Welcome to this month’s edition of Aussies Abroad. With the transfer window open in January, we’ve seen an amazing number of transfers. Several are certainly relevant to our World Cup squad, while others are positioning some players perfectly for the 2015 Asian Cup. Much of that movement has been across the Asian leagues that are just starting to kick off the 2014 season. Not as much football in Europe due to the winter recess, but our Aussies continue in the English leagues. Club competitions were in recess in Europe, but Aussies featured in South America and Asia.
Intriguing set of transfers in January. Hong Kong and Malaysia have both seen a big influx of Aussies. Many Aussies in China have returned to the Hyundai A League. Players like Good, Nicholls, Valeri and Sainsbury will be hoping for first team football at their new clubs that will ultimately earn them a ticket to Brazil.
Additions/changes to player database:
Dario Al Saad (22 Mar 1991) – transferred to B&I Svebolle, Denmark
Mitch Austin (3 Apr 1991) – loan to Lincoln City, England
Michael Baird (1 Aug 1983) – transferred from Universitatea Craiova to PSM Makassar, Indonesia
Emre Balci (5 Apr 1987) -transferred to Inegolspor, Turkey
Andrew Barisic (22 Mar 1986) – transferred to South China, Hong Kong
Dean Bouzanis (2 Oct 1991) – transferred from Aris to Carlisle United, England
Oscar Brooks (6 Sep 1990) – transferred to Vyzas FC, Greece
Kerem Bulut (2 Mar 1992) – loan return to Akhisar Belediyespor, Turkey
Daniel Collins (15 Jun 1995) – transferred to Bala Town FC, Wales
Albert Edward (19 Nov 1991) – transferred from Des Moines Menance to Colorado Rapids, USA
Sam Gallagher (5 May 1991) – transferred from IF Birkebeineren to Hanoi T&T, Vietnam
Antony Golec (29 May 1990) – transferred to Liaoning Whomin, China
Zack Gomez (3 Oct 1998) – transferred to Malaga CF, Spain
Curtis Good (23 Mar 1993) – loan from Newcastle to Dundee United, Scotland
Richard Greer (16 Apr 1990) – transferred to Kaya FC, Philippines
Mark Griffin (16 Jun 1991) – transferred from Derry City to Dundalk, Ireland
Adam Griffiths (21 Aug 1979) – transferred from Selangor to Kedah, Malaysia
Brendan Hamill (18 Sep 1992) – loan return to Seongham Ilhwa, Korea
Steve Hayes (1 Feb 1985) – transferred from South Coast Wolves to Hong Kong Rangers, Hong Kong
Marko Jesic (7 Aug 1989) – transferred to Sun Pegasus, Hong Kong
Aleksander Jovanovic (4 Aug 1989) – transferred from Suwon City to Jeju United, Korea
Michael Lloyd-Green (24 Mar 1986) – transferred to CD Atletico Rafal, Spain
Dylan Macallister (17 May 1982) – transferred to Eastern AA, Hong Kong
Theo Markelis (24 Jun 1992) – transferred to Hercules CF, Spain
Daniel McBreen (23 Apr 1977) – transferred from CC Mariners to Shanghai SIPG, China
Mitch Nicholls (1 May 1989) – transferred to Cerezo Osaka, Japan
Tolgey Ozbey (12 Apr 1986) – transferred from Mohammedan to Dempo SC, India
Tom Rogic (16 Dec 1992) – loan to Melbourne Victory
Michael Rutherford (1 Mar 1990) – transferred to Amicale, Vanuatu
Trent Sainsbury (5 Jan 1992) – transferred from CC Mariners to PEC Zwolle, Netherlands
Giannis Simosis (13 Mar 1991) – transferred from Wacker Burghausen to Anagennisi Karditsa, Greece
George Slefendorfas (7 Jan 1983) – transferred to WaiBOP, New Zealand
Roko Strika (12 Feb 1994) – transferred from NK Maksimir to Velika Gorica, Croatia
Tommy Taylor (13 Feb 1991) – transferred to Kaya FC, Philippines
Nikolas Tsattalios (1 Mar 1990) – transferred to Kampaniakos Chalastra, Greece
Sebastian Usai (28 Feb 1990) – transferred from AFC United to Cowdenbeath, Scotland
Carl Valeri (14 Aug 1984) – transferred from Sassuolo to Ternana, Italy
Removed from player database:
Eddy Bosnar (Guangzhou R&F) – transferred to Central Coast Mariners
David Carney (New York Red Bulls) – transferred to Newcastle Jets
Jordan Elsey (Kitchee) – loan return to Adelaide United
Chris Gomes (Persepam) – released, whereabouts unknown
Joel Griffiths (Qingdao Jonoon) – transferred to Newcastle Jets
Rostyn Griffiths (Guangzhou R&F) – transferred to Perth Glory
Ryan Griffiths (Beijing Baxy) – transferred to Adelaide United
Michael Marrone (Shanghai Shenxin) – transferred to Adelaide United
Daniel Mullen (Dalian Aerbin) – transferred to Western Sydney Wanderers
Eoghan Murphy (Sheffield Wednesday) – transferred to Olympic FC, NSW
Lenox Tweneboa (Yadanarbon FC) – transferred to St.George FC, NSW
England (Premiership) – The Aussie standout is a one horse race with Mile Jedinak leading the way at Crystal Palace. As expected, his team are involved in a relegation scrap and Mile is certainly up for the challenge. He has yet to miss a minute of club football in the 24 games this season. No other league appearances during the month but Brad Smith is knocking at the door at Liverpool, while keepers Brad Jones and Mark Schwarzer played Cup games and sat on the bench during league games.
