Crestani joins Western Pride


(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

Dane Ingham selected in New Zealand u-20 side



Brisbane full-back Dane Ingham has been selected by New Zealand u-20’s coach Darren Bazeley in a 30 man training camp squad in Auckland next week.

The 30 man squad is the beginning of the preparation for the 2017 u-20 World Cup which begins at the end of the month in South Korea.

New Zealand find themselves in a group with perennial contenders France, in addition to Honduras and Vietnam and will fancy their chances of progressing to the knockout rounds with the four best third placed sides progressing.

It’s been a meteoric rise for Brisbane’s young right-back, who only started playing the position 10 months ago and was thrown into the Asian Champions League qualifier against Global FC back in January.

Since then Ingham has gone on to make 7 appearances for Brisbane throughout a busy 2016-17 season, showing his versatility by playing at both right and left back.

Those performances were enough to convince All Whites coach Anthony Hudson to include him in their recent World Cup Qualifiers Fiji, making his debut as a right wing back in a 2-0 win at home.

It could be a busy off-season for Dane on the international stage with the possibility of going to the Confederations Cup in June.

Ingham is joined in the 30 man squad by former Young Roar teammate Daniel McHenery, who had a brief stint with the Roar before returning to Western Pride for the 2017 season.

The squad will be cut down to 21 next week ahead of the New Zealand’s first game against Vietnam on May 22nd, before moving on to play Honduras on May 25th before rounding out the group stage against France on May 28th.

2017 NPL Queensland Season Preview


After a brief break following the end of the 2016-17 National Youth League season, Brisbane begin their 2017 NPL Queensland season as the winter competition gets underway.

In the recently concluded NYL, Brisbane put in some strong performances but once again fell just short of qualifying for the Grand Final from Conference A, finishing two points behind eventual champions Melbourne City.

As mentioned over the last couple of weeks, a number players in the Young Roar set-up have moved on, leaving holes in the squad that have to be filled. Since the end of the National Youth League the likes of goalkeeper Andre Jannese, defender Hayden McHenery, midfielders Henry Hore, Danny Kim, Joseph Champness and Jayden Prasad, plus attacker Joe Duckworth.

Add in those who left at the end of the 2016 NPL Queensland campaign and it figures to be a very different squad in 2017. The only confirmed addition to the fold is Moreton Bay winger Finn Beakhurst, with the rest likely to be made up of gradates from the QAS side.

Working out who is in the squad is an interesting one due to both the recent transfers of players out of the system and the current A-League injury crisis which will see a bunch of players who were likely to play in the NPL not available as they compete for playing time in the A-League.

That means that for the first part of the NPL season the likes of goalkeeper Tomislav Bilic, defenders Cameron Crestani, Connor O’Toole, Dane Ingham and Kye Rowles, midfielders Joe Caletti and Nathan Konstandopoulos, plus attackers Nicholas D’Agostino and Shannon Brady are unlikely to feature in the early rounds.

With that in mind the NPL side in the early rounds is likely to be made up with players who were on the fringes over the summer NYL competition. That means the likes of Macklin Frecke, Adam Sawyer, Aaron Reardon, Daniel Driver, Daniel Leck, Mark Rodic and Nicholas Panetta, in addition to new signing Finn Beakhurst should get regular football in the next few weeks.

As always for the Young Roar the expectations are more about player development and putting in solid performances rather than aiming for a spot in the finals places. For those players who are entering their second season in the set-up it’s a big few months as they try and catch the eye of John Aloisi and his coaching staff, with a view to being involved in the A-League sides pre-season later on in the year.

Additional teams
In addition to the Young Roar playing in the senior NPL Queensland competition, Brisbane will once again be fielding a side in the u-18’s competition which is essentially the QAS/NTC program.

This season however there will be a third Brisbane Roar side in the NPL competitions, with an u-20’s side set to be fielded in that competition for the first time which will open up further opportunities for younger players to enter the Brisbane youth system.

All three of these side are set to play the 2017 season at A.J. Kelly Park in Redcliffe, with the clubs new training base still in progress. It’s highly likely that these teams will eventually play the majority of their home games at the new training base, but for 2017 they’ll be playing up on the Peninsula.

