Thursday, December 1, 2011

Aussies Abroad Month In Review November

Compiled By Damian Davies

On the pitch, a lot of Aussies are seeing game time at club level, while the Socceroos also played several games during November. A busy month for transfers with a high number of players changing clubs across Europe and Asia.

Club Level:-    
England (Premier League) – Chris Herd’s Aston Villa have had an inconsistent month but are now in the top half of the table with Chris making another few starts in the midfield.  Everton has won the last two games to climb back to ninth, but are still missing the goals of Tim Cahill who is yet to break his duck for the season.  Mark Schwarzer is having yet another outstanding season as Fulham stay just clear of the relegation spots.  The same can’t be said for Blackburn Rovers.  They sit bottom of the table as Vince Grella remains on the sidelines.  Could the departure of Brett Emerton be having a big impact!!

England (Championship) – despite dropping a few points over the past few games, Middlesbrough currently sit third, but are now eight points shy of the automatic promotion places.  Rhys Williams is possibly in career best from, while Scott McDonald scored three times during the month.  A return to the starting eleven by Patrick Kisnorbo has coincided with a good run of form that sees Leeds into the playoff positions.  Good form has also seen Adam Federici’s Reading climb into play off contention with several valuable wins.  The opposite can be said for Crystal Palace, as Mile Jedinak’s team have dropped back to mid table however an extra time win over Man U in the Cup may provide a boost.  Finally in the Championship, the form of Neil Kilkenny has been a bright spot as Bristol City have gone undefeated in their last six games.

England (League One) – the Aussie presence is strong at Oldham Athletic.  Starters Alex Cisak and James Wesolowski have now been joined by short-term signing, Dean Bouzanis.  A frustrating month as the string of wins required to move into the top half of the table still allude them.  Continuing poor form has seen Chesterfield move to last on the table with Aaron Downes in and out of the team.

England (League Two) – Shane Cansdell-Sheriff starts every week for a Shrewsbury team that find themselves a point shy of the automatic promotion places after a great month. 

Italy (Serie B) – Carl Valeri’s Sassuolo have been patchy this month but still sit a point adrift of the automatic promotion places.  Carl has missed a fair chunk of game time with international commitments.

Italy (Serie C2) –Francesco Stella (Borgo a Buggiano) continues to play great minutes and managed to open his scoring account during November. The same can be said for Christian Esposito (FC Catanzaro) as they currently sit third on the table.

Spain (Segunda division) – Alcorcon are sitting mid table with Dave Carney making his debut during the month.

Germany (Bundesliga) – Nikita Rukavytsya finished the month back in the starting eleven at Hertha Berlin.  Their results have been inconsistent though as they are currently mid table.  Matthew Leckie has returned from injury, but can’t get back into the senior side who have moved to second in the Bundesliga. Mitch Langerak’s Dortmund have returned to be the league leaders, but only by goal difference.  

Germany (2. Bundesliga) –Fortuna Dusseldorf continue their stay at top of the league. Robbie Kruse has been a squad player of late, particularly with national team duties taking him away, meaning he only saw 15 minutes of action during the month.

Netherlands (Eredivsie) – AZ also remain top of the league in Holland.  Brett Holman is back from injury, and can’t stop scoring at both club and national level. On the world stage, he has possibly been the most prominent so far this season. FC Utrecht continue to slide down the table with Michael Zullo appearing to be making the most progress in terms of game time.  Both Adam Sarota and Tommy Oar are in the match day squad most games but are getting limited minutes.

Scotland (Premier) – from an Aussie perspective, a little more to get excited about with Matt McKay making a few appearances for league leaders Rangers.  A few dropped points of late has seen their lead stripped back to four points. Ryan McGowan has started the past few games for Hearts as they remain mid table.

Scotland (Second division) – former Fury defender Beau Busch (Arbroath) is a regular starter as his side are behind leaders Cowdenbeath only on goal difference.  Matthew Park (East Fife) is certainly justifying his loan move given he has started 13 of 14 fixtures so far this campaign and is getting much needed game time.

Greece (Super League) – a quiet month for both Nathan Burns (AEK) and Apostolis Giannou (PAOK).  AEK have climbed to second after three straight wins while PAOK remain fifth.