England (Championship) – Not the greatest month for our Aussies at this level. Scott McDonald is out of favour at Millwall after seeking a move back to Scotland. Shane Lowry was starting to make something of a fairly unproductive season but received another red card which will test the managers patience. Rhys Williams was also starting to play well until his World Cup dreams again appear ro have been dashed, this time by an achilles injury. A little surprised goalkeeper Adam Federici (Reading) hasn’t moved to find first team football.
England (League One) – Hopefully Ange has checked into our League One players. Bailey Wright (Preston North End) and Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town) were already on the watchlist, but Neil Kilkenny (Preston North End) and Bradden Inman (Crewe) have both put heir cases forward with strong months.
Germany (Bundesliga) – With Robbie Kruse suffering a season ending ACL injury, our only other Aussie in a match day squad is Mitch Langerak. His opportunities at Borussia Dortmund have been few and far between, but he is clearly happy to bide his time.
Netherlands (Eredivisie) – Both Tommy Oar and Adam Sarota are starting each week for Utrecht. Promising news for our national team. Jason Davidson is having his best season as a pro. As strange as this may seem, we suddenly have several left backs that we can call on for the World Cup, with no clear winners yet.
Italy (Serie B) – Carl Valeri has started his club career at Ternana with two appearances as a substitute, he will be looking to force his way into the starting eleven quickly.
Scotland (Premier) – With over 2000 minutes in his 24 starts for Hearts, Dylan McGowan is coming out of his Socceroo brother’s shadow. Jackson Irvine has extended his loan deal at Kilmarnock, just reward for a solid few months.
Greece (Super League) – Apostolis Giannou (Panionios Athens) has now played more minutes this season than any other year while playing in Greece.
Greece (Gamma Ethniki) – Billy Konstantinidis (Panserraikos) continues on his scoring spree, while Nik Tsattalios is well established at Kampaniakos Chalastra.
Cyprus (1. Division) – Winger Robert Stambolziev continues his solid season, now having played over a 1000 minutes.
U.A.E (UFL) – Both Brett Holman (Al Nasr) and Alex Brosque (Al Ain) have had good month’s in the league. Scoring goals and playing good minutes. Perfect timing with Ange due to check in on them shortly.
Hong Kong (HKFA 1st Division) – The new season has just commenced with Andrew Barisic (South China), Dylan Macallister (Eastern AA) and Marko Jesic (Sun Pegasus) all making their debuts.
Malaysia (Super League) – Similar story here former A League players Spase Dilevski (ATM FA), Mario Karlovic (Terengganu FA) and Steve Pantelidis (Selangor FA) all debuting.
Philippines (UFL) – A bit of a changing of the guard at Kaya FC with Mitchell Davidson and Scott Baginski both released, to be replaced by another two Aussies in Richard Greer and Tommy Taylor, both debuted in January. Jesse Martindale remains at Green Archers United.
Injuries:- Shattering is the only way of describing the long term injuries suffered by Robbie Kruse (knee) and then Rhys Williams (achilles). Both would have been pencilled into the starting 11 in Brazil. Misfortune creates opportunity though as we watch others put their hands up. Chris Herd was been out for over a month with his hamstring problems, James Meredith (Bradford City) suffered a broken foot on New Year’s Day and Mustafa Amini (Dortmund) is also in the medical room. Cheekbone injuries to Shane Cansdell-Sheriff and James Wesolowski during the month, but they are both back on the park now.
(UEFA Champions League) – no fixtures in January
(UEFA Europa League) – no fixtures in January
(Copa Libertadores) – Richard Porta started Nacional’s away tie that they lost 1-0
(Asian Champions League) – Several Aussies played in the first qualifying games with James Meyer playing for Pune and Sam Gallagher starting and scoring for Hanoi T&T. Andrew Barisic also started and scored a double for South China (HK) as they advanced in extra time.
Reserves and Youth:-
A bit interupted this month with numerous games postponed due to bad weather along with the U22 AFC Championships where several of our younger players represented Australia. Chris Ikonomidis scored twice in his most recent appearance for Lazio Primavera, as is training with the senior squad. A mention to Connor Thurston who got to the Cup squad for Blackpool after strong appearances at youth level. Hyuga Tanner is starting to appear more regularly for Blackburn U18′s. While Ryan Go is a regular starter for the A2 Feyenoord youth team.
With the next Socceroos fixture in early March, many players are making a strong case. What we do now know is that Robbie Kruse and Rhys Williams are almost certainly out of contention. While Lucas Neill is fast running out of time to find a club and get match fit. A replacement for Kruse may be Vidosic, Kewell or Leckie depending on the role to be played. The list of auditioning centre-backs includes Spiranovic, McGowan, Sainsbury, Wilkinson and Wright.
Socceroo (capped) of the month – In looking at playing performances for full Socceroos during January, the pickings were thin. The one exception being Mile Jedinak who continues his fine form in arguably the best league in the world.
Sept – Cahill, Oct – Vidosic, Nov – Ryan, Dec – Jedinak
Under the radar (uncapped) - A player that seems to have been around forever after he represented both Australia and more recently Greece at junior level. This season he has moved clubs again, but Apostolis (Paul) Giannou finally seems to be settled and is seeing good minutes in a decent league.
Sept – Wilkinson, Oct – Konstantinidis, Nov – Luongo, Dec – Mrcela
Young player (U21) of the month – By making a debut for none other than Liverpool, Brad Smith now finds himself caught up in a country row (England or Australia). He is floating between the U21′s, where he continues to excel and the fringe of the first team. Brazil may not be realistic, but one to watch for the Asian Cup.
Sept – Ikonomidis , Oct – Ugarkovic, Nov – Ryan Williams, Dec – Cooper