Young Roar coach steps down

Brisbane Roar youth coach Josh McCloughan has stepped down from his role as coach of the clubs youth set-up this afternoon. In a brief statement on the clubs website it was revealed that McCloughan would be stepping down for personal reasons, with former coach John Sime set to step in for an interim period.

The clubs statement is below:
“Young Roar Head Coach Josh McCloughan has stepped aside from his role as coach of our National Premier Leagues Queensland side due to personal reasons. Former BRFC National Youth Team coach John Sime will lead the team in the two remaining PS4 NPL QLD fixtures. A decision on the appointment of a Head Coach for the Young Roar squad will be made in the coming weeks.”

McCloughan initially took over the coaching role ahead of last seasons National Youth League campaign. In the FNYL campaign McCloughan lead the Roar to a second place in Conference A with a 10-0 win over Adelaide United the signature result along the way.

Attention then turned to the 2016 NPL Queensland campaign and with just two rounds remaining the Young Roar sit in 8th position on the ladder with 25 points from their 20 games to date.

The goal of course for the Roar in the NPL and the NYL is on player development and this is an area where McCloughan has excelled. Under his leadership the likes of Nicholas D’Agostino, Joseph Champness, Jayden Prasad and Mark Rodic have all been fast-tracked into the extended first team squad while others like Jesse Daley and Cameron Crestani have also impressed.

The loss of McCloughan, a highly rated coach -by Ange Postecoglou no less- will be a massive one for the Roar who will now have to find a suitable replacement before the National Youth League gets underway towards the end of the year.

This is the end of McCloughan’s second stint with the Roar, with the former central defender making up part of the clubs foundation roster, going on to make 90 appearances for the club. Whatever the reasons for his departure, I wish Josh the best for whatever is nex.


Season Review- Part 5 (Coaching)

**Apologies for the delay on this final part of the season review, had a few personal matters to attend to.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll take a look back at the season that was, the success stories, the disappointments and take a brief look to what may lie ahead for next season. Previously we’ve looked at the playing group as a whole, so today we take a look at the coaching staff.

Since arriving in Brisbane in May of 2015, John Aloisi has had a lot to deal with in his new job, with the clubs off-field financial dramas robbing him of one of the teams’ best players and threatening to destabilise the entire club. Despite all of that however, the team flourished under Aloisi’ leadership, with the Roar falling just short of silverware in his first year at the helm. Today we assess his performance in 2015-16, breaking it down into four categories; results, recruitment, player development and style of play, before taking a brief look ahead to 2016-17.

Results
The main thing that coaches get judged on is ultimately the results, and in his first season it’s hard to argue against the results John attained in his first season. Losing just one of fourteen home games in the regular season saw Aloisi’ side equal the Roar record for home points in the regular season –with the 2010-11 double winning side-. Away from home however it was rather different, with just thirteen points from as many games in the regular season –three wins-, which is the second lowest tally of points on the road since the league expanded from 8 teams to 10 in 2009-10.

Coupling those two sets of numbers together however, Brisbane were in the frame for silverware entering the final round of the season before a 0-0 draw saw them finish in third position. All up, 14 wins from 27 A-League games, plus an Elimination Finals win over Melbourne capped off a solid first season in charge for Aloisi.

From a statistical standpoint, through 30 games Aloisi stacks up well in comparison with his predecessors, with John having the best record of any through 30 games. Given the circumstances surrounding the Roar when he took over back in May 2015, to get the side to the finals, one win from the Grand Final is a phenomenal first season in charge.

Recruitment
In: Corona, Hervas, Maclaren, Oar, Caletti, Jannese
Out:  Kaluderovic, Jackson, Brattan, Yango. Donachie, Solórzano, Clut, Lustica, Henrique.

There were a lot of questions in this area surrounding John given his missteps at the Heart, and he was restricted somewhat in the transfer market given his arrival midway through the off-season and with many players already off the board.

Despite that however, Aloisi was able to attract one of the biggest prizes on the open market with Jamie Maclaren signing a two year deal. Coupled with late in the off season recruits Corona and Javier Hervas, in addition to January addition Tommy Oar, Aloisi certainly was able to add quality to his squad.

Going the other way the biggest loss was from circumstances beyond his control with Luke Brattan departing the Roar just weeks before the start of the season due to the clubs financial crisis. The other big departure that Aloisi had to deal with was that of Andrija Kaluderovic, who scored 7 in 16 games since arriving midway through the year.

Player development
When it comes to player development, two names stand out for Brisbane in 2015-16, Jack Hingert and Jamie Maclaren.

Hingert, who played in 29 of the Roar’s 30 games last season, established himself as the first choice right back last term with a string of solid performances. Corey Brown and Daniel Bowles are others who improved massively this season under Aloisi’ stewardship.