Greece (Football League) – having recently commenced the season, Billy Konstantinidis’ Pierkos have started reasonably with Billy coming off the bench most weeks.

Turkey (Super Lig) – James Troisi (Kayserispor) had an interrupted month with Socceroos duties, but did manage to get of the scoring charts against Trabzonspor earlier in the month.  His side continue their inconsistent form and currently sit just out of the relegation places.  

Croatia (1. HNL) – Hajduk Split are struggled to catch leaders Dinamo Zagreb, however Steve Lustica has now made eight starts for the season along with scoring his first goal for his new club.  The strong form of Tomi Juric has seen him earn a starting eleven place at Lokomotiva during the month.

Portugal (Liga de Honra) – Atletico CP (Caleb Patterson-Sewell) remain top of the league with their lead reduced to two points. Caleb has played every minute of the season, fair to say he has been instrumental in his team’s success.

Russia (Premier League) – as the league goes into the long winter recess, Dinamo are third on the table.  Luke Wilkshire is a main stay of his team, so much so that rumours are swirling that several clubs are looking to poach him in the January transfer window.

Switzerland (Super League) –Basel are also top of the league.  Veteran Scott Chipperfield has started to get some more game time across league, Cup and Champions League fixtures.  .

Hungary (NB II) – Sasa Macura (MTK) has started the Cup games played in November.

Denmark (Superliga) – Nathan Coe has played every minute for Sonderjyske who remain near the bottom of the table but well clear of relegation. Brondby are in a similar place in the league with Brent McGrath having now made thirteen appearances (from 17 games) this campaign.

China (Super League) – the season has come to an end with Beijing Guoan (Joel Griffiths) and Liaoning Hongyun (Dean Heffernan) gaining places in the Asian club competitions for next season.  Chengdu Blades (Salley and Santalab) were relegated but not without last day drama.  They went ahead with a penalty in the 90th minute, only to concede an equalizer in injury time.  One point was not enough, three points would have avoided relegation…
Joel Griffiths (Beijing) – 2232 minutes, 26 appearances and 11 goals
Dean Heffernan (Liaoning) – 1846 minutes, 24 appearances
Adam Griffiths (Hangzhou) – 979 minutes, 15 appearances and 1 goal
Dino Djulbic (Shaanxi) – 2168 minutes, 26 appearances and 3 goals
Brendon Santalab (Chengdu) -  689 minutes, 11 appearances and 5 goals
Jonas Salley (Chengdu) – 2173 minutes, 25 appearances

Japan (J League) – with one round to go, one point separates leaders Kashiwa Reysol and Nagoya Grampus (Josh Kennedy).  A further point back sits Gamba Osaka, with all three teams playing away in the last fixture and Nagoya having clearly the better goal difference, will go down to the wire.  To make matters more interesting, Josh leads the Golden Boot by two goals, will be an interesting last day. During November, Nagoya went on a run of five consecutive victories with Kennedy scoring in his last three starts. Shimizu S-Pulse did drop off the pace a little but the contributions of Eddy Bosnar were huge with the big defender scoring twice during the month.  While not scoring, Alex Brosque continues to start for the same team. Interestingly, Spiranovic has dropped out of the starting eleven since going away on national duty earlier in the month.

Japan (J2 League) – Jade North started several games for Tokyo as they secured the title and promotion back to the J League.  Mark Milligan had an interrupted month courtesy of his second red card in a month.  To be fair, the first was rescinded, but Mark has racked up a few yellows of late as well.  With the last fixture yet to be played, JEF could climb to sixth if results go the right way, but failure to gain promotion will mean some interesting choices for Mark in the off season.

U.A.E. (UFL) – the season is now underway with the Aussies making an impact.  Lucas Neill Al Jazira’s lead the league with Lucas not missing a minute and scoring the winner away to Ajman.  Richard Porta has made a few appearances as Al Wasl are third.  Mark Bresciano’s Al Wasr have won their last two but particularly pleasing is Mark’s two goals in his three appearances

India (I-League) – the new season is now a month old. Most of our Aussies are seeing good game time and are well placed on the league table. Daniell Zeleny’s Mohun Bagan are second, closely followed by Antun Kovacic (Churchill Brothers) and Tolgey Ozbey (East Bengal).  Interesting Ozbey recently hit a hat trick however still trails by four in the race for the Golden Boot.

