Friday, November 2, 2012

Aussies Abroad Month in Review October

Compiled by Damian Davies

Hello All

In terms of club football, October is the month where most leagues around the world are on the park playing.  A huge amount of game time for our Aussies Abroad, a much needed win for the Socceroos and a sprinkling of transfers.

Transfers:-  Most of the movement reported this month is in Europe.  After a little digging seems several players that have represented other nations at youth level were actually born in Australia and remain eligible for the Socceroos.  As such those players have been added to the list.  A few guys have also had surgery that will keep them out of the game until next season when I imagine they will return to Europe.

Additions/changes to database: -      

Luke Adams (8 May 1994) - transferred to Derby County, England
Emre Hasan Balci (5 Apr 1987) - transferred to Adana Demirspor, Turkey
Scott Gannon (12 Mar 1988) - transferred to Otago United, New Zealand
Gethin Jones (13 Oct 1995) - transferred to Everton, England
Kevin Oliveira (1 Apr 1991) - transferred to Bustelo, Portugal
Steve Pepper (7 Mar 1994) - transferred to FC Dender, Belgium
Shaun Peta (5 Feb 1989) - transferred to Hawkes Bay United, New Zealand
Ante Rozic (8 Mar 1986) - transferred to Metalurh Zaporizhya, Ukraine
Chris Sullivan (3 Nov 1988) - transferred to Odysseas Kordelio, Greece
Ivan Vujica (20 Apr 1997) - transferred to NK Lokomotiva Zagreb, Croatia
Removed from database:-   
Sam Conway (FK Banik Most) - unsigned, recovering from injury
Ryan Marveggio (SC Telstar) - unsigned, recovering from injury
Mario Piraino (Carpi FC) - unsigned

Club Level:-    
England (Premiership) -  Mark Schwarzer celebrated his 40th birthday during October. To celebrate that milestone, his teams (Fulham/Socceroos) went undefeated for the month.  Brett Holman has continued his strong form at Aston Villa, providing numerous assists but still chasing that elusive debut goal.  After a long time out of the game, Brad Jones (Liverpool) has not only returned to the squad, but has started the past two club fixtures. Aussie Chris Herd has also returned to the starting eleven after an injury lay-off.

England (Championship) - Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) has played every minute so far this season and continues to wear the captain's armband.  He scored an absolute cracker during the month if you haven't seen the footage yet. Is Scott McDonald going to finally get a run after scoring twice once coming on as a sub in his last league appearance? Shane Lowry continues his strong session at Millwall. Having spent a lot of time on the bench, Patrick Kisnorbo (Leeds) is yet to play a minute of senior football this season.

England (League One) - After a couple of less impressive seasons, stopper Dean Bouzanis (Oldham) is in form not only good enough to keep Alex Cisak on the bench, but to also win team of the week accolades. Shane Cansdell-Sheriff (Preston North End) is playing 90 minutes each week. 

England (League Two) - The Aussies in this league all start most fixtures for their respective clubs, Aaron Downes (Torquay), James Meredith (Bradford City) and Jamie Young (Aldershot).

Italy (Serie A) - Newcomer to the Italian top flight, James Troisi (Atalanta) has now made two starts in his first five appearnces.

Italy (Serie C2A) - the football story of twenty-two year old Christian Esposito is an interesting one.  A nasty leg injury in 2010/11 pre-season while at a Serie B club, a successful loan spell on his return to football, and ends up at Valle D'Aosta again getting good minutes and scoring. Was touted as a super prospect with both Aussie and Italian scouts monitoring him a few years back.  See what happens over the next few seasons.

Germany (Bundesliga) - Headlines this month must again go to Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf) as his break out season continues.  Nikita Rukavytsya is now putting together a run of starts at Mainz 05.  

Netherlands (Eredivisie) - the story here continues to be FC Utrecht. Both Adam Sarota and Tommy Oar getting plenty of recognition for their performances. The team is travelling so well that the returning Michael Zullo has found getting minutes near impossible. 

Scotland (Premier League) - transfer rumours surround Ryan McGowan (Hearts) after his consistent club performances and international debut. Eighteen year old keeper Alex Baird continues his apprenticeship at Dundee, having now sat on the bench for all 11 games.

Croatia ( 1. HNL) - Tomi Juric has just got back in the starting eleven at NK Inter Zapresic after making numerous appearances of the bench. Youngster Steve Lustica (Hajduk) continues in the match day squad but hasn't seen too many minutes of late as he builds momentum in his season.

Croatia ( 2. HNL) - young defender Frane Vladislavic is making the most of his loan deal at NK Primorac Stobrec, having now made seven starts.

Austria (Bundesliga) - James Holland continues his great run having started every game at league leading Austria Wien.  As a bonus, he is back in the fold at the Socceroos.