Maclaren, who arrived in the off-season after a stellar end to the season in Perth, flourished here in Brisbane with twenty goals this season and culminating with a Socceroos call-up for the recent friendly against England. Dimitri Petratos, who contributed seven goals and seven assists added some consistency to his game after an up and down season the year prior.

On the other side of things, one player who failed to develop and ended up being released was midfielder Devante Clut. Clut was one of the few shining lights of Brisbane’s unsuccessful title defence in 2014-15 and was expected to have a bright future in Brisbane under John Aloisi, however the young midfielder quickly found himself on the outer under the new regime.

Nine substitute appearances, none of which were overly long in length was all the first team football afforded to Devante, who spent the majority of the season in the youth league. Another player who found himself in a similar situation was Shannon Brady, with the young winger in the first year of a four year contract struggling to make the breakthrough last season.

On the whole however, it’s hard not to give a big tick to Aloisi in this regard. The improvement of Maclaren and Hingert in particular played a big part in the success of last season, while the likes of Petratos, Brown and Bowles have gone from fringe squad players to first XI calibre players under Aloisi.

Style of Play
Finally to the teams style of play, and in truth there wasn’t a lot of change in Aloisi’ first season in charge, with the traditional possession style of play still at the heart of the Roars performances.

One subtle change that he did introduce was the introduction of some more direct/counter attacking balls over the top of defences, which opened up changes on the counter for Brisbane’s pacy attacking duo in Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren. This change netted a significant dividend for Aloisi and the Roar, with a number of the teams goals coming from this.

While things remained similar with the ball, there was no doubt change off the ball, with the combative but technically gifted Brattan replaced by Spaniard Corona, who albeit better on the ball than Brattan, lacked the defensive bite of his predecessor. The 49 goals conceded in the regular season was the most Brisbane had conceded, since the last time they missed the finals back in 2009-10, and looms as the one area that Aloisi will need to get right next season if silverware is to return to Brisbane.

2016-17
The challenges don’t get any easier for Aloisi, with the clubs off-field dramas resurfacing once again in the closed season which will impact both recruitment and preparations for the new season. So far just youngsters Connor O’Toole and Kye Rowles have been added to the squad, while a number of useful squad players have departed for fresh challenges.

Next season also comprises bigger challenges for Aloisi, who will now be expected to repeat last seasons strong form –particularly at home- and challenge for silverware once again. The real challenge however perhaps lies on the continent, with the Roar set to play a qualifier in February to see if they will participate in the Group Stage for a third time.

Conclusion
On the whole, it’s hard to fault Aloisi for his first season in charge of the Roar. He kept the team in the hunt for silverware right up until the end, qualified for Asia and saw many of the teams potential young stars emerge as genuine first team contributors. If you wanted to be critical, the teams defensive woes –particularly on the road- is an area which can be improved, but despite that they remained in the hunt until the end.. At the end of the day, to be in the position the Roar found themselves entering April was an achieving in itself given the tumultuous pre-season, although it would have been nice to cap it off with some silverware. Next season perhaps.


Roar Review Season Preview Part 6- Coaching Staff

**The following is a re-post of something I posted over at Football Central- originally dated 06/10/15

The Roar Review’s 5th annual season preview series and first as part of Football Central will be a seven part series. It will take an in-depth look at Brisbane Roar ahead of the 2015-16 A-League season. Today, in part six, we focus on the part of the team which has undergone the biggest change, the coaching staff.

Since the end of the season back in May, a broom has been put through the entire backroom staff with almost everyone associated with the first team staff moving on over the past five months.

Among those to have left include interim manager Frans Thijssen, assistant coaches Rado Vidosic and Jeff Hopkins, Director of Football Ken Stead and physio Tim Oostenbroek.

Head Coach– John Aloisi

His appointment arrived out of the blue, but given the swirling financial dramas it was a welcomed distraction. It probably wasn’t the candidate many were expecting given the club was reportedly a long way down the line in negotiations with another candidate, but a meeting between outgoing Roar Chairman Chris Fong and ex Roar and now Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou was enough to get Aloisi the nod.

This offcourse is his second coaching stint in the league after an ill-fated stint with the Melbourne Heart, which ended back in late 2013. With a coaching record of 8 wins, 7 draws and 24 losses from 39 games he’ll no doubt be looking for a vastly improved record here with Brisbane.

Style wise, he hasn’t changed a great deal to date, however there has been a subtle change in the way the midfield operates which should be interesting, particularly with the loss of Brattan who was pegged for a different role this year before his departure.

Backroom staff– Ross Aloisi (assistant), Craig Moore (Director of Football), Jason Kearton (Goalkeeping Coach), Karl Dodd (Strength and Conditioning Coach)

The new coaching staff includes not one Aloisi but two, with Ross joining his brother John as an assistant here in Brisbane after working with Alan Stadjic on the Matildas run to the World Cup quarter finals.

