Lucas (3.33) and Peter Green (3.75) not far behind. At the other end of the spectrum Kurt Ams leads the way with an average of 7.33 yellow cards in the three games he’s controlled this season.
W-League Disciplinary Table
Finally, we move to the W-League where there’s been a change at the top with Western Sydney Wanderers dropping from first to fifth, with Adelaide moving up from second to lead the way after 8 rounds.
At the other end of the table, Brisbane Roar now sit at the bottom of the table with 15 yellow cards, while Sydney FC have moved up from the foot of the table into 7th.
The next update will be at the conclusion Round 16 in the A-League, while next month will be the final update of the W-League table.
There isn’t a great deal of news to report this week in the former players wrap with just 10 in action across Europe and Asia, and no real standout performances.
In fact the most interesting story this week for this feature is that Corona and Javi Hervas’ sides faced off in the Spanish Segunda, although Corona was an unused sub and Hervas entered the game in second half stoppage time.
With the winter break now underway in Holland and Germany, and the Spanish league taking a one week break over the holiday period, I might give this feature a rest next week before a return early in 2017. Here’s the tables.
Central Coast Mariners (1) O’Donovan 57′
Brisbane Roar (2) Petratos 33′, Maclaren 77′
6063 at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Brisbane Roar have made it 9 games unbeaten following a 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners this evening taking them back into third on the A-League ladder.
After controlling the opening exchanges, Brisbane opened the scoring just past the half hour mark thanks to Dimitri Petratos’ first goal of the season. A hand ball on the edge of the area by Liam Rose, Dimitri Petratos stepped up to take the set piece opportunity and his free kick went into the top corner at the far post leaving Paul Izzo no chance.
Central Coast Mariners came back into the game after the half time break and were rewarded for their efforts by Roy O’Donovan, with the Irish striker expertly picked out by Fabio Ferreira on the counter attack.
In response John Aloisi introduced Thomas Broich to proceedings and Brisbane’s marquee man was instrumental in the winning goal. After controlling a cross field switch of play with his first touch, Broich proceeded to float a cross to the back post for Jamie Maclaren to nod home his first headed goal in the A-League.
Central Coast pushed for a winner at the end of the game but were denied by Brisbane’s back four who along with late substitute Jacob Pepper were able to see out the game.
Brisbane Roar XI- Theo, Hingert, DeVere, North, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Petratos, Borrello, Oar, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Arana for Borrello (67’), Broich for Petratos (71’), Pepper for Maclaren (85’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, Bowles.
Yellow Cards- Nil
Red Cards- Nil
Central Coast Mariners XI- Izzo, Galloway, Ascroft, McGing, Neill, Rose, Montgomery, Powell, Ferreira, Pain, O’Donovan.
Substitutions- Berry for Rose (46’), Buhagiar for Pain (77’), Appiah for Powell (85’).
Unused Substitutes- Necevski, Peterson.
Yellow Cards- O’Donovan.
Red Cards- Nil
This evenings win over the Mariners capped off a busy day with all three Brisbane Roar sides in action away from home, with the National Youth League side down in Melbourne while the W-League side joined the A-League side in Gosford for a double-header.
The trio of games started in Gosford with the Brisbane Roar women’s team taking on Canberra and looking for revenge from their loss earlier in the season .Unfortunately for Mel Andreatta’s side, defensive errors cost them as the host side Canberra United ran out 5-1 winners on the day.
Two goals each for Nickoletta Flannery and Ashleigh Sykes, in addition to a Stephanie Ochs penalty gave Canberra a comprehensive win and the season double over Brisbane. The only consolation for Brisbane came with Emily Gielnik’ stoppage time goal, but it was too little, too late.
Canberra United (5) Flannery 13’, 53’, Sykes 50’, 56’, Ochs 28’ p.k
Brisbane Roar (1) Gielnik 90+2
National Youth League
In the second game of the afternoon Brisbane Roar moved to the top of the Conference A standings following a 2-1 win against Melbourne Victory.
Goals from Nicholas D’Agostino and Connor O’Toole were enough to cancel out Joshua Hope’ first half strike.
The win, coupled with Adelaide United’s win over Melbourne City see’s Brisbane sit top of Conference A with four matches remaining in the season.
