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.


Theo stays as Katebian, Maclaren, Broich depart.

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(Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images AsiaPac)

According to Marco Monteverde Michael Theo will extend his stay in Brisbane to an eighth season after signing a contract extension through the end of the 2017-18 season.

All up Theo has made 166 appearances in all competitions for Brisbane since arriving back in 2010 which sees him rank behind only Matt McKay and Thomas Broich on the all time appearances tally.

This season has seen Theo overcome the injury issues which have seen him spend time on the sidelines, making 26 appearances in all competitions.

The season however ended with Theo on the sidelines with a knee injury after a collision with Brendon Santalab after making a point blank save which kept Brisbane level with Western Sydney in the Elimination Final.

With Theo now officially re-signed Brisbane will retain the same goalkeeping duo for the third fourth successive season, with Jamie Young also contracted until the end of the 2017-18 season. The signing also takes Brisbane’s 2017-18 squad to 16 players, with both marquee spaces taken and four of the five visa spaces open.

While Theo has re-signed, Marco also confirmed that Jamie Maclaren and Thomas Broich would be departing the Roar after this weeks ACL game with Ulsan, while a decision on the future of Manuel Arana would wait until after his post-season surgery.

Also heading for the exit door is striker Joey Katebian, who announced his departure at the weekend via his Instagram account. Katebian made just the six appearances for Brisbane since joining from Melbourne Victory, with both of his starts coming in the AFC Champions League.

Meanwhile Jacob Pepper, Avram Papadopoulos and Joe Caletti are likely to remain in Brisbane next season according to Monteverde.

Brisbane squad for 2017-18 as of 08/05/2017
Goalkeepers- Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke DeVere, Jack Hingert, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Kye Rowles,
Midfielders- Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay, Tommy Oar.
Forwards- Brandon Borrello, Shannon Brady, Nicholas D’Agostino.


Borrello, Caletti named in Australian u-23 squad

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(Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brisbane Roar duo Joe Caletti and Brandon Borrello have been rewarded for their performances in the A-League this season by being included in Josep Gombau’s plans for the upcoming AFC u-23 Championship qualifiers in July.

Borrello, 21, has found himself in the Australian u-23 set-up in the past for training camps ahead of the 2016 Olympic qualifiers and finds himself back in the mix after another strong season in the A-League.

With nine goals from 32 appearances in all competitions so far this season, Borrello is Brisbane’s second top goalscorer and will be one of the key attacking contributors in this squad throughout the qualifiers.

While Borrello started the season in the first team, it’s been a meteoric rise for Caletti, who began the season as part of the Young Roar side which came close to making the NYL Grand Final, before making his debut for the first team in the ACL qualifier against Global FC.

All up the young midfielder made 15 appearances for the Roar at the back end of the season becoming a key rotational player in the heart of midfield, particularly when captain Matt McKay went down with a knee injury.

The upcoming qualifiers mark the first step on the road to the 2018 AFC u-23 Championships in China, with the top placed side in each group, in addition to the best 5 second placed sides joining the hosts in the final tournament in January next year.

Australia will travel to Myanmar in Group F to take on the hosts, Singapore and Brunei for a spot in the final tournament.

Josep Gombau’s side will begin their qualifiers with a game against Brunei on July 19, before playing Singapore on July 21st before rounding out the competition with a game against host nation Myanmar on July 23.

The majority of the squad plays domestically in the A-League, however it has been bolstered by three European based players with Bournemouth keeper Jordan Holmes, Tottenham keeper Thomas Glover and PSV Eindhoven defender Thomas Deng also included.

Borrello and Caletti join Dane Ingham in participating in youth international tournaments over the coming weeks, with Dane Ingham named in the New Zealand preliminary squad for the u-20 World Cup and is expected to make the final cut.

Australian u-23 training camp squad
Goalkeepers- Thomas Glover (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Holmes (AFC Bournemouth), Paul Izzo (Adelaide United), Daniel Margush (Adelaide United).

Defenders- Jonathan Aspropotamitis (Western Sydney Wanderers), Nick Cowburn (Newcastle Jets), Thomas Deng (PSV Eindhoven), Scott Galloway (Central Coast Mariners), Ben Garuccio (Adelaide United), Lachlan Jackson (Newcastle Jets), Liam Rose (Central Coast Mariners), Ruon Tongyik (Melbourne City).

Midfielders- Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Adam Berry (Central Coast Mariners), Joe Caletti (Brisbane Roar), Devante Clut (Newcastle Jets), Riley McGree (Adelaide United), Jordan O’Doherty (Adelaide United), Brandon Wilson (Perth Glory).

Forwards– George Blackwood (Sydney FC), Brandon Borrello (Brisbane Roar), Trent Buhagiar (Central Coast Mariners), Lachlan Scott (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jaushua Sotirio (Western Sydney Wanderers).


Maclaren claims Young Player, Golden Boot at Dolan Warren awards night

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Brisbane Roar striker has been rewarded for a stellar season in the A-League by claiming the Young Player of the Year award at the annual Dolan Warren awards night celebrating the best of the 2016-17 season in Australian Football.

