Tommy Oar set for Cyprus move

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(Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Tommy Oar could be set to depart Brisbane Roar for the second time with a bid from Cypriot club APOEL FC having been accepted by the Roar.

Oar is believed to be on his way to Europe to undergo a medical and complete the transfer, although reports tonight suggest that the deal is more incentive based as opposed to APOEL simply meeting his release clause.

APOEL won their 26th Cypriot First Division title last season, finishing four points clear of AEK Larnaca, continuing their domination with their fifth straight championship.

It was in Europe however where APOEL made their biggest impression last season, falling just short of making the Group Stage of the Champions League before falling into the Europa League where they went on a run through to the last 16.

Oar, 25, has seen been something of a mixed bag since his return to Brisbane in February 2016 after five years in Europe with FC Utrecht and Ipswich Town.

In 35 appearances over the past season and a bit, Oar contributed two goals and six assists as he fought for playing time in the wide attacking positions with Brandon Borrello and Thomas Broich.

On the whole however Oar failed to deliver what was expected of him last year and with his elevation to a marquee contract this season in the final year of his two and half year contract the move makes sense.

With the marquee spot opened up Brisbane now have the ability to go out and replace some of their attacking losses with a big name recruit, while for Tommy it’s a chance to return to Europe ahead of a big season with the potential for a second World Cup appearance still a chance.

For Brisbane, this move provided it goes through further diminishes their attacking talent, with the likes of Jamie Maclaren, Brandon Borrello, Thomas Broich, Joey Katebian and Manuel Arana all joining Tommy Oar as attackers moving on this off-season.

Add in Dimitri Petratos who left in January and that’s seven attacking players who have moved on since January, with only former Melbourne Victory winger Fahid Ben Khalfallah heading in the other direction.

Ben Khalfallah joins Shannon Brady, Nicholas D’Agostino and Brett Holman as the only attackers on the Brisbane roster currently. Lots of holes to fill before the season starts, but plenty of cap space, visa spots and now a marquee spot available to help fill them.

Currently Brisbane have 15 players contracted for next season, with one marquee spot and three spots available to strengthen the squad. That number doesn’t include Joe Caletti, Avram Papadopoulos and Jacob Pepper however, with the trio expected to be back next season although there has been no official announcement over their futures.

Brisbane Roar squad as at 19/06/2017
Goalkeepers
– Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Kye Rowles.
Midfielders- Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay.
Forwards- Nicholas D’Agostino.
TBC- Joe Caletti, Avram Papadopoulos, Jacob Pepper.


Konstandopoulos re-joins Reds

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(Tony Feder/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Nathan Konstandopoulos has re-joined former club Adelaide United, linking up with the Reds NPL side for the remainder of the 2017 season according to the Reds official youth team account.

Previously Konstandopoulos made two appearances for the Reds back in 2014 before being released at the end of the 2016 season.

Currently the Adelaide United youth team sit 9th in the NPL South Australia and Konstandopoulos could make his first appearance for his hometown club tomorrow when they take on second placed Adelaide Comets.

Nathan joins former Brisbane winger Rocky Visconte –who plays for Croydon Kings- and Damian Mori – Adelaide City manager- as former Roar players who are involved in the NPL SA this season.

Konstandopoulos joined Brisbane at the start of the 2016 NPL Queensland side, making 10 appearances in the Young Roar side before joining the A-League squad at the start of pre-season.

Things started off well for Nathan in Brisbane when he made his first team debut against Perth in the FFA Cup Round of 32 and his league debut away to Newcastle in round 2, but the form of Thomas Kristensen and Matt McKay, coupled with the emergence of Joe Caletti left his chances limited.

All up Konstandopoulos made four appearances for Brisbane Roar, the last of which came on Matchday 5 of the AFC Champions League in the 3-0 loss away to Muanthong United.

Nathan is the second former Brisbane player to find a new club today, with defender Cameron Crestani linking up with NPL Queensland side Western Pride earlier in the day.


Crestani joins Western Pride

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(Western Pride FC)

Former Brisbane Roar defender Cameron Crestani has joined NPL Queensland side Western Pride for the remainder of the 2017 NPL Queensland season.