The competition
Switching focus to the rest of the competition and the favourites figure to be perennial contenders Brisbane Strikers, who will be looking to win their first Championship in the NPL era of the state league.

Their biggest challenge is likely to come from Cairns based FNQ Heat, who ran them close in the Premiership race last season, while Olympic FC could be an outsider to keep an eye on given their strong recruitment over the summer under new boss Terry Kirkham. Gold Coast City and Western Pride, who both have a range of talented young players also figure to have good seasons.

Last seasons Champions Redlands have seen the majority of their squad move on to both rival clubs in the NPL Queensland, and to clubs in the stronger NPL Victoria and could find it tough to defend their title. Captain Michael McGowan, midfielder Paul O’Brien and goalkeeper Brendan White figure to be big losses for Red Devils.

Round 1 fixtures
Olympic FC v Brisbane Roar- Saturday 6.00pm at Goodwin Park, Yeronga.
Moreton Bay v Northern Fury- Saturday 6.00pm at Wolter Park, Albany Creek.
FNQ Heat v Gold Coast City- Saturday 6.30 pm at Barlow Park, Cairns.
Brisbane City v SWQ Thunder- Saturday 6.30pm at Spencer Park, Newmarket.
Western Pride v Brisbane Strikers- Sat 7.00pm at Briggs Road Complex, Ipswich.
Sunshine Coast v Redlands- Sunday 2.00pm at Sunshine Coast Stadium, Kawana.


Three more depart Young Roar squad


(Twitter/ @andrejannese)

In recent weeks we’ve brought you news around several Young Roar players departing the setup, with Jayden Prasad and Danny Kim joining Hume City and Joseph Champness joining Newcastle Jets. There have been three more players depart ahead of the 2017 NPL Queensland campaign however.

The first of those is goalkeeper Andre Jannese, who has returned to Victoria and joined NPL 2 Victorian side Moreland Zebras. Jannese, who arrived ahead of the 2015-16 NYL season from the AIS, has fallen beneath Tomislav Bilic in the pecking order amongst the Brisbane goalkeeping ranks.

It signals a turnaround of fortunes for both Jannese and Bilic, with the former finding himself on the bench numerous times last season while Michael Theo was injured. This time around however it’s Bilic who has taken over the reserve goalkeeper spot as John Aloisi rotates his shot stoppers between League and Continental commitments.

Jannese has now as mentioned returned to Victoria in NPL 2, where he has made three appearances so far for his new club, who find themselves second on the table.

Joining Jannese on the way out of the Young Roar are two players who only joined the club towards the end of 2016, with defender Hayden McHenery and striker Joe Duckworth returning to their former club Western Pride.

McHenery, who joined the Young Roar as part of a mid-season reshuffle back in June, made seven appearances for the Roar in the 2016 NPL Queensland season at centre back, although he failed to make an appearance over the National Youth League.

Duckworth, who also joined Brisbane from Western Pride, made just the one appearance for the Young Roar in the round one 3-3 draw at home to Melbourne Victory. Duckworth started that game on the left hand side of a front three, however he was substituted at half time and was unsighted for the remainder of the campaign.

As mentioned the duo will return to their former club Western Pride to where they will be joined by another former Young Roar player, with striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls joining the Ipswich side after departing the Young Roar at the end of the last NPL season.

When you add in Jannese, McHenery and Duckworth, the list of players who have departed the Young Roar set-up since the end of the 2016 NPL Queensland is up to 10 players.

The full list of players who’ve departed the Young Roar in the last few months- Joseph Champness, Jesse Daley, Joe Duckworth, Henry Hore, Andre Jannese, Danny Kim, Hayden McHenery, Jayden Prasad, Harrison Sawyer, Dylan Wenzel-Halls.

There’s certainly something happening with the Young Roar squad and as mentioned previously it will be very interesting to see who lines up for the side in this weekends season opener away to Olympic FC.

Kick-off in Brisbane’s first NPL Queensland clash of 2017 is set for 7.00pm on Saturday night, although getting from Suncorp Stadium for the A-League clash to Goodwin Park by 7.00pm would be a stretch.

Young Roar duo join Hume City

Young Roar duo Danny Kim and Jayden Prasad have left the youth setup at Brisbane Roar, joining NPL Victoria side Hume City ahead of the 2017 season.

