Roar start pre-season on winning note

Brisbane Roar (2) Shannon Brady 60’, Rahmat Akbari 89’
Lions FC (0)
At Lions Stadium, Richlands

Brisbane Roar have won the inaugural heritage shield with a 2-0 win over Brisbane Premier League side Lions FC 2-0 last night in Richlands last night. Second half goals from Shannon Brady and Rahmat Akbari were enough to get the Roar’s pre-season campaign off to a winning note and avenge the 1-0 loss the last time the two clubs met in the 2013 pre-season.

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1 game down and already some silverware in the trophy cabinet.

Goals 1-0
(60’) Brisbane opened the scoring on the hour mark with some tidy combination play down the right hand side resulting in Jack Hingert’s cross being slotted home by Shannon Brady.
2-0 (89’) With referee Chris Beath all set to blow the full-time whistle, Emilio Martinez – a recent addition to the Young Roar squad- played an inch perfect through ball for Young Roar teammate Rahmat Akbari beating substitute Lions keeper Sam Long to secure the win.

Formation
The first major surprise of the night was noticeable right from the kick-off with John Aloisi sending his side out in an unfamiliar 3-4-3 shape as opposed to the 4-2-3-1 formation he utilised throughout all of last season.

The new looked formation saw Dane Ingham take up another new role on the right side of the back three, with Luke Devere central and Jade North on the left. That released both Jack Hingert and Corey Brown into more advanced wing back roles, with midfield pairing Matt McKay and Thomas Kristensen anchoring the midfield. Brett Holman and Shannon Brady provided the width on the right and left sides respectively, flanking young striker Nicholas D’Agostino who got the start up-front with marquee signing Massimo Maccarone watching on from the sidelines.

Lions pressure & penalty
With the Brisbane backline still adjusting to the new formation, the home side started strongly with striker Sekou Jomanday providing a handful for the Roar in the opening stages, firstly going down after a challenge from Luke Devere in the penalty area before sending his shot wide moments later.

That early pressure paid dividends for Lions in the 23rd minute when Henry Hore was brought down by Jade North in the penalty area. Brisbane custodian Michael Theo proved to be too good for Nathan Shepherd however, diving to his left to deny the Lions full-back the opening goal.

While the home side continued to work hard in the second half trying to force home an equaliser they found half time substitute Jamie Young as difficult to beat as Theo in the first half, with Shaun Carlos coming the closest when his shot hit the post.

Second half subs
As expected in these early pre-season games there was a string of second half substitutions made, with a mixture of players from the Young Roar set-up joined by a pair of trialists hoping to earn a position in the squad.

Former Newcastle and Perth midfielder Mitch Oxborrow, and Spanish winger Guillermo Torres both got around half an hour to press their case to John Aloisi for a more permanent spot in the Brisbane set-up.

Oxborrow, 22 was a bit part player with Perth Glory last season making five appearances for the club before he was released at the conclusion of the season. A return to Newcastle beckoned with the midfielder joining NPL NNSW side Broadmeadow Magic before being given an A-League lifeline by Brisbane last week as an injury replacement for Daniel Bowles.

Torres, 21, is a Spanish attacker who previously played youth team football in England with Bolton Wanderers. Both players looked handy enough, with Lions keeper Luke Borean denying Torres a goal after his point blank header was deflected over for a corner.

Of the young players who entered the fray, Rahmat Akbari and Emilio Martinez made the biggest impression, with the duo combining for the second goal in the dying stages of the game.

Akbari, who’s scored 4 goals in 18 games this season in the NPL and has been amongst the most impressive Roar players this season, while Martinez is a new arrival in the set-up having recently joined after a stint with the Western Sydney Wanderers. Martinez also is a graduate of the same competition which first gave Tom Rogic his breakthrough into the professional game.

Brisbane Roar- Theo, Ingham, Devere, North, Hingert, Kristensen, McKay, Brown, Holman, D’Agostino, Brady.
Substitutions- Young for Theo (46’), Reardon for North (46’), O’Toole for Brown (46’), Akbari for Holman (61’), Oxborrow for Kristensen (61’), Torres for D’Agostino (61’), Leck for Brady (61’), Martinez for McKay (61’), Sawyer for Devere (61’).
Unused Substitutes- Bilic, Yoon.