Crestani, 21, was recently released by Brisbane Roar at the end of the season after five years as part of the youth set-up.

After patiently waiting for his first team opportunity, Crestani made his senior debut for the Roar as a late substitute against Perth Glory in Round 20.

A first start followed in the next match against Muanthong United in the AFC Champions League, with Crestani going on to make six appearances for the first team last season.

The young defender will not have to wait long to take on his former teammates, with Western Pride playing host to Brisbane Roar Youth tomorrow night at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex in Round 13 of the NPL season.

While Crestani will be going up against his old side, he will be joined in battle by former Young Roar teammates Harrison Sawyer, Joe Duckworth, Hayden McHenery and Dylan Wenzel-Halls, who all made the move to the Ipswich based side in recent times.

When these two sides met the first time back in round two, it was a high scoring game up in Redcliffe, with the Young Roar proving victorious 3-2. Tomorrow night’s game is set to start at 7.00pm.

Western Pride v Brisbane Roar Youth
Saturday June 3- 7.00pm
Briggs Road Sporting Complex


Official- Borrello joins 1.FC Kaiserslautern

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(Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

 

Another of Brisbane’s attacking band from last season has moved on, with Brandon Borrello following in the footsteps of Jamie Maclaren by making the move to 2.0 Bundesliga club 1.FC Kaiserslautern.

Borrello, 21, has been an ever-present for Brisbane Roar on the right hand side of the attack in the John Aloisi era having made 57 appearances over the past two seasons.

Brandon’s involvement in the first team however dates back to the 2013-14 season, when a then 18 year old Borrello made his A-League debut under Mike Mulvey in Round 4 against Melbourne Heart –who ironically were coached at the time by now Roar coach John Aloisi-.

Borrello is another player who emerged from the Young Roar set-up to go onto bigger and better things, following in the footsteps of Kwame Yeboah, Adam Sarota and Luke Brattan amongst others in working his way through from the youth team into the first team before earning a deal in Europe.

Borrello scored nine goals from 34 appearances in all competitions last time around, with five of those goals coming in the AFC Champions League.

Speaking to the clubs official website, Borrello outlined that he’s looking forward to settling in to his new surroundings as soon as possible.

“I am very happy to be part of such a big club as the FCK in the future. I already know that the club has a lot of tradition and very passionate fans. I look forward to getting to know the club, the people and the country. I would like to integrate as quickly as possible and will give everything on the pitch to make the fans proud. “

Kaiserslautern is of course a famous city in Australian Football with the Fritz Walter Stadion playing host to the Socceroos first ever win in the FIFA World Cup, with Brisbane coach John Aloisi on the scoresheet in the 3-1 win over Japan.

Kaiserslautern had a disappointing season this time around with the club narrowly avoiding relegation to the 3rd tier of German Football, eventually finishing in 13th place and just five points above the relegation zone.

Brandon departs Brisbane after scoring 20 goals from 90 appearances for the club, which places Borrello 16th on the all-time appearances leaderboard and ninth all time on goals scored. In the Champions League however, Borrello’s 7 goals sees him well clear at the top, with Brett Holman and Tommy Oar the closest currently active players on one goal apiece.

The departure of Borrello, which while was expected by most does leave a hole in the Brisbane attacking ranks, which new signing Fahid Ben Khalfallah will hope to in part fill. There are now 17 players signed up for next season, with three visa space still open for John Aloisi to strengthen his squad.

As we said yesterday, while there has been no official announcement surrounding the futures of Joe Caletti, Jacob Pepper and Avram Papadopoulos, it’s expected the trio will re-sign.

Brisbane Roar squad as at 27/05/2017
Goalkeepers– Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Kye Rowles.
Midfielders- Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Tommy Oar, Matt McKay.
Forwards- Brandon Borrello, Nicholas D’Agostino.

Out of contract- Joe Caletti, Avram Papadopoulos, Jacob Pepper

 


Brisbane sign Fahid Ben Khalfallah on one year contract

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Brisbane Roar have made their first signing of the off-season, adding former Melbourne Victory winger Fahid Ben Khalfallah on a one year deal.

