The only real talking point at the moment is the World Cup in Brazil. With the squad of 30 now being whittled down to 23, we know our players and the time has come to focus on a fantastic tournament in Brazil. A good mix of local and overseas based Aussies have been involved in the build up, which all bodes well for our Aussies Abroad updates in the future. Most the leagues across the globe have now either concluded for the season or have gone on a break so a bit of a recap on how the season finished up for the boys. The European Champions League and UEFA Cup have been completed, and many players have returned to their parent clubs at the expiry of their loan deals.
Transfers:- With the European and Australian seasons ending, the transfer market has been dominated by loan returns but expect a flurry of moves after the World Cup. Leckie’s move to a fellow second division German club is interesting given he is about to be in the shop window. Carl Valeri returning to Australia after a distinguished career in Italy is exciting news. Also great to see a couple of young Aussies making their way in South America.
Additions/changes to player database:
Matthew Acton (3 Jun 1992) – transfer from Brisbane Roar to Yangon United, Myanmar
Mitchell Austin (3 Apr 1991) – loan return from Brackley Town to Cambridge United, England
Brendan Beni (6 Jun 1984) – transferred to Hong Kong FC, Hong Kong
Jake Brimmer (TBC) – transferred to Liverpool, England
Gavin De Niese (9 Jan 1996) – transferred to River Plate, Argentina
Albert Edward (19 Nov 1991) – transferred from Colorado Rapids to Wilmington Hammerheads, USA
Richard Garcia (4 Sep 1981) – transferred from Sydney FC to Minnesota United, USA
Liam Graham (14 Aug 1992) – transferred to Savona, Italy
Jackson Irvine (7 Mar 1993) – loan return from Kilmarnock to Celtic, Scotland
Mathew Leckie (4 Feb 1991) – transferred from FSV Frankfurt to FC Ingolstadt, Germany
Lucas Neill (9 Mar 1978) – loan return from Doncaster Rovers to Watford, England (subsequently released)
Danijel Nizic (15 Mar 1996) – loan return from Workington AFC to Burnley, England
Adriano Pellegrino (9 Jun 1984) – transferred to Asia Europe University, Cambodia
Blake Ricciuto (2 Sep 1992) – transferred to Penarol, Uruguay
Goran Subara (4 Apr 1987) – transferred from Bangkok Glass to T-Team FC, Malaysia
Ryan Williams (28 Oct 1993) – loan return from Oxford United tp Fulham, England
Removed from player database:
Dean Bouzanis (Carlisle United) – transferred to Western Sydney Wanderers
Mirjan Pavlovic (Pune FC) – transferred to Sydney United 58, NSW
Carl Valeri (Ternana) – transfeered to Melbourne Victory
Danny Vukovic (Vegalta Sendai) – loan return to Perth Glory
England (Premiership) – As the English Premier League concluded for the season, a good time to reflect on the performances of our Aussies. The standout was clearly Mile Jedinak at Crystal Palace. He got injured in the last fixture of the season, so he just missed playing every minute. His season tally of tackles, inceptions and minutes was among the best in the league. Mark Schwarzer managed twelve starts in his one and only season at Chelsea. Brad Jones would be disappointed to start just three Cup ties at Liverpool. Also at Liverpool, young defender Brad Smith made the squad four times and made his league debut. Chris Herd made two appearances in a season troubled by injury at Aston Villa.
England (Championship) – In terms of minutes played, Scott McDonald (32 league appearances and 3 goals) and Shane Lowry (22 appearance and 0 goals) led the way at Millwall. Rhys Williams suffered a season ending achilles injury after making 22 starts. A very lean season for Alex Cisak (Burnley) after making just one substitute appearance. Fellow shot stopper Adam Federici (Reading) didn’t fare much better making two starts. Lucas Neill made five appearances in his stints at Watford and Doncaster Rovers.
