Maccarone brace completes second half comeback

Brisbane Roar (4) Skapetis 30’, D’Agostino 69’, Maccarone 75’ (p.k), 88’
Peninsula Power (2) Briggs 2’, Strickland 38’
At A.J. Kelly Park, Redcliffe.

20525870_1465922130129150_4445799665084431356_n

Brisbane Roar have made it two wins from two in their 2017 pre-season campaign after a second half fight back saw the Roar defeat Peninsula Power 4-2 in Redcliffe on Saturday afternoon. A second half brace from new marquee Massimo Maccarone on his debut, with Nick D’Agostino and trialist Peter Skapetis also getting on the scoreboard.

Goals
0-1 (3’) It was a dream start for the home side with Dean Briggs free-kick from 35 yards beating Tomislav Bilic on the near post to give the home side an early lead.

1-1 (30’) Brisbane got themselves back into the game on the half hour mark through trialist Peter Skapetis after a defensive mix-up from the Peninsula defenders.

2-1 (38’) Peninsula restored their goal advantage minutes before the half time interval after some good work down the right hand side saw Thomas Strickland strike home from the edge of the box.

2-2 (69’) With Massimo Maccarone waiting to make his entrance on the bench, Nick D’Agostino levelled the scores from close range after a Matt McKay cross.

2-3 (75’) After a handball from a Corey Brown cross, Brisbane’s marquee man stepped up to the spot to score his first goal in Brisbane’s colours, sending Jake Reesby the wrong way in the Power goal.

2-4 (88’) Massimo Maccarone scored a late goal for the Roar as he rounded the substitute keeper in goal for Power as he finished off a well worked move.

First half youngsters
Brisbane fielded two distinctly different sides with the first half featuring a large number of players from the Young Roar side getting an opportunity to impress John Aloisi ahead of the new season. Amongst that group were first team duo Luke Devere and Mitch Oxborrow, in addition to former QPR and Stoke City attacker Peter Skapetis who is currently trialling with the squad.

The 22 year old attacker player the first half of the game, floating around the front third of the pitch for the Roar and looked lively enough to suggest he has something to offer. Of the Young Roar players who got the chance to start the game, Emilio Martinez looked the sharpest, while Rahmat Akbari played an unfamiliar deep lying midfield role after spending the NPL season playing in a no.10 role behind Nathan Yoon.

Second half changes
John Aloisi made 11 changes at the half-time break and in doing so reverted back to a more familiar looking line-up as the first team players got their chance to tune up ahead of Wednesday’s FFA Cup tie against Melbourne Victory.

Similarly to the Lions game, Brisbane played a 3-6-1 formation once again, although this week there was a slight change on the right hand side with Jack Hingert spending the second half on the right side of the back three while Dane Ingham played the more advanced wing backs role. Joining Hingert and Jade North in the back three was Thomas Kristensen, with the central midfielder looking at home in the heart of defence.

Going forward Brisbane looked more dangerous in the second half, with Nick D’Agostino looking sharp upfront with a handful of chances before he ultimately found the net seconds before being replaced.

The departure of D’Agostino paved the way for Brisbane’s new marquee man Massimo Maccarone to enter the fray, and it took the former Italian international just five minutes to open his goalscoring account in what was a lively cameo.

Peninsula pressure
In one of the biggest weeks in Peninsula’s history, the Power got off to a flying start thanks to a Dean Briggs free-kick and the home side caused the Young Roar side all sorts of problems in the first half with their midfield intensity a feature.

After a busy week which saw Peninsula make their FFA Cup debut on Tuesday, the home side found things more difficult in the second half against a stronger Brisbane side, although the attacking duo of Charles Mendy and Dean Briggs still carved out a couple of chances, although a free-kick past the near post is as close as they came.

Brisbane Roar XI (First half) – Bilic, Wellsmore, DeVere, Harris, Leck, Oxborrow, Akbari, O’Toole, Martinez, Skapetis, Yoon.
Second half XI– Freke, Hingert, Kristensen, North, Ingham, Caletti, McKay, Brown, Holman, D’Agostino (70’), Brady.
Substitutes– Maccarone (70’).
Unused substitutes– Sawyer, Beakhurst.