A story on regional Melbourne paper Star Weekly suggests that the duo have been training with Hume for the past few weeks, with Hume City Technical Director Dean Hennessey saying the duo have impressed so far.

Kim – a midfielder-, and Prasad –a right winger- left the Young Roar at the conclusion of the 2016-17 National Youth League season.

In the recently concluded NYL season, Prasad made a couple of substitute appearances, while Kim didn’t feature in any of the eight games.

Over the 2016 NPL Queensland campaign, both were regulars in Josh McCloughan’s side, with Kim making 12 appearances to Prasad’s 11. Prasad however had four goals to Kim’s zero.

In the season opening game for Hume, Danny Kim was a second half substitute in a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Knights. Jayden Prasad wasn’t in the matchday squad.

Of the two, Prasad was the better prospect, with the winger earning a call-up to the Young Socceroos last year alongside Kye Rowles and Joseph Champness, who recently moved to Newcastle Jets.

The departure of both Kim and Prasad take the departures at the conclusion of the 2016-17 NYL season to three, with Joseph Champness recently moving to Newcastle on an 18 month deal. Add in Jesse Daley –who moved to South Melbourne-, and Harrison Sawyer that makes it five players who’ve departed in the last few months.

So far the only addition is Moreton Bay winger Finn Beakhurst, while Hayden McHenery and Joseph Duckworth joined the setup from Western Pride midway through 2016.

It will be interesting to see if this leads to more players making the step up from the u-18’s, or some of the fringe A-League players like Shannon Brady getting more playing time.

Brisbane’s first game of the 2017 NPL Queensland campaign begins away to Olympic FC on February 25th.

Winger joins Young Roar set-up


New Young Roar winger Finn Beakhurst

Moreton Bay United winger Finn Beakhurst will join the Young Roar set-up ahead of the 2017 NPL Queensland campaign.

Beakhurst, 18, made his debut for Moreton Bay back in 2015 in the NPL Finals Series before making 17 appearances in last years NPL competition.

The Young wingers performances were impressive enough to earn an invite to play the Roar in pre-season as part of the NPL Queensland u-23 all-stars.

Beakhurst joins the set-up at the same time that another former Moreton Bay winger departs the Roar, with Joseph Champness moving to Newcastle Jets on an 18 month scholarship deal.

Beakhurst now joins Jayden Prasad, Daniel Leck and fringe first team winger Shannon Brady in  competition for the two wide spots in James Robinsons starting line-up.

This is the first addition to the Young Roar squad ahead of the 2017 NPL Queensland season and there figures to be a couple of other changes to the squad before the new season gets underway.

Brisbane’s 2017 NPL Queensland campaign gets underway February 25th with a game against Olympic FC at Goodwin Park. Here’s the Young Roar fixture list for the upcoming season.


Champness Jets off to Europe, via Newcastle


Joseph Champness has signed today a scholarship contract with the Newcastle Jets through the 2017-18 season. The move was announced on the Jets official website.

Champness, 19, joined the Young Roar set-up in October 2015, and while his performances on the left wing have been promising it clearly wasn’t enough to force his way into John Aloisi’ plans moving forward.

While the move is immediate Champness wont link up with the Jets right away, with the winger set for a loan spell in Portugal with Academica de Coimbra who play in the second division.

Champness and fellow Newcastle signing Antonee Burke will link up with Academica de Coimbra reserve team on a six month loan through the end of the current season, before returning to Newcastle to join the first team squad at the start of pre-season.

Over the recently concluded NYL campaign, Champness found himself often in the role of substitute, while in the 2016 NPL Queensland he scored 4 goals in 14 games.

Joining Champness on a Scholarship deal is striker Harrison Sawyer, who recently made his A-League debut for the Jets after also leaving the Young Roar set-up.

Champness joins former Young Roar teammate Harrison Sawyer, and ex Roar players Devante Clut and Lachlan Jackson at the Jets. Dimitri Petratos will join that quartet in the Hunter next season after recently announcing his departure at seasons end.

Champness is the first player to depart the Young Roar set-up following the conclusion of the 2016-17 NYL season. There will likely be a couple more before the 2017 NPL Queensland campaign begins at the end of the month.