Roar retain NPL Status for 2018 season

Brisbane Roar Youth have retained their place in NPL Queensland competition after Football Queensland announced the restructuring of the competition today.

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The 12 current NPL Queensland sides will all retain their status in the state’s top flight competition and be joined by two new teams, with Richlands based Lions FC and Central Queensland side Mackay & Whitsundays Magpies Crusaders United joining the newly expanded 14 team competition.

Lions FC are a name familiar to those who follow the game locally here in Brisbane and as the 2016 Champions of the Brisbane Premier League bring an additional power to the competitions Brisbane based clubs.

The competitions second new side Mackay and Whitsundays Magpies Crusaders United might be a long name but it’s an amalgamation of two strong clubs in the region, Mackay Crusaders and Magpies FC.

In addition to the NPL Queensland competition the successful applicants for the states new second division –Football Queensland Premier League- were also announced, with a plethora of Brisbane Premier League sides making the jump.

Easts, Holland Park Hawks, Ipswich Knights, Logan Lighting, Mitchelton, Peninsula Power, Rochedale Rovers, Souths United, Southside Eagles and Wolves FC all make the jump from either the Brisbane Premier League or Capital Leagues and will provide a strong capital city presence in the second tier.

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They’ll be joined by four new regional sides, with  Gold Coast Athletic, Gold Coast Galaxy, Sunshine Coast Wanderers and Wide Bay all joining the competition to provide a pathway in the game for players in their regions.

At the end of the season, two sides will be relegated from the NPL Queensland and replaced by two promoted teams from the Football Queensland Premier League.

Promotion and relegation is expected to be decided by results in the senior competition, as well as the u-20’s and u-18’s, with concessions given to the regional sides and the Young Roar in the initial seasons.

For Brisbane Roar the additional competition will provide a strong test for the clubs talented young players as they look to make their way from the youth ranks into the senior A-League squad.

In addition to competing in the National Youth League over the summer months, participation in the NPL Queensland provides the pathway for players to compete year round and improve upon their games

2018 NPL Queensland participating clubs
Brisbane City, Brisbane Olympic, Brisbane Roar Youth, Brisbane Strikers, Far North Queensland Heat, Gold Coast City, Lions FC, Mackay & Whitsundays Magpies Crusaders United, Moreton Bay United, Northern Fury, Redlands United, South West Queensland Thunder, Sunshine Coast FC, Western Pride. 2018

Football Queensland Premier League participating clubs
Easts, Gold Coast Athletic, Gold Coast Galaxy, Holland Park Hawks, Ipswich Knights, Logan Lightning, Mitchelton FC, Peninsula Power, Rochedale Rovers, Southside Eagles, Souths United, Sunshine Coast Wanderers, Wide Bay, Wolves FC.


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.


2016-17 Disciplinary Record- May

Over the course of the season we’ll keep tabs on the yellow and red cards handed out each week across the A-League. It all adds up to the Fair play Award on the A-League’s annual awards night, an award which was won last season by Brisbane Roar.

While the fair play award is far from the most important trophy on offer in the A-League, it’s vital to have all of your players fit and available for the big games towards the end of the season and ill-discipline could prove to be crucial if players miss big games at the business end of the season.

Brisbane Roar have been the most successful disciplined side over the 11 year history of the A-League, winning the award on six occasions including four straight from 2010-11 through 2013-14. Other winners include Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC. The full list of winners is below.

2005-06– Melbourne Victory
2006-07– Perth Glory
2007-08– Newcastle Jets
2008-09– Brisbane Roar
2009-10– Sydney FC
2010-11– Brisbane Roar
2011-12– Brisbane Roar
2012-13– Brisbane Roar
2013-14– Brisbane Roar
2014-15– Wellington Phoenix
2015-16– Brisbane Roar

For those unaware, the award is decided on a points system, with points accrued for Yellow Cards, Second Yellow Cards and Straight Red Cards.

Here’s a breakdown on how the points system works
1 Point- Yellow Card
2 Points- Second Yellow Card
3 Points- Red Card

All data in this series is collated from the official match reports posted on the A-League website.

A-League Disciplinary Table

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Central Coast Mariners have held off Brisbane Roar to claim the 2016-17 fair play award, their first in the competitions 12 year history. Despite the Roar having the best record for the final month of the season, Central Coast –who had the third best record of the month- held on by three points, with Newcastle and Adelaide sharing fourth place.

At the other end of the table, despite having the fourth best record throughout April, Melbourne City have finished bottom of the discipline table for 2016-17, finishing 11 points behind 9th placed Wellington.

Individual disciplinary table

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So far this season there have been 576 yellow cards handed out to 171 different players over the course of the season, with the total number of yellow cards up from 533 in the last update. That equates to an average of 4.4 yellow cards per game, which is the same as the last update.