The return of Craig Moore at the club has been an interesting move, however there’s a growing sense that he’s implementing something of a boys club culture that derailed the club back in 2009-10 with the return to the Roar setup of Karl Dodd as Strength and Conditioning manager and Scott Higgins in a football logistics role.

The physio and medical team have also been overturned with an emphasis on improvement in that area after a host of injuries last year, with Tony Ganter – who left Brisbane just days into Ange Postecoglou’s reign – returning to Brisbane.

The change has seemingly not yet been able to stem the flow of injuries however, with Henrique, DeVere, Maclaren and Solórzano all set to miss round one through injury, although it should be pointed out that two of those are injuries from before the current regime.

Brisbane’s coaching staff is a vastly different one and it’s one that has a lot to prove given their previous failures in other situations. It’s probably not fair to judge them too much this season, particularly early on given the clubs financial dramas which have destabilised the entire club, so if they can have Brisbane pushing for the finals it would be considered an acceptable first season for Aloisi and co.


Ross Aloisi appointed Assistant Coach

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Despite the ongoing financial dramas surrounding the club, Brisbane Roar have this afternoon confirmed the appointment of Ross Aloisi as the clubs new assistant manger.

Ross has a fair amount of coaching experience behind him, with a spell in charge of Adelaide’s W-League side leading to him being named as Alen Stadjic’s assistant at the recent Women’s World Cup in Canada.

As a play, Ross has extensive national league experience with a five year spell – 2003-2007- with Adelaide United spanning both the NSL and the A-League, before he went across the Tasman to finish his playing career with the Wellington Phoenix. Prior to his stint at the Reds, Ross spent a few years abroad in Europe.

Aloisi joins Brisbane as a replacement for the now departed duo of Jeff Hopkins and Rado Vidosic, who left in the off-season as John Aloisi revamped his coaching set-up.

In addition to brother Ross, Brisbane have added Karl Dodd to the coaching staff as strength and conditioning coach. John Aloisi now appears to have his coaching staff together ahead of the new season.


Vidosic joins Melbourne Victory

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Former Brisbane Roar Assistant Manager Rado Vidosic has joined Melbourne Victory’s coaching team for the upcoming A-League season.

Vidosic was an integral part of the Roar coaching set-up from day one, assisting Miron Bleiberg, Frank Farina and Ange Postecoglou before being given the top job in his own right.

That didn’t last long however with Mike Mulvey coming in to replace him after just 13 games in charge. His coaching journey saw him move south to Sydney FC as an assistant to Frank Farina for a second time.

He remained in Sydney until January of this season until new Sydney coach Graham Arnold let him go, leading to a return to Brisbane to serve as Frans Thijssen’ assistant.

Vidosic departed the Roar in early June after his short term contract expired. Vidosic replaces Jean Paul de Marginy who joined Newcastle. All the best to Rado for the future.


Report- Karl Dodd to join coaching staff

Via David Lems: John Aloisi’ coaching staff at the new looked Brisbane Roar continues to take shape, with reports emerging that Western Pride manager Karl Dodd is set to take up a High Performance Managers at the A-League side.

Dodd, 34 moved to the Ipswich based club in the off-season after retiring as a player to take up the managers role of the NPL Queensland side, who find themselves in down in 10th place, albeit just 2 points outside the top four as the state league season approaches it’s climax.

In addition to a brief stint at the Jets as a strength and conditioning coach in the 2013-14 season, Dodd has a wealth of experience as a player in the A-League, with the now retired defender forming part of the Roar’s foundation squad.

Dodd made 12 appearances in orange, including the clubs first match in the A-League against New Zealand Knights back in 2005 before departing these shores for a career in Europe. Later on in his career he returned to the A-League with spells at Wellington and North Queensland Fury.

Brisbane’s coaching staff has undergone some changes in the closed season, with Manager Frans Thijssen, Assistant Rado Vidosic and Fitness Coach/ Director of Football Ken Stead all departing.

In addition to the arrival of Aloisi as Head Coach, Brisbane have also appointed Craig Moore as Football Operations Manager. Assistant Jeff Hopkins, Goalkeeping coach Jason Kearton, fitness coach Matt Conwell and physio Tim Oostenbroek have also all been retained, while there’s a chance that Aloisi may opt to bring in a second Assistant of his choosing.


Recap of the week

*This is a two part post, the first part will be a recap of everything that’s happened this week, while the second will be in dot point format and purely my own thoughts on the matter.

Over the course of the off season we’ve seen a few signs that the already shaky foundations at Perry Park were beginning to crumble, however with the appointment of Aloisi the perception was that things had began to stable. The events of the last 24 hours however have plunged fresh doubt on the future of the club.