Peninsula Power XI- Reesby, Carseldine, Boyd, Spiandorrello, Cunha, Hurlin, Bonotto, Basson, Strickland, Briggs, Mendy.

Up next
After a pair of pre-season hit-outs against Brisbane Premier League opposition, competitive football is back with Melbourne Victory making the trip north to take on Brisbane in the FFA Cup Round of 32 on Wednesday night at Perry Park.


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.

20446336_10156362025214348_1387465464_o

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.


Pre-Season 2016 Preview- Brisbane Roar v Central Coast

Tomorrow Brisbane Roar will play their final pre-season game against an A-League side before the start of the season, in a clash against Central Coast Mariners at Spencer Park.

Brisbane’s pre-season has been a mixed one so far with just the one win from three clashes, and they’ll be looking to secure a win against an A-League side before the season starts.

Omori factor
The most intriguing element of this clash is the news that Japanese born left back Hiroki Omori will play some part in the clash as trial, with the view to potentially joining the Roar for the upcoming seasons should things go well.

Omori, 26, was a member of the Brisbane Strikers squad in this seasons NPL Queensland campaign, making 17 appearances in 2016 with one goal to his name.

Where Omori really caught the eye however was in the clubs run to the Round of 16 in the FFA Cup, where his performance against Melbourne City at Perry Park forced John Aloisi to give him the chance.

It’s unknown at this stage if Omori will start or come off the bench, but Full-Back is a position that Brisbane are a little light on in with only Jack Hingert, Corey Brown and youngster Connor O’Toole as options in the roles.

Brisbane selections
While Omori is set to play some part in the game, it’s been reported that midfield duo Thomas Kristensen and Brett Holman will miss the game. Kristensen has according to reports has been on a light training program, while Holman only started training this week and is not yet ready for game time.

The rest of Brisbane’s side however is fit and available for selection, and for them this game looms as an important one as it’s the last major hit-out before the start of the new season next month and could be a vital one in shaping the starting line-up for the game against Melbourne Victory.

Mariners’ preseason
The big news from down in Gosford over the off-season was the sacking of Manager Tony Walmsley following the Mariners 2-1 loss to Green Gully in the FFA Cup.

In Wamsley’s place is Paul Okon, who arrives on the Central Coast after a stint with the Australian u/20’s side. Arriving so late in pre-season however has meant that he’s relying on the group recruited by Walmsley, and it will be interesting to see how they line up tomorrow.

So far under Okon the Mariners have played two games this week on Tuesday with the a win and a draw from two clashes against a Capital Football select side in which the Mariners played a half squad in each game.

Squads
Brisbane
– 1. Michael Theo, 3. Luke DeVere, 4. Daniel Bowles, 5. Corey Brown, 7. Thomas Kristensen, 8. Jacob Pepper, 9. Jamie Maclaren, 10. Brett Holman, 11. Tommy Oar, 13. Jade North, 17. Matt McKay, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Shannon Brady, 21. Jamie Young, 22. Thomas Broich, 23. Dimitri Petratos, 24. Connor O’Toole, 25. Kye Rowles, 26. Nicholas D’Agostino, 28. Brandon Borrello, 29. Joe Caletti, 33. Joey Katebian, 39. Nathan Konstandopoulos.

Central Coast– 1. Ivan Necevski, 2. Storm Roux, 4. Jacob Poscoliero, 5. Harry Ascroft 6. Blake Powell, 7. Fabio Ferreira, 8. Nick Montgomery, 9. Roy O’Donovan, 10. Mickael Tavares, 11. Connor Pain, 12. Trent Buhagiar, 13. Kwabena Appiah, 14. Adam Berry, 15. Brad McDonald, 16. Liam Rose, 17. Josh Bingham, 19. Jacques Faty, 20. Paul Izzo, 21. Michael Neill, 22. Jake McGing, 24. Jake Adelson, 28. Matthew Fletcher, 40. Tom Heward-Belle.

Brisbane Roar vs. Central Coast Mariners
Saturday September 10th
Spencer Park 3.00pm


NPL u-23 All-Stars game squad announced

The NPL Queensland u-23 All-Stars squad which will take on the Roar later this month was announced today and it brings together some of the most talented footballers in the state.

Gold Coast City and Brisbane City are the two most represented clubs in the 18 man provisional squad with four players a piece from each side, while Premiers Brisbane Strikers.