Melbourne Victory (1) Hope 23′
Brisbane Roar (2) D’Agostino 13′, O’Toole 87′
The 2016-17 free agency window opened on December first which means that out of contract players can now negotiate with rival clubs to secure their futures. In part one we took a look at the Brisbane players who are out of contract at the end of the season, today in part two we’ll take a look at players from the nine rival clubs in addition to potential additions from the youth setup.
Before we get into potential free agents from rival clubs it’s worth remembering the current situation for Brisbane Roar, who have 12 players signed for next season. While they have the full allotment of visa spaces available, the two marquee places have been filled by Brett Holman and Tommy Oar.
We’ll start by taking a look at the players in the Young Roar set-up where there’s a few players who could be worthy of a chance. It is worth noting however that just two youth graduates –Nicholas D’Agostino and Nathan Konstandopoulos- have made their debut under Aloisi, it’s likely that chances for players in this category are likely to be limited.
At the top of the list for youth players who could get a chance is Young Roar captain Cameron Crestani, whose been apart of the setup for 3 seasons now and has improved his game each season as a central defender.
Crestani has also played limited time at both right and left back which indicates versatility and could make him a prime candidate to provide cover in the first team. With just five defenders signed for next season there will undoubtedly be additions in this area, and Crestani is the prime in house option.
Further forward the likes of Joseph Champness and Nicholas Panetta have started the 2016-17 NYL season strongly and have jumped to the front of the queue in terms of first team prospects. With the likes of Thomas Broich, Manuel Arana and Dimitri Petratos all out of contract there’s a chance that a spot could open up for somebody, although more experienced options here are more likely.
The words of John Aloisi at a fans forum last year about moving players on after two seasons if they haven’t progressed to the first team level indicate that for a number of these players it’s a big 6 months ahead through the second half of the National Youth League and into the NPL Queensland.
While not strictly youth team players, the opportunity to create greater first team opportunity for fringe squad players and scholarship players like Kye Rowles, Connor O’Toole, Shannon Brady, Nicholas D’Agostino and Joe Caletti is also a factor which could limit opportunities for other players to be promoted from the youth squad.
When it comes to free agents, we’ve broken them down into three separate categories; the unlikely high priced options, the nostalgic options and the youngsters with potential.
The unlikely high priced options
– Luke Brattan (Melbourne City), Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City), Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC).
We’ll start the opposition player list with the high priced options and while those mentioned above significantly add to the squad and bring a bit of excitement, although the truth is signings of this calibre from rival clubs are unlikely particularly with both marquee positions full. It’s far more likely that Brisbane looks to either players returning from overseas or visa imported players to fill this category.
The nostalgic options
James Donachie (Melbourne Victory), Henrique (Adelaide United), Jai Ingham (Melbourne Victory), Lachlan Jackson (Newcastle Jets), Mitch Nichols (Western Sydney Wanderers).
Looking to this years group of free agents there are a number of players who could return to Brisbane and add to the squad. At the back the likes of James Donachie or Lachlan Jackson could compete with Daniel Bowles for a central defensive spot should Jade North not return.
Further forward the likes of Jai Ingham or former Grand Final Henrique could provide an attacking option off the bench, although the wide midfield positions are well stocked with internal options.
In years past Brisbane brought a number of players back for a second spell at the club, with the likes of Steven Lustica, Matt McKay, Jean Carlos Solórzano and Daniel Bowles all returning after previously moving on.
Other former Brisbane players who are currently available include the likes of Luke Brattan, Jason Geria, Matt Jurman, Ben Litfin, Steven Lustica, Liam Reddy and Matt Acton, who’s currently on an injury replacement contract with Melbourne Victory.
The youngsters with potential
Kearyn Baccus (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jordan Elsey (Adelaide United), Scott Galloway (Central Coast Mariners), Alex Grant (Perth Glory), George Howard (Melbourne Victory), Marc Marino (Adelaide United), Lachlan Scott (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jordan Thurtell (Perth Glory), Aryn Williams (Perth Glory).
The final category that we’ll take a look at is young players who’ve shown promise at times in the A-League, which is a group that Brisbane have recruited from in the past. The likes of Jacob Pepper, Diogo Ferreira, Andrew Redmayne, Kofi Danning and Matt Jurman all fit into this category amongst others.
This year’s group is headlined by the likes of Jordan Elsey, Scott Galloway and Alex Grant, who’ve all been semi-regulars in the A-League over the past 18 months and could be worth pursing. Galloway however has only just moved from Melbourne Victory to Central Coast Mariners and Jordan Elsey is out for the season with a knee injury so they may not be viable targets.