This all started on Tuesday with a series of tweets from Ray Gatt -Football reporter for The Australian- which alluded to fresh financial difficulties for the Roar.

The series of tweets alleged that the players hadn’t been paid as scheduled and that there were irregularities in the clubs financial accounts, while the FFA were aware of the situation.

Minutes later however, things took a new twist with 442 releasing part of an email to Brisbane staff, from Chris Fong outlining the situation in relation to the missed payments.

The email outlines that the current financial crisis is due to some previously uncovered financial liabilities, while also simultaneously saying that the ownership group would be injecting an additional 3.5 million in capital in what Fong called the recapitalisation of the club.

The email also mentioned the likelihood that the ownership group would purse legal action against former Managing Director Sean Dobson.

Here’s the exert of the email which was made public, for those that haven’t seen it

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The FFA’s response was a standard one, with a spokesperson saying that “ FFA is aware that Brisbane Roar has some financial issues”.

So to were the PFA, who released a statement of their own, declaring the non payment of players to be completely unacceptable, and called for an immediate resolution to the dramas.

Brisbane’s response to this was to try and deflect attention away from the clubs books by announcing the appointing of former captain Craig Moore as the clubs Football Operations Manager.

Things then got worse yesterday when the club announced that they would be forfeiting the upcoming NPL Queensland clashes against Far North Queensland Heat and Northern Fury due to what they labelled as ‘fixture congestion’

The suggestion being that with 4 or 5 players from the NYL side joining pre-season and preparations for the Liverpool game, there wouldn’t be enough bodies available to play the games up north.

Given the events of the previous day, most were quick to jump to the conclusion that this was another cost cutting measure from the Roar with the regional body not covering the travel of the only professional side in the competition.

The fallout from this has been massive, with Football Queensland, Football Federation Australia and football fans across the state unhappy with what is perceived to be a blatant snub of the local competition.

SBS then made further revelations this afternoon, suggesting that the clubs primary sponsor –The Coffee Club- was about to expire, with no guarantee of a renewal of the partnership which has served the club so well since 2008.

They also allege that former manager Mike Mulvey was set to join a growing list of creditors as he considers launching legal action, with the championship winning manager seeking the remainder of his payout.

Finally, they suggested that Brisbane currently doesn’t have a training base to prepare for the new season, a development which is particularly concerning given the players are due back for pre-season training from July 1st.

SBS’ report says that Perry Park is currently not able to carry any more traffic with regular NPL games conducted at the venue, while the clubs contract with their most recent training venue – Ballymore- has expired with no renewal.

Now that we’ve covered all the facts that have been reported in the last 72 hours of so, he’s my thoughts on all of this mess.

– Starting with the bleeding obvious, everything stated above (assuming it’s true), is deeply concerning. The stuff about the players and staff not being paid is the most troubling of it all, with payments now allegedly 10 days overdue. A resolution to that needs to be found ASAP as a matter of urgency.

– The stuff about uncovering previously undisclosed liabilities was first mentioned by Fong back at the John Aloisi unveiling and while that is a problem, it’s hard to comment on given there’s no public knowledge of what they related to. The stuff about the possibility of legal action against Dobson is interesting, although it’s impossible to comment on for a number of reasons. Be interesting to follow should it come to pass.

– While it’s never good to see any club under the control of the FFA, at this point it could be for the best given the way things appear to be unfolding here in Brisbane. Obviously the governing body are currently pre-occupied by their controlling interest in the Jets, so while the timing may not be the best, it may be a necessary evil in a short term measure until new (preferably local) owners are found.

– Obviously nobody is buying the whole ‘not enough bodies to compete at this time’ line, and rightly so. Just last week for example the players who were mentioned as training with the first team were absent for the game against Brisbane City, and they were replaced by players from the u/18. There’s enough players available to do it if they wanted to.

– The training ground problem could be the most immediate problem facing them given that the players are due back. Perry Park didn’t look all that bad to me at the weekend against City, but with the additional traffic it could begin to look tired. May end up being the only option however if a deal with QRU can’t be reached for Ballymore.

– The appointment of Craig Moore is hardly a surprise, after he was sighted sitting next to John Aloisi at a recent NPL game. This timing of this announcement was clearly designed to take some of the spotlight away financial dramas, however the reaction has hardly done that. Given the circumstances of Moore’s departure as a player in 2010, and the way the culture turned around afterwards, im sceptical of the impact he will have. Time will tell however.

– Finally, with all this going on, it’s a baptism by fire for new boss John Aloisi who must have thought that his days of being in charge of an instable club were behind him after he left Melbourne Heart. No money, no training ground and uncertainty in the air, over to you John.