Maclaren beat teammate Brandon Borrello, Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Riley McGree, Brandon O’Neill, Josh Brillante and Paul Izzo to become the first player to win the award for a second straight year.

In addition to the Young Player of the Year, Maclaren picked up the Golden Boot, with his 19 goals for the season seeing him share the award with Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha.

The big winner of the night was Milos Ninkovic with the Sydney FC standout running away with the Johnny Warren medal, finishing 7 points clear of  2016 winner Diego Castro.

On the women’s side the big winner was Sam Kerr who picked up the Julie Dolan medal after her performances in the W-League season saw Perth Glory claim the Premiers Plate and a home Grand Final before falling short in the decider. Kerr finished just two points clear of Brisbane Roar midfielder Katrina Gorry.

Meanwhile Canberra born midfielder Mark Tokich of the FFA Centre of Excellence was named the best player of the National Youth League season.

Sydney FC as a club picked up a range of awards with Graham Arnold named A-League coach of the year for the second time, while Danny Vukovic won the goalkeeper of the year award after conceding just the 12 goals for the season. The Sky Blues dominance continued in the W-League with Remy Siemsen picking up the W-League Young Player of the Year award.

Tim Cahill unsurprisingly picked up the Goal of the Year award in the A-League thanks to his round 2 goal in the Melbourne derby, while Sam Kerr picked up the W-League gong for her round 6 strike against Sydney FC.

While Besart Berisha and Jamie Maclaren shared the A-League Golden Boot on 19 goals apiece the W-League award was won individually by Canberra’s 2016 Julie Dolan medal winner Ashleigh Sykes, who score 12 goals for the season. In the Youth League Melbourne Victory striker Pierce Waring won the Golden Boot with six goals to his name from 8 games.

As we mentioned on here last week Central Coast Mariners won the A-League Fair play award for 2016-17 narrowly beating 2016 winner Brisbane Roar. Adelaide United picked up the W-League award while the FFA Centre of Excellence were the NYL winner.

Here’s the full list of winners at the 2017 Dolan Warren Medal awards night
A-League
Johnny Warren Medal- Milos Ninkovic (Sydney)
Coach of the Year- Graham Arnold (Sydney)
Golden Boot- Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane) & Besart Berisha (Melb. Victory)
Goalkeeper of the Year- Danny Vukovic (Sydney)
Goal of the Year- Tim Cahill (Melb City)
Young Player of the Year- Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane)
Referee of the Year- Jared Gillett
Fair Play Award- Central Coast Mariners
Community Champion- Melbourne Victory

W-League
Julie Dolan Medal- Sam Kerr (Perth)
Goal of the year- Sam Kerr (Perth)
Golden Boot- Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra)
Coach of the Year- Bobby Despotovski (Perth)
Goalkeeper of the Year- Lydia Williams (Melb. City)
Young Player of the Year- Remy Siemsen (Sydney)
Referee of the Year- Kate Jacewicz
Fair Play award- Adelaide United

National Youth League
Player of the Year- Marc Tokich (FFA Centre of Excellence)
Golden Boot- Pierce Waring (Melb. Victory)
Fair Play Award- FFA Centre of Excellence


Dane Ingham selected in New Zealand u-20 side

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(MARTY MELVILLE- Stuff.co.nz)

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.


2016-17 Semi Final Preview- MVC v BRI

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After last weeks latest A-League finals drama at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Roar find themselves travelling to Melbourne to try and book a place Grand Final against Sydney FC after they beat Perth Glory 3-0 on Saturday night.

While that Elimination Final win over the Wanderers was another great night at home for Brisbane in the finals, looking forward it presented a host of problems for this weekend given the emotional high the players would have been on after winning a game in the penalty shootout, in addition to the obvious physical fatigue it would of done.

Adding to the problems for John Aloisi is the midweek fixture in Thailand where Brisbane’s chance to progress to the last 16 of the Asian Champions League were ended by Muanthong United, and while the majority of the first XI stayed back in Brisbane to prepare for this weekends final those who did travel will probably struggle fitness wise the longer the game goes.

The good news for John Aloisi however is that he now has almost the full squad available for selection at the business end of the season, with only Michael Theo and Daniel Bowles unavailable due to injury.

What have they done lately?
While Brisbane have been busy dealing with the intensity of the Elimination Finals and the travel demands the Asian Champions League presents, Melbourne Victory have been quietly preparing for this weekends Semi-Final.

Kevin Muscat’s side will have gone 15 days without a game heading into this weekends clash after a 1-0 win over Central Coast Mariners on the Friday night of Round 27. Since then Brisbane have played three times, including the drama of the Elimination Final last week.

Form wise though there are plenty of people who’ve been asking questions of the Victory, who will enter the game with just two wins from their last five games after a 1-0 loss away to Sydney FC in Round 22 essentially ended their already slim Premiers Plate hopes.