One of the big features of the squad is the presence of a number of players who’ve previously represented the Roar’s youth side with six players in the provisional squad.

Jaiden Walker, Sam Cronin, Benjamin Lyvidikos, Luke Pavlou, Mitchell Hore and Benjamin Litfin will all definitely get the chance to play their former side, while Samuel Sibatuara finds himself on the stand by list.

Perhaps surprisingly, just the one player who played in Saturday nights season finale –Cameron Nucifora of FNQ Heat- has been selected in the provisional side, while Kai Halliday from Redlands is one of the players on the stand by list.

That stand by list could come into play, depending on the result of Brisbane Strikers’ participation in the 2016 NPL Finals Series, which will see the Queensland Premiers host ACT Premier Canberra Olympic at Perry Park on September 17th.

A win in that game would then see the Strikers play in a Semi-Final the following week, a game which would clash with the All-Stars clash with the Roar.

Goalkeepers- Samuel Nickolls (Sunshine Coast FC), Shane Vitikangas (Gold Coast City) Defenders: Scott Halliday (Brisbane City), Jake Marshall (Brisbane Strikers), Kai Smith (Brisbane City), Jaiden Walker (Gold Coast City).

Midfielders- Finn Beakhurst (Moreton Bay United), Matthew Capelo (Moreton Bay United), Sam Cronin (Olympic), Benjamin Lyvidikos (Gold Coast City), Cameron Nucifora (FNQ Heat), Luke Pavlou (Brisbane City), Mitchell Hore (Brisbane City), Benjamin Litfin (Gold Coast City).

Forwards- Joseph Duckworth (Western Pride), Fraser Hills (Brisbane Strikers), Luke Marsh (Brisbane Strikers), Bonventure Thomas-Remijo (Western Pride).

Shadow Players- Kai Halliday (Redlands United), Mustafa Jafari (SWQ Thunder), Mory Kone (Gold Coast City), Samuel Langley (Redlands United), Samuel Sibatuara (Brisbane City), Martin Vazquez (Gold Coast City)

Brisbane Roar vs. NPL Queensland/23
Saturday September 24th. 3.00pm
Queensland Sports & Athletics Centre


Recap of Pre-Season clash with BPL Select

Brisbane Roar (4) – Petratos 31’, Maclaren 38, Bowles 85’, Leck 88’
BPL Select (0)

Goals

1) Dimitri Petratos 31st minute- A mistake in midfield from the BPL select side sees the Roar gain possession in a good position, and after some build up work from Brandon Borrello and Matt McKay, Petratos beat Jake Reesby with a powerful effort to make it 1-0.

2) Jamie Maclaren 39th minute- Flowing move from the Roar down the left hand side results in a tap in at the far post for Maclaren which put Brisbane up 2-0.

3) Daniel Bowles 86th minute- After an initial corner was cleared by the BPL Select side the ball fell to Jesse Daley on the right side near the corner flag, and his low cross allowed Bowles to tap in and make it 3-0 late on.

4) Daniel Leck 88th minute- Youngster Leck rounded out the scoring late on as fellow youth teamers Katebian and Daley combined to tee up Leck, with the BPL side switching off. 4-0 to the Roar.

Here’s a few thoughts on last nights game
Work to do– The biggest take away from the game is that while the team picked up their first win of the 2016 pre-season, there’s a lot of work to do before the team is ready to play before the round one game in October. While there were some good aspects to the play, there’s still a lot to work on, with ball movement slower than previous years while there was a lack of cutting edge for large periods as well.

Recruitment- Last night was also the first opportunity to see new signings Thomas Kristensen and Joey Katebian in action, with Kristensen playing 67 minutes while Katebian played the second half off the bench. Kristensen looked a handy enough acquisition playing the midfield- more on that later-, while Katebian struggled to have the same impact as Maclaren.

On recruitment, it was also evident that while the club has made three signing so far since the end of last season, there’s still a glaring need for more options before the season starts. Amongst those needs are a more experienced back-up for Jamie Maclaren, while an additional creative midfielder to add a bit of extra spark to the side could also be a useful addition. With three visa spots available to John Aloisi there’s plenty of scope to make further additions.