Ben Khalfallah, 35, arrives in Brisbane after three seasons in the Victorian capital where he scored 12 goals and had 15 assists from 76 appearances and will be tasked with helping to fill the void left by the departure of Thomas Broich amongst others.

Prior to his time in the A-League at the Victory, Ben Khalfallah spent 13 seasons playing in France, most notably with Bordeaux where he played 76 times from 2010-14.

In a chat with Brisbane Football Review, Ben Khalfallah admitted that the chance to play for Brisbane boss John Aloisi played a big part in his decision to join the Roar.

“When John called me it was very easy so I said yes straight away because I know him and have a good relationship with him”. “Brisbane is one of the biggest clubs with Championships in the A-League and I wanted to be in a good team to be in position to win the Championship this year so it was an easy choice”.

You can listen to our interview with Fahid on both AudioBoom and Itunes.

In the clubs email release this afternoon, John Aloisi talked up both the experience and versatility of his first off-season signing.

“Fahid’s experience and versatility will strengthen our already talented squad.” “His ability to play out wide or in the middle of our attack gives us greater unpredictability and creativity that will excite our fans.”

The addition of Fahid takes Brisbane’s 2017-18 squad to 18 players, with both marquee places  filled and now two of the five allowed visa spaces filled.

While the futures of defender Avram Papadopoulos and midfield duo Joe Caletti and Jacob Pepper hasn’t been officially announced, their absence from the list of players released indicated they will be part of the first team squad once again next season.

On paper there appears to still be needs in the front third, particularly in terms of a striker to replace Jamie Maclaren, possibly another attacking midfielder too.

Brisbane Roar squad as a 26/5/2017
Goalkeepers–
Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Kye Rowles.
Midfielders- Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Tommy Oar, Matt McKay.
Forwards- Brandon Borrello, Nicholas D’Agostino.

Out of contract- Joe Caletti, Avram Papadopoulos, Jacob Pepper.


Official- Maclaren joins SV Darmstadt

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Maclaren and new manager Torsten Frings (Photo- Darmstadt)

Jamie Maclaren has made a decision on his playing future after agreeing to join German club SV Darmstadt.

After being linked to over 80 clubs according to his agent, Maclaren has signed a three year deal with Darmstadt, who finished bottom of the German Bundesliga this season.

Maclaren, who scored 23 goals this season, has cemented his reputation as the best Australian striker in the A-League and has now moved on to try and establish himself in both Europe and the national side ahead of the World Cup next year.

Maclaren had clubs in England, Netherlands, Belgium and Asia all looking to secure his services, however Maclaren despite more lucrative offers Maclaren has opted for a club where there’s a greater chance for regular first team football.

Speaking to his new clubs official website, Jamie outlined that playing for the former German international was a big factor in his decision.

“I am delighted to be part of this proud club, and I would like to get to know my new teammates as soon as possible. I am really looking forward to meeting up with my new teammates for pre-season and am very excited by the new challenge that I will face playing in Germany. Torsten Frings has been a huge factor in my decision as a highly decorated player for Germany and a very talented coach who has similar ambitions to my own.”

“I hope to continue to develop and progress my career and I am confident of doing so with Torsten and Darmstadt.”

Jamie Maclaren could be joined in the German second division by attacking teammate Brandon Borrello, who has been strongly linked with Kaiserslautern. For now though he will be joined in the 2.Bundesliga by fellow Australians Mitch Langerak, Matthew Leckie and Jake Brimmer.

Brisbane’s #9 departs after scoring 43 goals in 61 appearances for the club, placing Jamie second on the all time goalscoring charts behind just Besart Berisha. Best of luck Jamie.


Arana headlines Roar departures

Brisbane Roar have released four players as John Aloisi reshapes his squad ahead of the new season. Spanish midfielder Manuel Arana heads the list, along with fellow midfielder Nathan Konstandopoulos, defender Cameron Crestani and striker Joey Katebian.

Arana, 32, arrived late in the pre-season from Spanish club Mallorca and took time getting up to speed here in the A-League. All up just two goals from 23 appearances wasn’t enough to force his way into the starting line-up,

Young midfielder Konstandopoulos played only a bit part role in the side for Brisbane this season, with his only start coming on Matchday five of the AFC Champions League against Muanthong United. All up the former Adelaide midfielder made four appearances over the season.