Adding to the woes for Melbourne is the lack of goals since that loss to Sydney, with just five goals in five games, and four of those came in Round 23 against Perth Glory. Have Kevin Muscat’s men simply been tapering for the finals after realising the Premiership was gone and top 2 was essentially locked up, or are there bigger problems? Either way we’ll probably find out this weekend.

Recent Form
Brisbane- WWLWW
Melbourne- WDLLW

Top Scorer
Brisbane- Jamie Maclaren (20)
Melbourne- Besart Berisha (19)

This season against Melbourne Victory
Round 1- Brisbane Roar 1-1 Melbourne Victory
Round 15- Melbourne Victory 3-2 Brisbane Roar
Round 24- Brisbane Roar 1-0 Melbourne Victory

This seasons three games were all played in very different circumstances, with the opening game of the season baring some comparisons to the Elimination Final of the previous season in terms of the result, but it was a game lacking the intensity as the two sides got a feel for the new season.

With Brisbane’s poor record away in Melbourne in recent times they were probably thankful to only be making the trip to AAMI Park against the Victory once this season, however the ghosts of past visits returned to haunt John Aloisi side as Melbourne essentially put the game to bed inside the first half hour when they exploded to a 3-2 lead. Brisbane worked hard to get back into the game, however they were unable to capitalise on a 10 man Victory side for over half an hour in search of the equaliser.

The most recent game is one which in truth should be discounted due to the Victory playing the game without their entire front four who were on international duty, although the game did spark a late season goal rush for Jamie Maclaren which has propelled the Roar into the second last week of the season.

It’s hard to tell which of the three games will be indicative of how today’s game will pan out, however id lean towards the game mostly being along the a similar path to the first and third, with a close contest where goals are at a premium the most likely.

The biggest trend from the three games is that Victory have been dominant in terms of both territory and possession in all three games this season, while the Roar have been excellent at picking them off on the counter attack.

Expected Line-ups
As mentioned John Aloisi now has an almost fully fit squad at his disposal, however that now gives him the proverbial dilemma of who to select for this game. It’s likely that Aloisi will have three key decisions to make, at centre back, central midfield and on the bench.

With Jack Hingert once again fit to play at right full-back, one of Jade North, Luke DeVere or Avram Papadopoulos will miss out, with Luke DeVere the likely candidate given his inclusion against Muanthong.

In midfield the return of Matt McKay is a massive boost, however Aloisi will need to decide if he should return via the substitute’s bench after missing six weeks with a knee injury, or does the he bring the club captain straight back in place of impressive youngster Joe Caletti.

Finally, the return to fitness of Manuel Arana in his cameo against Muanthong United on Wednesday will see him enter the race for a bench spot, with Nicholas D’Agostino the most likely to miss out.

Brisbane XI- Young, Hingert, North, Papadopoulos, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Holman, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Bilic, DeVere, Caletti, Oar, D’Agostino.
Omitted- Pepper, Arana.

The biggest decision for Kevin Muscat will be surrounding one of his most trusted players in the shape of Leigh Broxham, and if he chooses to deploy him in his natural centre midfield role or at left back. The return of Daniel Georgievski will likely see Broxham join James Troisi and captain Carl Valeri in the middle of the park, with the likes of Stefan Nigro and Rashid Mahazi waiting in the wings should he start on the left side of defence.

Outside of that one decision, the rest of Melbourne’s starting XI is largely settled, with James Donachie seemingly winning the battle with Nick Ansell to start alongside Alan Baro in central defence, while Jai Ingham is likely to once again be cast in the role of super-sub despite his assist in the Round 27 win over Central Coast.

Melbourne XI- Thomas, Geria, Baro, Donachie, Georgievski, Broxham, Valeri, Troisi, Rojas, Ben Khalfallah, Berisha.
Substitutes- Acton, Ansell, Mahazi, Austin, Ingham.
Omitted- Nigro, Howard.

Previous Finals against Melbourne Victory
2014 Semi-Final- Brisbane Roar 1-0 Melbourne Victory
2016 Elimination Final- Brisbane Roar 2-1 Melbourne Victory

The two previous finals encounters between these sides have been decided by thrilling finishes at Suncorp Stadium in favour of Brisbane Roar, with the home side prevailing in the two previous games.

It was a Besart Berisha goal early in the second half who scored the sole goal in the 2014 Semi-Final, although Melbourne Victory had some strong claims for a penalty after a stoppage time challenge by Matt Smith on Mark Milligan and were extremely unlucky to be denied the chance to send the game into extra time.

Fast-forward two years and we arrive at last years Elimination Final between the defending Champion Victory and a wounded Brisbane side who had the chance to claim the Premiership from the Victory down in Melbourne but failed to do so.

That 0-0 draw set up a second straight fixture between the two sides and Victory would have thought that a late goal from Besart Berisha was enough to send them back to the Semi-Finals, however it wasn’t to be. Barely 60 seconds later Matt McKay levelled the scores for the Roar, before Thomas Broich scored a 94th minute winner from a Corona corner which sent Brisbane through to the Semi-Finals at Victory’s expense.

All-Time Record against Melbourne Victory

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