As we head into the crescendo of many of the football leagues around the world including Australia’s A-League, some clubs would already be looking at fine tuning – if not completely rejigging – their squads. Players will be moving around the globe in a mass migration the likes of which is usually seen on the Discovery channel.
Australian teams will be welcoming new members while Australian players will be finding new homes just the same as 1000s of others. Here are some Australian players currently abroad that may be making the move either home or elsewhere as their contract expires.
James is a defender originally from Perth who moved to Sydney and eventually England with Queen’s Park Rangers. The 20 year old is a center back who can play as a right back and has been with the London club for four seasons. He has had loan spells at a couple of non-league clubs so has some senior experience but will be looking for his next move to be one where he can get the regular first team football to take his game to the next level.
The 19 year old has spent most of his life in England and most of his football life at Championship side, Birmingham City. A strong and pacy right back who can get forward has recently gone out on loan to get first team experience with Kettering Town FC. His contract runs out this off season and he will be moving on to new pastures. Although he has rarely been back to his country of birth, he is open to the chance of playing in Australia.
Taylor is a former Australian youth international with an impressive scoring record for his country. A pacy attacker comfortable on the ball can unlock a defence on his own. Now 20, the Perth-native is currently at Canvey Island after being released by Hull City where he moved after leaving West Ham. He has some senior experience in non-league but may be looking to find some regular first team football in a higher league in the northern summer. A player with a lot of ability and potential.
Another Australian youth international, this playmaker is a technically gifted player who has been highly regarded in the English system. A stellar season the year before attracted a lot of attention from other clubs but the Blackburn junior suffered an injury that set him back. The teenager who operates best in the middle of the park, could be on his way out of Blackburn at the end of the season and if so will be hoping for that all important first team football.
Anthony has spent much of his football life in Italy and Romania. Moving to CFR Cluj from Parma, the forward has been on the cusp of the first team for the last year or two. Despite a couple of appearances off the bench he hasn’t been able to establish himself as a regular yet. Still only 21 years old, he has a lot of football left in him but needs to find regualr football soon to continue his development and capitalise on his potential.
The former Arsenal junior and Socceroo is still only 30 years old despite it feeling like he’s been around for a lot longer. The midfielder has played mostly at Championship and League One level but has impressed against Premiership opposition such as Manchester United in the FA Cup. His set pieces and passing are his strong points but this season in the Championship with Preston he has found himself in a substitutes role as they push for promotion. At his age he should still be close to the peak of his powers and would be a good pick up for any team’s midfield.
Scotty McDonald will possibly go down as one of the unluckiest Socceroos ever. At the peak of his scoring powers with Motherwell and Celtic he faced stiff competition in that role for his national team which also played a system that didn’t suit his skill set. His quality on the ball and movement off it can’t be denied by those who have watched him play regularly. At 32, he is back at Motherwell and scoring and assisting regularly back in a more familiar role as a striker. As he showed in England though, he was more than capable of playing behind the strikers and acting as a creator and disrupter when not in possession.
The one-time capped Socceroo is back in Denmark in the second division with Fredericia. He came up through the youth system at Brondby and played in their first team before spending a short spell in the Aleague and then in Thailand. His side is sitting just outside the promotion spots with plenty of points still up for grabs, if they can get promoted you’d think they’d offer their top scorer (12 goals) a contract extension. If not, the 24 year old will be available for any side looking to bolster their attacking options.
The versatile midfielder/defender has suffered notorious injury setbacks in his career but when fit and confident, the 27 year old is as classy a player as is available to Australia. He has spoken of a desire to return to Australia and perhaps for his immediate future this is the best option for him and his young family. If he can put his injury problems behind him, the West Aussie will be a valuable addition for any side.
Now known as a defensive midfielder, Holland started out as a more attacking player and has even been used as a right back. At 26, the Socceroo has a lot of football left in him and should have a few suitors chasing him in the European summer. Has shown for his clubs that he is willing to give everything for the cause and do so with little complaint. Currently at MSV Duisburg, he has been an ever present in their first team as they have battled for safety in the 2.Bundesliga.
Another combatative midfielder that has had his fair share of injury setbacks. He started off at Leicester City and now finds himself with League One side Shrewsbury Town. Has been unlucky throughout his career with injuries but when fit has given 100% for his sides and earnt the respect of the fans at every club he’s played for. Like some of the other players on this list it comes down to injury management but the 28 year old’s quality and what he brings to the side when fit is without question.
Shane went to England during the Aussie boom when clubs were looking for Australian players to be the next diamond in the rough that Leeds found with Harry Kewell. In fact, it was Leeds where the defender got his start. He has played most of his career in the lower leagues and now finds himself at Burton as they sit in the box seat for promotion from League One. He has been a regular in the side and can play center or left back. At 33 years old, he could offer a lot of experience and leadership to a side.
A dynamic midfielder from Adelaide with an eye for goal, pace, and trickery on the ball. He is in career best form at the moment however his team are battling for survival in League One. If his own form continues, there will be no shortage of suitors for the 24 year old. Not far away from a call-up to the Australian squad, Inman represents the type of player that can turn a match on his own.
The 26 year old, West Australian is another versatile option in defense or midfield. He came through the Aston Villa youth system all the way up to the first team before injuries took their toll and eventually cost him his place in the side. Has found a new lease on life at League One’s Chesterfield although again he has been struck down by injury. His current deal expires in the European summer and he could be looking for a move once more with the hopes to get back into the Socceroos setup.
The left sided player can play anywhere down the flank. He is strong in the tackle and distributes well. Has represented Croatia at youth level and been an ever present in the Dinamo Zagreb development squad. Free to move on, he could be a good pick up for any club with the potential he has shown.
These are just some of the over seas-based Australians we could see making moves in the off-season whether back to Australia or abroad. Australian sides have fared relatively well picking up Aussies returning from abroad such as Aaron Mooy, Scott Jamieson, Jamie Maclaren, and Alex Grant.