Yep, I haven't posted a single bloody thing on here for over 5 months or so and feel quite slack! Thanks to Dave McD for cracking the whip and getting me to write again, much appreciated mate.
Well, theres too much to discuss in the world of Brisbane Roar FC since my neglectful blog hiatus, let's start with the transfer news so far! *deep breath* Here we go!
No Longer With Us
- Sergio Van Dijk: Another major departure for the club, this one was out of Ange's hands though with Adelaide making a big money offer to the big man with the promise of Asian Champions League football and the Asian shop-window oppurtunites that accompany it.
Sergio leaves as the club's highest and most prolific scorer and good luck to him I say, he made a fantastic contribution during his time here but hopefully our next striker will be a bit more mobile and not quite as lazy or slow as big Serge.
- Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo and Adam Sarota: Our three most promising youngsters all left for a 2 week trial with FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie at seasons end and in a complete surprise to yours truly and most other Brisbane fans, all three were snapped up at the end of the trial period.
Tommy is the big ticket item at the moment, the media have already bandied about the cursed 'Next Kewell' tag, because he has some skill and a left foot. Fortunately the little whipper-snapper has his feet firmly on the ground and recognises that he has a hell of a lot of work to do to reach even a fraction of the level that Kewell has achieved.
When the trial was announced I thought that maybe one of the boys would be signed, leaving the club with two solid youngsters but now Ange has a bit of rethinking to do with his vision for the future hitting an unexpected speed bump.
Brett Emerton thrived in the Dutch league and from there has gone on to mid table happiness with Blackburn in the EPL, hopefully all three of the boys can follow Emmo's lead and do us all proud!
With ex-Roar youngsters Tommy Oar and Dario Vidosic now named in Verbeek's provisional World Cup squad and Zullo, Nichols and Devere already Asian Cup Socceroos, more youngsters should in my opinion be encouraged to join the Roar as a clear pathway to bigger and better things is being developed at the club.
Pieter Collen - The big Belgian defender has been let go by the club and I can only hope that Ange has someone top notch up his sleeve to replace him as I feel he and Devere could have forged a fantastic partnership. Collen also really impressed me with an offseason charity poker win, donating his winnings to the Royal Children's Hospital then spending the day with young leaukemia patient Haleena Hanssen. The photos of Collen and Haleena really made my day when I saw them, here's one of them:
- Liam Reddy & Matt Ham: As an ex 'keeper I am a very hard marker when it comes to the man between the sticks and for me, the Roar haven't had quality service at the back since Tommy Willis was replaced by Reddy, a masterstroke from Miron.
Reddy has NEVER been confident or dominant in the air or his area and from what I could see both at the games and on TV, his communication is not good enough. I also noted that when he left and went to New Zealand and was playing for contracts that his performace improved, i don't really know what to read into that? Oh, and he always looked constipated. Metamucil or some prune juice and a few sit ups will sort that out Liam.
- Andrew Packer: Andy has left the team to pursue a career in the military, a noble cause indeed. Andy has noticeably fallen off the pace over the last two seasons, niggling injuries and a decline in pace may have helped his career change.
- Josh Mcloughan: Clogs has retired, a great servant to the club, Clogs, like Packer has lost a bunch of pace and if he'd gone around for another season would have just been taking up a spot for a younger more mobile defender.
- Charles Miller, Craig Moore, Bob Malcolm & Danny Tiatto: No more to see here, what's done is done, no use rehashing a million opinions that have already been expresed, move on.
Closed Season Signings
- Kosta Barbarouses: I can't remember too much of Kosta from the Phoenix games I saw but he has big wraps from all and sundry involved with Kiwi football and is considered mightily unlucky to miss out on a World Cup berth.
He is one of, if not the quickest player in the league and Nikita Rukavytsya proved at Perth what pace can do to opposition defences with good delivery. I'm sure he was also Ange's first closed season addition.
- Andrew Redmayne and Michael Theoklitos: Redmayne was signed by Ange from the Mariners under the premise of more first time football, a towering lad with lot's of promise. His relief at more game time may have been short lived after Ange pulled off what I consider a coup in bringing Theoklitos back from his horror spell in England.
In my opinion Theoklitos is the best keeper the A-League's had so far, Eugene has been awesome the last two years but just remember who he was playing understudy to beforehand!
- Erik Paartalu: This signing excites me because I've been calling for some size in our midfield for a long time now, both Miller and Malcolm gave us size, just in the wrong areas is all.
Big Erik is a compartive giant in the Roar squad standing in at 193cms or 6'3", that's almost a whole foot taller than Murdocca, McKay and Henrique and is a defensive midfielder by trade, a completely new type of player for the team.
Erik returns to Australia from Scotland where he has spent 4 years plying his trade and from all reports he has done well there. He hasn't set the world alight but a quick lurk on the Grenock-Morton fans forum when his signing was announced told me that he would be missed by the fans, they thought he was a solid player and scores the odd sensational long range goal, yet another weapon that the Roar have really struggled to master.
- Shane Stefanutto: I'm biased when I say that this is a fantastic signing because Shane was in the grade above me at my school! A fantastic bloke, I think he will be a great for the team both on and off the park and is immeasurably more reliable at left back than Andy Packer. I can just imagine him and Franjic bombing down the flanks already!
- Matt Smith: Not the biggest defender in the world, but from what I saw of him at the Fury last year he should do a solid job no matter where he's slotted into in the backline, a quad rotational player you would imagne. He reminds me of Matt Mundy a bit.
- Rocky Visconte: A Australian national youth rep, Rocky has spent the last 4 years in Scotland, namely on loan at Ayr from Hearts. Hearts snapped him up as a promising 16 year old but Rocky failed to reach the heights they expected of him. A young, quick left sided midfielder, he seems a logical replacement for Zullo and Oar, let's just hope he has the same impact on both the pitch and the supporters!
- Thomas Broich: The latest and perhaps most intriguing and promising signing, Broich joins the Roar directly from FC Nurnberg in the German Bundesliga, a competition he has played in for the last 6 years, previously spending a few seasons in the lower German tiers. Broich played for the German under 21 team from 2002-2004, making 7 appearances and attaining the dreaded 'next big thing' tag, obviously we haven't seen him lighting up the European leagues like contemporaries Michael Ballack, Miroslav Klose and Torsten Frings but what I've heard about him is promising.
A friend of mine lived in Germany for some time and followed the German leagues very closely, he informs me that he thinks Broich is quality and is a near certainty to have an impact in the A-League.
He has apparently taken a pay cut too, to allow the club to chase a big name marquee.
We're now a few months out from the new season and are yet to see that 'big name' that I think we are all hoping Ange will announce, in fact, with the changes to the Marquee system there could well be a few big names to be announced.
I am hoping that Ange is waiting for the World Cup to pass before making any further announcements as the WC will be taking up 100% of football stories for the next month and a bit, in fact I reckon a few clubs might be sitting on their hands in this regards!
Possible Marquee targets anyone? Well, we missed the boat as far as Recoba goes. How about these names?
is anyone else willing to have a crack at some marquee predictions?