Petratos moves on as DeVere re-signs


(Ashley Feder/Getty Images AsiaPac)

**Most of this was written on Wednesday, held over on the Australia Day public holiday with the intention of being released Friday morning. Then the Luke DeVere news broke. It’s here now, better late than never.

On Wednesday Dimitri Petratos confirmed that he was headed for Newcastle Jets on a three year contract at the end of the current season, leaving Brisbane after four seasons in orange.

As described back on Wednesday the biggest motivator for Petratos to join Newcastle was to be closer to his Sydney based family, and the addition of his younger brother Kosta from Perth Glory would only have added to the attraction for the older Petratos.

The one argument that has confused and frustrated me this week is about the salary cap being a reason for Petratos’ departure. The typical stories about the salary cap hurting the competition popped up again, saying that Brisbane were being punished for developing a young player.

The truth of the matter is that Petratos’ move to the Jets indicates that the salary cap is working with the league’s talent being spread around the 10 clubs. Brisbane also had plenty of opportunity to re-sign Petratos within the confines of the salary cap should they wish, and instead chose other midfield options, while Petratos took the opportunity to secure guaranteed playing time at a club closer to his family. Win-win.

The salary cap is working as intended, but if you want to look for an example of Brisbane losing a player due to the cap, Besart Berisha moving to Melbourne due to Brisbane’s lack of cap space and full marquee slots back in 2014 would be a far better example.

With Petratos moving on, Brisbane’s midfield depth has taken a hit with his departure leaving just the three midfielders signed up for next season. The good news for John Aloisi is that his current first choice midfield of Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay and Brett Holman all signed up, as is youngster Joe Caletti.

With a quartet of midfielders signed up things are solid, however with the expected starting midfield set to feature two 34 year olds and a 33 year and just four players currently signed, some additional options before the new season. Current midfield duo Jacob Pepper and Nathan Konstandopoulos are out of contract at season.

While Petratos announced his intention to leave Brisbane at seasons end, another player who was expected to do likewise recommitted to the club with Luke DeVere signing a new two year contract extension.

The deal keeps DeVere in Brisbane through the 2018-19 season when the central defender will be 29 years old, with the fringe Socceroo set to be the cornerstone of Brisbane’s defensive ranks for years to come.

This season was always going to be a big one for DeVere, who spent the first 18 months of his two year deal struggling with match sharpness, before the much publicised groin injury in the Villarreal game which kept him sidelined for the entirety of last season.

This year however he’s formed a solid partnership with Jade North at the heart of the Brisbane backline, with most experts expecting DeVere to be firmly in the calculations when Ange Postecoglou names his next National Team squad.

There was a lot of speculation that DeVere would depart Brisbane for a second time as clubs both domestically and in Asia courted the big defender, but his re-signing is a massive boost to John Aloisi and the Brisbane squad.

With Luke DeVere now secured the defensive focus will now turn to the teams only out of contract defender, Jade North who recently turned 35. While the decision on his future is likely to be one solely made himself, it’s a good position for the Roar to be in with ¾ of the starting backline secured moving forward.

Now the attention will turn to the front third in particular where there are a number of out of contract players, including the often discussed Jamie Maclaren.

Current squad as at 27/01/2017
Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke DeVere, Jack Hingert, Connor O’Toole, Kye Rowles.
Midfielders- Shannon Brady, Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay, Tommy Oar.
Forwards- Brandon Borrello.

Out of contract-Manuel Arana, Thomas Broich, Nicholas D’Agostino, Joey Katebian, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Jacob Pepper, Jamie Maclaren, Jade North, Michael Theo.
Departing- Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle).


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