England (League One) – Extremely successful on a personal level for our Aussies in this league. Bailey Wright (Preston, 4050 minutes, 45 starts, 4 goals), Neil Kilkenny (Preston, 1569 minutes, 20 starts, 2 goals), Massimo Luongo (Swindon, 3895 minutes, 44 starts, 6 goals), James Meredith (Bradford, 2235 minutes, 24 starts), James Wesolowski (Oldham, 3305 minutes, 37 starts, 4 goals) and Brad Inman (Crewe, 2451 minutes, 36 appearances, 4 goals). Guessing that a few transfers will see some of these guys playing at a higher level next season.
England (League Two) – A few solid performances by the Aussie contingent with Ryan Williams scoring 7 times in his 36 appearances for Oxford United. Central defender Shane Cansdell-Sheriff played over 3000 minutes at Burton Albion, while Aaron Downes made 32 appearances for the relegated Torquay United.
Germany (Bundesliga) – Robbie Kruse was the success story at Bayer Leverkusen. He was just hitting his straps, getting to 15 appearances before he suffered a knee injury. Mitch Langerak made a total of nine appearances at Dortmund as he continues to serve his apprenticeship.
Germany (2. Bundesliga) – The stand out seasons of Mat Leckie (FSV Frankfurt) and Ben Halloran (Fortuna dusseldorf) were ultimately rewarded with tickets to Brazil. Both players registering career highs in Europe for minutes and goals. Nikita Rukavytsya made 19 appearances after his mid-season loan move to FSV Frankfurt.
Austria (Bundesliga) – Midfielder James Holland (Austria Wien) completed the season with nearly 3000 minutes played in 33 appearances..
Belgium (Pro League) – Although missing out on the league title, Mat Ryan’s debut season at Club Brugge saw him make 40 league appearances, set a club record for clean sheets, and he won Belgium goalkeeper of the year. Now the World Cup to finish off an amazing season for the Socceroos new number one.
Switzerland (Super League) – At seasons end, Dario Vidosic (Sion) and Oliver Bozanic (Luzern) can be happy with their debut seasons. Dario scored 6 times in his 29 appearances and just under 1900 minutes, while Bozanic was equally productive scoring 5 times in 28 appearances and 1925 minutes. Both players will be looking to see some game time in Brazil.
Croatia (1. HNL) – Although NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac have been relegated, surely a break through season for Tomislav Mrcela will see him move on to bigger and better things. He made 27 league appearances and played over 2300 minutes. Young midfielder Steven Ugarkovic completed the season with a solid 23 appearances.
Scotland (Premier) – At seasons end, Dylan McGowan finished a break out year and was subsequently released by the financial stricken and relegated Hearts. Will be interesting to see how he transitions into the A-League with hometwon club Adelaide United next season. Another youngster to have a great season was loanee Jackson Irvine. Also much interest to see if he can break into the Celtic first team next season. Similarly Tom Rogic will be looking to put an injury riddled season behind him.
Russia (Premier League) – A fairly productive season for Luke Wlikshire, making 23 appearances for Dinamo Moscow. Having now played in Russia for five years, he may be looking to return to Australia.
Greece (Gamma Ethniki) – Billy Konstantinidis had a fantastic scoring record this season for Paserraiokos. After narrowly missing promotion, he may be on the move. Midfielder Nick Tsattalios had a solid debut season at Kampaniakos Chalastras FC.
Portugal (Primeira) – A mention to keeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell who patiently sat on the pine for all thirty of his club fixtures for the season without seeing a minute of game time.
China (Super League) – Taking a mid year break, still plenty of Aussie interest with Adam Hughes (Harbin Yiteng), Jonas Salley (Guizhou Renhe) and veteran Daniel McBreen (Shanghai SIPG) leading the way in the Chinese Super League.
Japan (J. League) – Fairly quiet May with Josh Kennedy on the sidelines and Mitch Nichols seeing limited minutes.
