Brisbane add duo on scholarship deals

Brisbane Roar have added to their youthful squad with the arrival of midfield duo Jay Barnett and Bryce Bafford on scholarship deals.

The duo, who arrive from the recently closed FFA Centre of Excellence join full-back Dane Ingham and attacking midfielder Emilio Martinez on scholarship deals at the Roar.

The arrival of Barnett and Bafford adds to the group of young players under contract at the Roar, with Rahmat Akbari, Shannon Brady, Corey Brown, Joe Caletti, Nick D’Agostino, Dane Ingham, Emilio Martinez, Connor O’Toole, Mitchell Oxborrow and Peter Skapetis all aged 23 or under.

Former Perth Glory youngster Bafford arrives in Brisbane having spent two seasons in the nations capital, where he scored 8 goals in 23 appearances for the FFA Centre of Excellence.

Barnett meanwhile scored 2 goals in 16 appearances in the 2017 NPL Capital Football season for the FFA COE, and will link up with Roar teammates Macklin Freke, Aaron Reardon and Kai Trewin.

The newly added duo will face stiff competition for a spot in Brisbane’s midfield with experienced options like Matt McKay and Thomas Kristensen, in addition to last seasons’ breakout player Joe Caletti amongst those ahead of the duo in the pecking order.

In the meantime however the duo figure to play a role in the Young Roar’s 2017-18 National Youth League season which is set to kick off next month in addition to next year’s NPL Queensland campaign to start with.

Brisbane Roar FC Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Squad as of 18/10/2017
Goalkeepers: Michael Theo, Jamie Young

Defenders: Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke DeVere, Jack Hingert, Dane Ingham *, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Avram Papadopoulos

Midfielders: Jay Barnett *, Bryce Bafford *, Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Emilio Martinez *, Matt McKay (c), Mitchell Oxborrow, Jacob Pepper

Attackers: Eric Bautheac, Shannon Brady, Nick D’Agostino, Corey Gameiro, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Massimo Maccarone, Peter Skapetis. *- Denotes Scholarship player


Recap of RSF Academy Forum


On Friday night the Roar Supporters Federation hosted another fans forum, this time with the focus on youth development and Brisbane’s new academy which is set to launch in January 2018. Academy director Drew Sherman was the guest speaker on the night at the QUT Kelvin Grove campus as he outlined the work that’s been done so far, and the planning behind scenes to get the academy up and running.

You can watch our live steam of the night on our Facebook page. Alternatively, here’s some notes from the night.

Sherman opened the forum by talking about how the club wanted to be the most successful as possible and the need to have the best players available in order to do that by either spending large up front transfer fees to acquire them, or by investing in the development of youngsters. After going through the pros and cons of each strategy, Sherman outlined the clubs view that developing players is the best approach and one of the reasons for the launch of the academy.

Discussion then turned to the structure of the academy, with the program starting when they enter the program full-time at the age 12 and taking them through to the end of their schooling at age 17. Sherman also outlined that there is a linear approach to the academy with the possibility for players to move up and down over the years, with the support of Football Queensland and partner clubs in the NPL vital to this.

In the age groups below the start of the academy, the approach is to work with the NPL clubs across the state and offer support such as the SAP program to help develop their own programs in order to reach as many players as possible.

Sherman then went on to outline eight key areas upon which the academy is judged under the academy’s performance plan.

  • Facilities
  • Operations
  • Recruitment
  • Medical
  • Coaching
  • High Performance
  • Player welfare/Education
  • Finance

    While the youth team will transition to the new training base down in Logan upon its completion, the academy’s operations will remain at QUT Kelvin Grove campus for the next five years, with travel considerations for players from all parts of the greater Brisbane area a factor in the decision.

    As part of the timeline to launch the academy, each of the above criteria will be audited by the FFA to ensure they meet the required levels prior to the launch date.

    Talent Identification
    In terms of talent identification, Sherman outlined they use both internal and external scouting mechanisms, with the internal scouting taking place at partner clubs throughout the NPL system. Externally to that there are currently six scouts who cover football of all levels and competitions in South-East Queensland, covering on average 120 games per month to ensure players don’t get missed.

    Players who are recommended are then brought into a trial day to be compared with others from the same age group in order to identify the best players. It’s a practice that is currently being used to help start the academy, however Sherman indicated it’s one which would be limited to players entering at the u-12 level moving forward once the academy is up and running.

    Teams in the academy
    When the academy gets up and running next year, Brisbane’s will have teams from u-12’s right through to the u-19’s with each group set to feature roughly 18 players, although the number may vary depending on talent in a particular year.

    Each team will play up one age group in order to suitably challenge the players in their development and to provide flexibility for players to move up or down depending on the need. The clubs u-16’s side will be competing in the u-18’s competition, with the u-17’s competing in the u-20 competition and the senior youth side comprised of u-19’s players.

    With player welfare in mind, Sherman outlined that players accepted in the program to remain in the system through the end of their schooling. There isn’t going to be much chopping and changing each year, with players outside the system having to be better than those in the academy if they are to be brought in.

    Currently there are four full-time coaches as part of the academy, with Drew Sherman and current Young Roar Manager James Robinson headlining the group. Former Brisbane Roar youth graduate and first team player Chris Grossman is also part of the group, as is goalkeeping coach Brodie Sams.

    In addition to the current staff they are currently looking for coaches at each level of the academy with three different sets of criteria being emphasised. Ideally the aim is to have an experienced youth coach leading each age group, assisted by a young up and coming coach who has potential moving forward and further assisted by an experienced player looking to make their way into coaching after retirement.

    Timeline of the academy
    Below is a rough timeline of how the academy has been built up to this date, and what will take place between now and when the program officially launches next year.

    February- Drew Sherman arrives as Academy Director
    March- Met NPL clubs to understand climate of football in South-East Qld, develop strategy.
    April– Developed talent id network.
    May– Started training ground discussions and talent id process.
    June– Confirmed medical and sports science infrastructure + further age group trials.
    July- More aged group trials + academy partnership discussions. Started staff recruitment.
    August- Developing state-wide talent id network
    October– Full-time staff begin and successful players notified of placements. Audited by FFA.
    Oct-Dec– Develop programs for partner clubs
    Jan 22, 2018- Academy program officially launched.

    Partner clubs
    When discussing Partner clubs, Sherman outlined that the club must have at least one of the following to be considered for a partnership.

    – Commitment to youth development
    – A plan for youth development
    – A history of youth development

    Clubs without those things aren’t compatible with the program according to Sherman, while for those that are plans are being worked on to ensure the best situation moving forward.

    The other requirement for partner clubs is that the environment has to be both accessible for people and inclusive, with the program to cover both male and female players.

    A question from the floor asked how the NPL clubs view Brisbane’s academy with Sherman outlining that the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with a number of clubs signing up to be partners of the academy.

    Sherman went on to say that of the 28 clubs set to make up the expanded NPL set-up in 2018, only three had a problem with the program. Amongst others, NPL Queensland clubs Olympic FC and Gold Coast City were mentioned as clubs who would be part of the partner club set-up.

Attributes of a Brisbane Roar player
The final question of the night was surrounding what makes up a Brisbane Roar player and what attributes were the club looking for when bringing players in, with Sherman outlining that commitment, character and competency were the three most important areas. In terms of on field however there were three main areas that were important; personality traits, skill and speed.

Personality Traits– Work-ethic, body language, ability to take on instructions, reaction when ball is lost, ect.
Skill– first touch, passing, 1v1 defending, ect.
Speed– physical speed + speed of thought.

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.