DeVere- The game against the BPL Select side was also the first chance to see Luke DeVere in action, with the central defender playing his first 45 minutes for the first team since his injury against Villarreal in June of last year. While there wasn’t a lot of defending to be done in the game, DeVere looked composed enough on the ball and did his defending duties well.

Midfield- The most interesting aspect of last night to watch was the midfield where the set-up seemed to be slightly different to last season with the departures of Steven Lustica and Corona seemingly changing the shape of the midfield. Last season it was primarily Corona as the deepest lying of the midfield two, with Petratos and McKay playing ahead of him in the midfield.

Last night however Matt McKay seemed to be sitting a little deeper, playing alongside Thomas Kristensen in a kind of duel pivot role, with Dimitri Petratos acting as a no.10 and Thomas Broich drifting from his left wing role centrally more often. It’s too soon to judge if the changes will be beneficial or not, or if it’s going to be a pattern this season but it was an interesting adjustment to see.

Youth- While we’ve only seen two pre-season games now –in addition to two more closed door games on the Gold Coast- one of the major themes of the pre-season has been the inclusion of youth in the squads. There hasn’t however been a regular group of youngsters included with 10 different youth team players getting a chance to prove themselves in first team action. Of the group, Konstandopoulos is the only one to have played in all four games and looks the best chance to secure a first team deal.

So far the following young players have been given their chance in the first team this pre-season; Cameron Crestani, Matthew Schmidt, Mark Rodic, Joe Caletti, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Jesse Daley, Joseph Champness & Jayden Prasad.

It will be interesting to see who features from here on out with just two confirmed games between now and the start of the season, although I’ll have more on the youth side later this week.

Line-ups
Brisbane Roar XI– Young (46’), Hingert (46’), DeVere (46’), North (71’), Brown, Kristensen (67’), McKay (67’), Petratos (46’), Borrello (46’), Broich (76’), Maclaren (46’).
Substitutes- Theo, Katebian, Pepper, Leck, & Oar (46’), Konstandopoulos & Rodic (67’), Crestani (71’), Daley (76’)
Unused Substitutes- Schmidt.

BPL Select first half XI- Reesby, Davies, Fujitani, Fetahagic, Shepherd, Jankovic, Bonotto, Briggs, Cheshire, Madle, Cameron.
Second half XI- Cuminao, Takahashi, Ryan, Nagta, Smith, Roper, Strickland, Brown, McCaskill, Campbell, Jomanday.

Up next- It’s two weeks of training for the Roar before their next trial against Central Coast Mariners on September 10th. For the BPL Select side they return to their clubs with the 2016 Semi-Final series set to begin next weekend.


BPL Select squad announced, as Roar announce a further game

The Brisbane Premier League select squad which will take on the Roar this Saturday at QSAC was announced today and as you would expect it’s heavily dominated by Premiers Lions FC.

Lions lead the way with six players in the 22 man squad, while Rochedale Rovers and Holland Park Hawks have the second most in the squad with five players each.

Peninsula Power have three in the squad, while Albany Creek, Logan Lighting and Eastern Suburbs are represented by one player each.

Due to commitments in the 2016 Canale Cup Final, players from Mitchelton FC and Capalaba weren’t considered for the squad. The full squad is below.

Goalkeepers: Brandon Cuminao (Rochedale Rovers), Jake Reesby (Peninsula Power).

Defenders: Phil Davies (Rochedale Rovers), Ajdin Fetahagic (Lions FC), Takumi Fujitano (Lions FC), Uryu Nagata (Rochdale Rovers), Michael Ryan (Easts), Nathan Shepherd (Lions FC), Dan Smith (Holland Park), Kenya Takahashi (Lions FC).

Midfielders: Andrea Bonotto (Peninsula Power), Dean Briggs (Holland Park), Max Brown (Logan Lightning), Lewis Cameron (Rochedale Rovers), Marko Jankovic (Lions FC), Sam Roper (Holland Park).

Forwards: Riley Campbell (Albany Creek), Greg Cheshire (Rochedale Rovers), Andrew Macaskill (Holland Park), Marek Malde (Holland Park), Sekou Jomanday (Lions FC), Tom Strickland (Peninsula Power). Brisbane Roar and the Brisbane Premier League Select squad will play this Saturday evening at QSAC, however the Roar have other games in Brisbane coming up between now and the start of the season.