Lions FC- Borean, Thompson, Jarrad, Simic, Shepherd, Reardon, Carlos, Cokell, Davie, Hore, Jomanday.
Substitutions- Cosgrove for Cokell (46’), Piper for Reardon (51’), Exon-Taylor for Davie (51’), Kim for Simic (63’), Sargent for Thompson (63’), Gaffney for Carlos (73’), Diaz for Jomanday (73’), Rucker for Shepherd (80’), Smith for Jarrad (80’), Webster for Hore (80’), Long for Borean (80’).
Unused Substitutes- Nil

 

Up next– Pre-season action continues with another hit-out against BPL opposition in the form of Peninsula Power at A.J. Kelly Field in Redcliffe on Saturday August 5th.


Brisbane sign Massimo Maccarone on marquee deal

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(Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images Europe)

Brisbane Roar have found their replacement for departed striker Jamie Maclaren, with former Italian international Massimo Maccarone arriving on a one year deal as the clubs new marquee player.

Maccarone, 37, brings a large degree of top level experience with him to Brisbane, having played in the Serie A with Parma, Siena, Palermo, Sampdoria and Empoli in addition to spending four seasons in the Premier League with Middlesbrough back in the mid 2000’s.

After starting out with Serie C club Prato, Maccarone moved to Empoli in 2000 where his 26 goals in 68 appearances saw him earn a call up to the National side despite playing in Italy’s second tier.

A move to the Premier League with Middlesbrough soon followed and the Italian played a role in their 2004 League Cup triumph and their run to the 2006 UEFA Cup Final.

As a marquee player Maccarone joins a short list of players to fill that role at the Roar, following in the footsteps of Craig Moore, Thomas Broich and Matt McKay. Brett Holman is set to join Maccarone as the other marquee player for the upcoming season. Tommy Oar was set to fill one of the two outside of the cap spots this season before his departure to APOEL FC which opened up the possibility of signing Maccarone.

Maccarone then returned to Italy in 2007 to play in the Serie A for the first time in his career, where he joined Siena. Additional moves to Palermo and Sampdoria followed before Maccarone returned to Empoli in 2011 with the goal of returning the club to the Serie A.

In his second spell at the club Maccarone scored 63 goals in 176 appearances over six seasons, helping the club back to the Serie a back in 2013-14. Last season was a bit of a down year however for both Maccarone and Empoli, with the striker netting just the 5 goals in 28 appearances last season as Empoli was relegated back to the Serie B after a three year stay in the top tier.

As mentioned Maccarone was called up to represent the National side back in 2002 ahead of the World Cup making the two appearances for Italy, the first of which was as a substitute against England.

The one thing that Maccarone brings above anything else to the Roar squad is experience, although how he fits in as a replacement for a younger, more mobile striker in Jamie Maclaren will be interesting. How the 37 year old deals with the heat and humidity here in Australia is also a question.

Maccarone adds some experience to Brisbane’s striking options and figures to start the season as the clubs first choice number 9, with Nicholas D’Agostino and Corey Gameiro in reserve. The big need in the final third is now in the wide areas where options are currently limited to new signing Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady and perhaps Gameiro.

The signing of Maccarone takes Brisbane’s squad to 20 players, with both marquee spaces now full along with three of the five visa spots. Previously John Aloisi hinted that there would be two more signings in the final third with a winger and a striker the priority, so with Maccarone in the bag attention is likely to switch towards the flanks.

Brisbane Roar squad as at 17/07/2017
Goalkeepers– Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Dane Ingham, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Avram Papadopoulos.
Midfielders– Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay, Jacob Pepper.
Forwards- Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Nicholas D’Agostino, Corey Gameiro, Massimo Maccarone.


Dane Ingham elevated to First Team squad

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(Chris Hyde/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Following a breakout season which saw him go from playing youth league football to the World stage at he Confederations cup, Brisbane Roar have elevated young full-back Dane Ingham to their first team for the upcoming season.