The likes of Aryn Williams, who could provide cover across the backline –including at Right Back where depth is limited-, while goalkeeper Jordan Thurtell may fancy a return to Queensland after three seasons in Perth.
While there’s plenty of strikers in the group above, with Brisbane having Katebian and D’Agostino amongst their own free agents it’s unlikely that they will delve into that market, but there’s a few handy options amongst them.
If I had to guess which players Brisbane would target, id say that Brisbane are likely to look internally at their own options more than those of rival clubs. In terms of players, the likes of Henrique, Lachlan Jackson, Aryn Williams, Alex Grant, James Donachie and Scott Galloway appear to be the best suited for Brisbane’s needs although im sure there will be a number of clubs who have similar ideas.
In truth, it’s far more likely that Brisbane re-signs the majority of their free agents, promote one –maybe two- of their own youth prospects and spend the rest of their resources on bringing in high quality imports.
There’s plenty of others to consider, here’s the full list of free agents at the end of the 2016-17 Season
*Visa players in bold.
Marcelo Carrusca, Sergio Cirio, Jordan Elsey, Eugene Galekovic, Sergio Guardiola (loan), John Hall, Ryan Kitto, Iacopo La Rocca, Marc Marino, Michael Marrone, Dylan McGowan, George Mells, Nikola Mileusnic, Mark Ochieng, Taylor Regan, Isaias Sanchez, Henrique Silva.
Manuel Arana, Thomas Broich, Nicholas D’Agostino, Luke DeVere, Joey Katebian, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Thomas Kristensen, Jamie Maclaren, Jade North, Jacob Pepper, Dimitri Petratos, Michael Theo.
Central Coast Mariners
Jake Adelson, Kwabena Appiah, Josh Bingham, Fabio Ferreira, Jacques Faty, Matthew Fletcher, Scott Galloway, Paul Izzo, Brad McDonald, Nick Montgomery, Ivan Necevski, Roy O’Donovan, Jacob Poscoliero, Michael Neill, Storm Roux, Mickael Tavares.
Dean Bouzanis, Luke Brattan (loan), Anthony Caceres (loan), Nicholas Colazo (loan), Bruno Fornaroli, Corey Gameiro, Steve Kuzmanovski, Josh Rose, Thomas Sorensen.
Matt Acton, Nicholas Ansell, Mitch Austin, Alan Baro, Max Beister (loan), Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Alastair Bray, Leigh Broxham, James Donachie, Daniel Georgievski, Jason Geria, George Howard, Jai Ingham, Rashid Mahazi, Lawrence Thomas, James Troisi, Carl Valeri.
Andy Brennan, Mitch Cooper, Labinot Haliti, Andrew Hoole, Lachlan Jackson, Ben Kantarovski, Ben Kennedy, Johnny Koutroumbis, Mao Leilei, Daniel Mullen, Morten Nordstrand, Radovan Pavicevic, Mateo Poljak, Steven Ugarkovic.
Diego Castro, Joel Chianese, Dino Djulbic, Nick Feely, Richard Garcia, Alex Grant, Chris Harold, Nebosa Marinkovic, Mitchell Oxborrow, Kosta Petratos, Liam Reddy, Josh Risdon, Milan Smiljanic, Jordan Thurtell, Marc Warren, Aryn Williams, Rhys Williams, Brandon Wilson.
George Blackwood, Bobo, Aaron Calver, David Carney, Milos Dimitrijevic, Rhyan Grant, Filip Holosko, Bernie Ibini (loan), Milos Ninkovic, Chris Oldfield, Brandon O’Neill, Matthew Jurman, Sebastian Ryall, Riley Woodcock.
Roly Bonevacia, Thomas Doyle, Andrew Durante, Ben Litfin, Lewis Italiano, Roy Krishna, Vince Lia, Ryan Lowry, Michael McGlinchey, Glen Moss, Adam Parkhouse, Alex Rodriguez, Liam Rogerson, Alex Rufer, Hamish Watson, Jacob Tratt.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Kearyn Baccus, Shannon Cole, Dimas Delgado, Brendan Hamill, Jumpei Kusukami, Steven Lustica, Emilio Martinez, Nico Martinez (loan), Scott Neville, Mitch Nichols, Bruno Pinatares, Andrew Redmayne, Lachlan Scott, Mario Shabow, Jaushua Sotirio, Jerrad Tyson, Liam Youlley.