Brisbane Roar meanwhile are expected to field a strong side in this match -for the first half at least- with the game likely to be the first chance for people to see new signings Joey Katebian and Thomas Kristensen in action.

In addition to the game announced last week against Central Coast Mariners in early September, the Roar today confirmed a game against an NPL Queensland u-23 select side, which will also be held at QSAC in late September.

The games are likely to round out the pre-season for the Roar with the game against the NPL u/23 side to take place just 13 days out from the season opener against Melbourne Victory.

It’s not quite the Roar Roadshow of years gone by, but it’s not too bad either.

Brisbane Roar vs. BPL select
Saturday August 27th. 7.30pm
Qld Sports & Athletics Centre

Brisbane Roar vs. Central Coast Mariners
Saturday September 10th. 3.00pm
Spencer Park, Newmarket.

Brisbane Roar vs. NPL Qld u/23
Saturday September 24th. 3.00pm
Qld Sports & Athletics Centre


Pre-Season roster update

With pre-season now underway it seems like a good time to take stock of how the Roar squad shapes up ahead of the new season. Currently the Roar have 19 contracted first team players, plus youngster Joe Caletti on a full-time youth contract. That leaves at least one new signing to reach the minimum of 20, and up to four spots open in the maximum squad of 23, plus two further full-time youth places up for grabs. There are also three visa spots in the squad open, while both marquee contracts are accounted for with Thomas Broich and Matt McKay retaining their marquee status.

Brisbane Roar roster as at 14/7/2016
Goalkeepers– Jamie Young, Michael Theo.
Defenders- Corey Brown, Jerome Polenz, Jade North, Daniel Bowles, Jack Hingert, Luke DeVere, Kye Rowles, Conor O’Toole.
Midfielders- Corona, Matt McKay, Dimitri Petratos, Joe Caletti, Jacob Pepper.
Forwards- Jamie Maclaren, Shannon Brady, Thomas Broich, Tommy Oar, Brandon Borrello.

Starting in goal where things appear to be set with long-time #1 Michael Theo likely to back up Jamie Young who claimed the spot in goal at the end of last season. Left back is another position which seems to be sorted with Corey Brown the likely starter and youngster Connor O’Toole serving as his understudy.

Right back also appears to be sorted with Jack Hingert and Jerome Polenz in the role, however with the reports that Polenz could be about to depart the Roar there could potentially be a vacancy to fill. While that could be filled externally, there’s also a chance that Aloisi could use youngster Mark Rodic in that role who was recently named in the seven youngsters to be added to the pre-season training squad.

In the centre of defence, the roster appears to be full with new signing Kye Rowles joining the returning Jade North, Daniel Bowles and Luke DeVere. Despite that however there are fitness issues surrounding Luke DeVere which could lead to extra depth being acquired.

Moving into the middle third and Aloisi has a wealth of options at his disposal, with the likes of Corona, Dimitri Petratos, Matt McKay, new signing Jacob Pepper and full-time youth player Joe Caletti. Aloisi however is seeking further additions in the area with the search for another attack minded option, most likely a visa player, to round out his midfield mix.

In the final third Aloisi is also spoilt for choices with a number of options for the wide attacking roles. Two from the trio of Thomas Broich, Tommy Oar and Brandon Borrello will likely be the starters, while youngster Shannon Brady will provide solid depth. There could also be an opportunity for Joseph Champness or Jayden Prasad to force there way into the mix after they were invited to participate in the pre-season with the first team.

Upfront Brisbane will likely be relying on their Golden Boot winner from last season Jamie Maclaren, however the rumours of European interest in the fringe Socceroo have returned in recent days. That European interest plus the lack of central striking depth could both be reasons why Aloisi is reportedly shopping around overseas for further attacking strike power. Youngster Nicholas D’Agostino, who made his debut last season against Perth has been rewarded for strong form in the NPL with a spot in the extended pre-season squad.

There will likely be a bit of movement in the squad before the season starts in October with three visa spots to fill and potentially a fourth should Polenz move on, but with 19 contracted players plus FT youth player Joe Caletti and a host of other youth in the frame the squad looks to be in reasonable shape provided they add the midfielder and attacker Aloisi is looking for.