New Zealand (Premiership) – leading the Golden Boot is Aussie George Slefendorfas (Canterbury United).  Early in the season, but his side are third on the table.  Tyson Holmes (Team Wellington) has played every minute of the season so far.

Injuries:-    Not many players getting out of the medical room with Garcia (knee), Ireland (thigh), Tombides (cancer treatment), Gulum (knee), Grella (hip), Milicevic (back), Leach (Ankle) and Milovanovic (leg) all still missing from their club teams.  Up the upside, Brett Holman is back without missing a beat.  Aaron Mooy, Adrian Ucchino and Theo Markelis are also back in match day squads after long injury breaks.

Club Competitions:-
(UEFA Champions League) Scott Chipperfield started once and came off the bench in the other fixture for Basel, while Mitchell Langerak remained on the bench for Dortmund’s only fixture.
(UEFA Europa League) Nathan Burns (AEK) played the first half in the home loss to Lokomotiv Moskva.  While Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) was in goal for the 4-1 win against Wisla Krakow.  Brett Holman started in both draws for AZ during November.
(AFC Champions League) No Aussies remain.
(AFC Cup) No Aussies remain.

Youth:-    During the month, at the “NextGen Series”, numerous Aussies saw game time; Massimo Luongo (Tottenham), Jackson Irvine (Celtic) and Reece Caira (Aston Villa). In terms of some of the progress by youngsters, Costa Andricopoulos (Anorthosis) is a regular in the U21’s and getting closer to the senior team. Keeper Alex Baird (Newcastle) has got to the reserves squad, Kearyn Baccus has been playing for Le Mans II and Mike Urwin (Koblenz) seems to have cemented his spot in the senior team

National level :-     A mixed bag in the World Cup qualifiers with a 1-0 loss away to away, however a 1-0 away win to Thailand secured progression to the next stage courtesy of Brett Holman.  The next fixture will not be until February.  The Olympic team could only manage 0-0 draws in both their fixtures, meaning away wins will become crucial if we are to qualify for London.  No problems for the U19’s in Malaysia, coasting through undefeated and amassing 20 goals in four games.  Great to see the names of the future on show.

Transfers :-    Seemingly all one way traffic this month with many Aussies heading to a variety of destinations.  The leagues in Greece have kicked off, so a bit of movement there. The loan window has just closed, a few Aussies caught up in that.  Football in Indonesia is still a little confusing, but some games have been played and a few Aussies have new homes. With foreigners now being permitted to play in Malaysia, some Aussies are venturing there for the new season.

Additions/changes to database: -      
Michael Baird (1 Aug 1983) – transferred to Sabah, Malaysia
Dean Bouzanis (2 Oct 1991) – transferred to Oldham Athletic, England
Corey Gameiro (7 Feb 1993) – loan to Hayes and Yeading United, England
Brendan Gan (3 Jun 1988) – transferred to Sabah, Malaysia
Robbie Gaspar (7 Feb 1981) – transferred to Persib Bandung, Indonesia
Mario Karlovic (29 May 1984) – transferred to Persebaya Surabaya 1927, Indonesia
Doug Lindberg (27 Mar 1988) – loan to Sleaford Town, England
Shane Lowry (12 Jun 1989) – loan to Millwall, England
Andrew Maclean (1993) – transferred to Hamilton Academical, Scotland
Nikodin Matic (28 Aug 1992) – transferred to Farnborough, England
Sean Rooney (1 Mar 1989) – transferred to Deltras Sidoarjo, Indonesia
Jonas Salley (16 Mar 1982) – loan to Gold Coast United, Australia
Peter Skapetis (1995) – transferred to Birmingham City, England
James Stojcevski (1995) – transferred to Karlsruher SC, Germany
Chris Sullivan (3 Nov 1988) – transferred to Apollon Kalamaria, Greece
Christos Tomaras (14 Jan 1989) – transferred to Paniliakos, Greece
Daniell Zeleny (19 Oct 1988) – transferred to Mohun Bagan, India

Removed from database:-   
Marc Villascusa (21 Aug 1991) – released by Cittanova Interpiana, uncontracted

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