Ingham 19, has reportedly signed a three year deal and will now look to continue his development at full-back having only made the shift a year ago from a wing role.

It was almost a year ago that Dane’s meteoric rise began where after starting the 2016 NPL Queensland season on the right wing he moved back into the defensive role in the final rounds of that competition.

A solid season at right back in the National Youth League followed before a first team debut beckon in the ACL qualifier at home against Global FC.

That game proved to be the first of seven first team appearances last term, with the defenders attacking nature paying off with his first goal against Perth Glory coming in just his third appearance.

Those games for the first team and interest from Australia were enough for New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson to pounce and include Dane and his older brother Jai in the All-Whites squad for their March qualifiers against Fiji.

After making his debut in the second of those qualifiers Dane has spent the last six weeks on national team duty for New Zealand, firstly at the u-20 World Cup in South Korea where the Kiwis made it to the last 16 before losing to the United States.

A trip to the Confederations Cup quickly followed with Ingham playing the second and third group games against Mexico and Portugal where he put in solid performances against some of the best wingers in world football.

The challenge for Dane now will be to build on the experiences of the past six months and continue to develop his game and hopefully to put pressure on Jack Hingert for the first team spot.

It’s also a big year on the international front for Ingham, with September qualifiers against Solomon Islands coming up before a likely inter-confederation play-off against the 5th seeded team from South American qualifying.

The addition of Ingham should round out the defensive ranks for Brisbane as joins Jack Hingert, Corey Brown and Connor O’Toole as full-back options for the upcoming season in addition to central defenders Jade North, Luke Devere, Avram Papadopoulos and Daniel Bowles.

The elevation of Ingham to a senior deal takes Brisbane’s squad to 19 players with three visa players and one marquee spot available. At training today Aloisi strongly hinted that there would be atleast two more additions in the attacking third, one of which would be a marquee player.

Brisbane Roar squad as at 04/07/2017
Goalkeepers– Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Dane Ingham, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Avram Papadopoulos.
Midfielders– Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay, Jacob Pepper.
Forwards- Nicholas D’Agostino, Corey Gameiro.


Brisbane sign Corey Gameiro on one year deal

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(Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brisbane have boosted their attacking ranks today with the signing of striker Corey Gameiro ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Gameiro, 24 joins Brisbane after previous stints with Fulham, Wellington Phoenix, Sydney FC and Melbourne City, although the striker hasn’t played a minute of the two previous seasons due to severe knee injuries.

Infact Gameiro has played just five games in the three previous seasons, with three consecutive ACL injuries stalling what was a promising career.

Last seen Gameiro played five games for City early in the 2015-16 season before an injury. Prior to that he scored two goals in five games for Sydney FC at the start of the 2014-15 season before injury ended his season, taking his tally to four goals from 19 games in his two years at the Sky Blues.

Prior to that Gameiro was contracted to English club Fulham and while he didn’t make a first team appearance for the then Premier League club, loan spells to Hayes & Yeading, FC Eindhoven and Wellington were organised to get first team football.

Before the injuries Gameiro was also a regular in the junior national teams representing Australia at both u-20 and u-23 level, and it’s that potential which Corey will no doubt be hoping to recapture after such a long time out with injury and as things stand there should be plenty of opportunities here in Brisbane for him to do so.

Despite today’s addition of Gameiro there remains considerable work to be done in terms of recruitment in the attacking third, following the departures of Brandon Borrello, Jamie Maclaren, Thomas Broich, Tommy Oar and Joey Katebian all moving on at the end of last season.

Currently Gameiro is just one of two strikers on the books at the Roar with the other being youngster Nicholas D’Agostino who emerged at the end of last season, although there’s likely to be another addition to the goalscoring ranks before the season starts.

The signing of Gameiro takes Brisbane’s squad to 18 players, with three visa spaces and one marquee spot still up for grabs.

Brisbane Roar squad as at 04/07/2017
Goalkeepers– Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Avram Papadopoulos.
Midfielders– Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay, Jacob Pepper.
Forwards- Nicholas D’Agostino, Corey Gameiro.