Over the course of the season there have been 64 players who’ve missed games this season for disciplinary reasons, who between them have missed a combined 87 games between them. Melbourne City’s Dean Bouzanis has missed the most games for disciplinary reasons this season due to his racial slur directed at Besart Berisha, with Melbourne City also having the most players to miss a game –nine-.

Melbourne City are also the club who’ve suffered from suspensions the most this season with 17 games missed by their players, while at the other end of the spectrum Central Coast Mariners have seen their players miss just the five games this season.

Referees Table

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Finally to the referees table and the number of referees remains the same as the last update with 12 referees amongst the FFA’s rotation, with Chris Beath the most common official over the regular season -21 matches- and Matthew Conger the least common -5 matches-.

Kurt Ams has the highest average yellow cards per game with 52 cautions in nine games this season for an average of 5.8, with Daniel Elder the lowest average with 21 yellow cards from seven games for an average of 3 per game. Jarred Gillett has shown the most red cards of any official this season dismissing six players in the regular season, while Kurt Ams and Matthew Conger were only officials not to issue a single red card in the regular season.

This is the final update for the 2016-17 season, with the both the A-League and W-League fair play award set to be given out at the league’s annual awards night next week.


Round 24 Match Preview- Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory

It’s been a busy week off the field for Brisbane Roar who have been in constant discussion with the FFA over the course of the week as the fallout over the 2-1 loss against Adelaide played out.

The net affect of the stoppage time drama in Adelaide is that goalkeeper Michael Theo will be suspended for two matches for his elbow on Adelaide defender Dylan McGowan.

In addition to that Ross Aloisi has been slapped with a four game ban for an incident in the tunnel post game, while Craig Moore received a one game ban for comments he made to referee Stephen Lucas.

All of that however is now in the past and the focus turns to tonight’s home game against Melbourne Victory in what is a most win game after last nights Wanderers win over Melbourne City.

That result gives Brisbane the chance to finish the round in 3rd place, however anything less than a win will leave them just one game ahead of sixth placed Western Sydney.

What have they done lately?
Melbourne Victory have been flying somewhat under the radar as Sydney FC run away with the Premiers Plate, however it’s the Victory who will join them in getting a free pass into week 2 of the finals.

With just one loss in the last six weeks, the Victory are hitting form at the right time of the season, that one loss however against Sydney FC in round 22 eliminated them from the Premiership race.

Despite that, it’s in attack where Melbourne are at their strongest, with a league high 48 goals scored this season. Due to the international break however, they will be without the scorers of 37 of those goals tonight with Jai Ingham, James Troisi, Marco Rojas and Besart Berisha unavailable.

This season against Melbourne Victory
Round 1-
Brisbane Roar 1-1 Melbourne Victory
Round 15- Melbourne Victory 2-3 Brisbane Roar

Expected Line-ups
While Brisbane Roar will be without the suspended Theo and club captain Matt McKay due to a knee injury, John Aloisi does at least welcome back both Thomas Broich and Luke DeVere to the selection.

It’s likely that if Broich is fit he will replace the ineffective Arana on the left hand side, however the defensive situation is more complex. Prior to his injury Luke DeVere was forming a solid partnership with Jade North, however with recent addition Avram Papadopoulos playing well at the heart of defence John Aloisi has a real selection dilemma on his hands.

At a guess, id say that given his injury history Aloisi will play it safe with DeVere and give him another week off, with Kye Rowles acting as defensive cover on the bench.

Brisbane Roar- Young, Hingert, North, Papadopoulos, Brown, Kristensen, Caletti, Holman, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Bilic, Rowles, Pepper, Arana, D’Agostino.
Omitted– DeVere, Brady.

Melbourne Victory have been hit hard by the current international break with their entire front four away with their respective national sides. With Berisha, Ingham, Rojas and Troisi all unavailable, Kevin Muscat is set to turn to youth in his last ditch attempt to salvage Victory’s Premiership aspirations. Back-up striker George Howard is set for a rare start, as are out of favour wingers Mitch Austin and Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

Youngsters Pierce Waring and Christopher Theoharous are likely to make their A-League debuts off the bench after impressing in the youth side over recent weeks. Midfield duo Josh Hope and Cameron McGlip are also outside chances of playing.

Melbourne Victory– Thomas, Geria, Baro, Donachie, Georgievski, Broxham, Valeri, Mahazi, Austin, Ben Khalfallah, Howard.
Substitutes- Acton, Ansell, Theoharous, Nigro, Waring.
Omitted- Hope, McGlip.

All-Time Record against Melbourne Victory

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McKay left out of Socceroos squad

Australia v Netherlands: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Matt McKay has been omitted from the final 23 players for Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates.

McKay was named in the provisional 30 man squad last week but was amongst seven players left out of the final squad today by the former Brisbane Roar boss.

McKay joins Chris Ikonomidis, Ryan Edwards, Nathan Burns, Awer Mabil, Craig Goodwin and Alex Gersbach in being left out of the final 23.