Korea (K-League Classic) – From any Aussies perspective, May as dominated by centre-backs Alex Wilkinson and Luke DeVere were constants for their club sides.
Hong Kong (HKFA 1st Division) – Dylan Macallister (Eastern AA) has been prominient for his club while Andrew Barisic (South China) and Marko Jesic (Sun Pegasus) continue to see minutes.
Malaysia (Super League) – Mario Karlovic (Terengganu), Ryan Griffiths (Sarawak) and Steve Pantelidis (Selangor) all continue to start for their respective clubs.
Malaysia (Premier League) – A few Aussies in this league. Adam Grifftiths has been starting each week for Kedah while young striker Ndumba Makeche is starting for Felda United.
Thailand (Premier League) – Former Brisbane Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu continues to dominate in Thailand, winning numerous MOM awards for Muang Thong United. Trent McClenahan continues to start for PTT Rayong.
U.A.E (UFL) – The season has ended with Alex Brosque appearing in 20 of 30 league games and scoring four times for Al Ain. A little more productive for Brett Holman who played over 2200 minutes and scored 3 times for Al Nasr.
USA (MLS) – With the season well underway, Tim Cahill is clearly our shining light at New York Red Bulls. Also appearing in this league is midfielder Andy Rose who plys his trade at Seattle Sounders.
Promotions/Relegations for our Aussies:
(England) – Promoted – Leicester City, Burnley, QPR, Cambridge United
(England) – Relegated – Fulham, Torquay, Dartford, Workington AFC
(Croatia) – Relegated – NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac
(Cyprus) – Relegated – AEK Kouklion
(Iran) – Relegated – MES Kerman
(Netherlands) – Relegated – FC Chabab
(Scotland) – Relegated – Hearts
(Turkey) – Relegated – 1930 Bafraspor
Injuries:- With the off-season upon us, a chance for a bit of rehab. No doubt the World Cup selections of Robbie Kruse, Rhys Williams, Trent Sainsbury and Curtis Good were all impacted by injury. Hopefully those boys all get a half decent pre-season and can resume in time for the new season. Other young players hoping to put injury ruined seasons behind them and building for the upcoming season are Mustafa Amini, Travis Cooper, Anthony Carter and James Demetriou. Former A-League player Richard Greer has suffered a long term knee injury playing for Kaya FC in the Philippines.
(UEFA Champions League) – congratulations to Real Madrid.
(UEFA Europa League) – congratulations to Sevilla.
(Copa Libertadores) – no Australians remain.
(Asian Champions League) – Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors) started both games in the first round of the knockout stages, losing to Pohang Steelers. Mitch Nichols started the second tie for Cerezo Osaka but unfortunately his team were also knocked out. Alex Brosque is the only remaining Aussie as Al Ain progressed to the quarter finals with Alex appearing off the bench during May.
(AFC Cup) – Daniell Zeleny was an unused substitute as Churchill Brothers were eliminated in the first round of finals. Sam Gallagher was also unused however Hanoi T&T did progress.
Reserves and Youth:-
No report during European off-season.
Certainly a changing of the guard for the Socceroos with many youngsters getting the nod. A huge thank you to the likes of Ognenovski, Neill and Wilkshire who may not all have officially retired just yet, but they won’t be at the WC. Tremendous servants for our country. Also best wishes to the new faces like Luongo, Wright and Taggart as they start their international football careers.
Socceroo (capped) of the month – on hold
Nov – Ryan, Dec – Jedinak, Jan – Jedinak, Feb – Ryan, Mar – Kennedy, Apr – Jedinak
Under the radar (uncapped) – on hold.
Nov – Luongo, Dec – Mrcela, Jan – Giannou, Feb – Wright, Mar – Lowry, Apr – Halloran
Young player (U21) of the month – on hold.
Nov – Ryan Williams, Dec – Cooper, Jan – B.Smith, Feb – Grant, Mar – Tanner, Apr – Ugarkovic