Katebian, 21, only played a bit part role in the first team this season with just the two starts, both of which came in the Champions League. Injuries, and the emergence of Nicholas D’Agostino made it difficult for the former Melbourne man to make his mark.

Youth team captain Cameron Crestani was elevated to the senior squad after another stellar season for the Young Roar and made six appearances for Brisbane, including playing an important role in the backline for much of the Champions League campaign.

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Crestani finally made the breakthrough from the youth team this season. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Joining the quartet in departing the Roar are star striker Jamie Maclaren who officially informed the Roar of his decision yesterday, and fan favourite Thomas Broich who announced his intention to move on back in the lead-up to the Elimination Final against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Maclaren, 23, departs Brisbane after two stellar years upfront where he became the first ever Australian striker to score 20 or more goals in two straight A-League seasons. That form has seen Maclaren become a hot property on the transfer market, with clubs in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands all vying for his signature. All up Jamie scored 43 goals in 61 appearances, which ranks second behind only Besart Berisha – 49 goals from 83 appearances- on Brisbane’s all-time goal scoring charts.

Broich, 36, arrived in Brisbane after falling out of love with the game in his native Germany and quickly became a key cog in Ange Postecoglou’s Roar Revolution, with Brisbane going on to win the double in his first season. All up in his seven year stay with Brisbane Roar, Broich made 203 appearances for the club –second most- and scored 21 goals –eighth most- in club history.

Add in the personal accolades which include being the only two time winner of the Johnny Warren medal as the League’s best player, a Joe Marston medallist in the 2014 Grand Final and the only player to win the Gary Wilkins medal for Brisbane’s player of the year on three occasions. Not to mention he was honoured as the first inductee to the clubs Hall of Fame over the weekend at the awards night.

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(Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

With the departure of Arana, Katebian, Crestani, Broich, Maclaren and Konstandopoulos, Brisbane’s squad currently sits at sixteen players signed up for next season, with two marquee players –Tommy Oar and Brett Holman- and one visa player –Thomas Kristensen. Midfield duo Jacob Pepper and Joe Caletti, in addition to defender Avram Papadopoulos are as yet uncontracted for next season, however their exclusion from this list indicates it’s likely the trio will be part of the squad for 2017-18.

Brisbane Roar squad for 2017-18 as at 17/05/2017.
Goalkeepers
– Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Kye Rowles.
Midfielders- Shannon Brady, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Tommy Oar, Matt McKay.
Forwards- Brandon Borrello, Nicholas D’Agostino.

Unknown- Joe Caletti, Avram Papadopoulos, Jacob Pepper.
Released- Manuel Arana, Thomas Broich, Cameron Crestani, Joey Katebian, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Jamie Maclaren.

Manuel Arana
Player Number-
121
Debut- Round 5, 2016-17 (Melb. City-H)
Games- 11 (12)
Goals– 2

Nathan Konstandopoulos
Player Number
– 117
Debut- 2016 FFA Cup Round of 32 (Perth Glory- H)
Games- 1 (3)
Goals- 0

Cameron Crestani
Player Number– 124
Debut- Round 20, 2016-17 (Perth Glory- A)
Games- 5 (1)
Goals– 0

Joey Katebian
Player Number- 120
Debut- Round 3, 2016-17 (Central Coast- A)
Games- 2 (4)
Goals- 0

Jamie Maclaren
Player Number- 112
Debut- 2015 FFA Cup Round of 32 (Western Sydney- A)
Games- 57 (4)
Goals- 43
Honours- 2x A-League Young Player of the Year, A-League Golden Boot (2016-17), 2x Brisbane Roar Golden Boot winner

Thomas Broich
Player Number-
69
Debut- Round 1, 2010-11 (Gold Coast-A)
Games- 192 (11)
Goals- 21
Honours- 3x A-League Champion, 2x A-League Premier, 2x Johnny Warren Medallist, 1x Joe Marston Medallist, 3x Gary Wilkins Medallist, Brisbane Roar hall of famer.

Best of luck to Manuel, Nathan, Cameron, Joey, Jamie and Thomas on their future endeavours.