Today’s news means that the Brisbane captain will be available for next weekends home clash with Melbourne Victory, who will be without James Troisi, Besart Berisha, Jai Ingham and Marco Rojas due to the international window.

McKay, who has 59 caps for the Socceroos since making his debut back in August 2006 now seems unlikely to add to his tally.

Brisbane’s only loss over the window is Dane Ingham who has been selected in the New Zealand squad for their games against Fiji.

Socceroos squad for World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates
Goalkeepers-
Mitch Langerak, Matt Ryan, Danny Vukovic.
Defenders- Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Rhyan Grant, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith,  Rhys Williams, Bailey Wright.
Midfielders- Mustafa Amini, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, James Jeggo, Massimo Luongo, Riley McGree, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, James Troisi.
Forwards- Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Matthew Leckie.


Dane Ingham called up to New Zealand WCQ squad

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(Chris Hyde/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Young Brisbane full-back Dane Ingham has today been included in New Zealand’s upcoming 2018 World Cup Qualifiers against Fiji later this month.

The inclusion caps a meteoric rise for the 17 year old, who spent much of the season getting accustomed to his new role at right full-back after shifting back from the front third towards the end of the 2016 NPL Queensland season.

Ingham then capitalised on Brisbane’s congested fixture schedule by joining his older brother Jai in making his professional debut for the Roar in the 6-0 Asian Champions League qualifier against Global FC.

Ingham has gone on to make five appearances all up for the Roar so far this season, including making his A-League debut in round 19 against Melbourne City, before scoring his first professional goal the following week against Perth Glory.

While defensively Ingham has been on a steep learning curve in his new position, the youngster has shown the ability to get forward and provide an option on the overlap which culminated in his goal against Perth.

Dane is joined by his older brother and former Brisbane winger Jai in the All-Whites squad, with manager Anthony Hudson excited to add the duo to his squad ahead.

The duo now stand a chance at being involved in a big year for the All Whites, who will participate in the Confederations Cup in June before trying to qualify for the World Cup later in the year.

“Recently when Dane made his debut for the Roar, for me 20 – 30 minutes into the game and I was sold. I had seen enough. He is a really good player. I have said all along that I wouldn’t be adding unless they add to the squad and these two players do that. I have seen enough to know that they can come in and improve what we are doing.”- Anthony Hudson, NZ Manager.

You can read more and listen to an interview about there selection on the New Zealand Football Website here.

It’s  been a busy week for Ingham, who changed agents earlier in the week.

With Ingham called up to the All Whites squad, he will miss the round 24 clash against Melbourne Victory who in turn will be without four players for the game.

Ingham joins Matt McKay in being called up for international football in the coming weeks, with club captain McKay a strong chance to participate in Australia’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.


Matt McKay named in Socceroos Squad

Australia v Netherlands: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Brisbane captain Matt McKay has been named in a 30 man Socceroos squad for the upcoming 2018 World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates.

McKay, now 34 has been left out of the previous squads by Ange Postecoglou and will now get the chance to add to his 59 caps for Australia with his last arriving in the 2-1 loss to England back in May.

As club captain, McKay has made 25 appearances so far this season, with his performances in the midfield making him still an important part of the team.

If selected in the final 23, McKay will miss the Round 24 home game against Melbourne Victory which will further test Brisbane’s depth.

Australia find themselves in a difficult position in Group B, concluding the first half of the fixtures in 3rd place, one point behind Japan and group leader Saudi Arabia. With three of their final five games at home they will however remain confident of qualifying for a fourth successive World Cup.

It’s a massive year for the National Team with an appearance in the Confederations Cup in June adding to a busy year for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

There are a number of potential debutants in the current selection with Sydney FC duo Danny Vukovic and Rhyan Grant in line for a debut after strong form with the league leaders.

Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Ryan Edwards (Partik Thistle), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz), Awer Mabil (Esjberg) and Adelaide United teenager Riley McGree could also find themselves making their debut after being named in the squad

30 man Socceroos squad
Goalkeepers- Mitchell Langerak (FC Ingolstadt), Matt Ryan (RKC Genk), Danny Vukovic (Sydney FC).

Defenders-
Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F Marinos), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Trent Sainsbury (Inter Milan), Brad Smith (AFC Bournemouth), Rhys Williams (Perth Glory), Bailey Wright (Bristol City).

Midfielders-
Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Ryan Edwards (Partik Thistle), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam), Chris Ikonomidis (Aarhus), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Riley McGree (Adelaide United), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Baniyas), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory).

Forwards- Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern), Robbie Kruse (Liaoning Whowin), Awer Mabil (Esbjerg).

Australia will play Iraq in neutral Tehran on March 23rd before returning to Australia to take on UAE in Sydney five days later. The squad will be trimmed from 30 down to 23 after this weekends fixtures.