Serbia (Super Liga) - Defender Matt Byrne (Donji Siem) has got back into the starting line up while Eli Babalj (Red Star) still searches for his first start after coming off the bench five times. 
Russia (Premier League) - after a slow and injury interupted start to the season, Luke Wilkshire is back in the starting line up at Dinamo Moscow.

Turkey (1.Lig) - midfielder Emre Balci has been solid for recently promoted Adana Demirspor, having started in four of his six appearances.

Ireland (Premier + First) - Will combine both Mark Griffin (Dundalk) and Dylan Mernagh (Waterford United) this month despite them being in different divisions.  They are currently involved in a promotion/relegation play off and tied the first leg. Both players have had very solid seasons, but a lot is at stake in their next match.

Iceland (1. Deild) - Former US college star, Chris Ross (Vikingur Reykjavik) ended the season with 9 starts and nearly 800 minutes but as a striker would be disappointed not to have scored his debut goal in Iceland.

Finland (Kakkonen) - Brad Walker has also completed his first season at EIF, playing the full 90 minutes in his nine starts since August.

Qatar (Stars League) - just starting to get into the season with Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), Matt Spiranovic (Al Arabi) and Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal) all starting each week.

U.A.E. (UFL) - goals and minutes typifies the Aussie experience in this league.  Socceroos captain Lucas Neill is chalking up the minutes at Al Wasl, while Richard Porta (Dubai Club) and Alex Brosque (Al Ain) are providing the goals.

China (Super League) - Dino Djulbic (Guizhou Renhe) has had a great month having scored in his last three starts. Joel Griffiths continues to see minutes in the star-studded Shanghai Shenhua team.  He managed to add another two goals to his season tally during October.  Daniel Mullen has cemented his starting role at Dalian Aerbin. Jonas Salley (Shanghai Shenxin) continues his strong season but his club need an away win in the last game of the season to avoid relegation.

China (League One) - both Adam Hughes (Harbin Yifeng) and Brendon Santalab (Chongqing Lifan) have now both completed successful seasons at a personal level, however both clubs missed out on promotion.
Korea (K-League) - yet another solid but maybe not spectacular month for our growing band of Aussies in this league. To pick a stand out is difficult, but the well travelled Eddy Bosnar is nearing 2500 minutes this season for Suwon Bluewings.

Singapore (S.League) - 21 starts nearing the end of the campaign marks another productive season in Asia for Goran Subara at Balestier Khalsa. Managed by Aussie Darren Stewart.

Thailand (Premier League) - having now completed the season, Alexsander Jovanovic (BEC Tero Sasona) would be happy with his season after returning from Europe.  Having recently turned 23, while be interesting to see where he pulls on the boots next season.

USA (MLS) - Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls) continues to impress in America. Whereas little known  Melbourne born Andy Rose has now amassed 23 appearances this season at Seattle Sounders.  Having appeared in the CONCACAF Champions League several times this season, can any other Aussie claim that honour?
Injuries:-    While several key players have now returned to the pitch, notable absentees include Rhys Williams (ankle), Josh Kennedy (back) and Neil Kilkenny (hamstring).

Club Competitions:-


(UEFA Champions League) Borussia Dortmund continue to lead Group D with Mitch Langerak warming the bench.

(UEFA Europa League) Two starts for goalkeeper Brad Jones at Liverpool as they remain top of their group.


(AFC Cup) - No Aussies remain.

(Asian Champions League) - No Aussies remain. 

North America
(CONCACAF Champions League) - Andy Rose started as Seattle Sounders remain well clear in their group.

Reserves (U21's) and Youth:-    

NextGen - numerous aussies appearing this month with Irvine (Celtic), Lyden (Aston Villa), Smith (Liverpool) and Gallifuoco (Tottenham) all starting their clubs fixtures.  A mention to 16 yo Thomas Strain who again got to the bench for Aston Villa.

U21's - Both Bradden Inman and Curtis Good continue their impressive form at Newcastle. Another good story in terms of minutes and goals scored is Jamie Maclaren at Blackburn.  The player that may well sneak into the senior squad shortly is Matthew Fletcher.  He seems to be having a big influence, and is consistently on the scoring charts at Sheffield Wednesday.  Eighteen year old Patrick Antelmi continues his impressive run at Leeds. 

Youth - Peter Makrillos (Stoke City) has returned from a short injury break and is back on the scoring chartsSixteen year old Jordan Lyden seems to have found himself as a regular in both the U18's and NextGen squad at Aston Villa. Former AIS player Milos Degenak seems to have also found his feet at Stuttgart U19's and will be looking to push up shortly.  The same can be said for 17yo James Stojcevski who is now appearing at U19 level for Astoria Walldorf in Germany.

International level :-  How would you describe the Socceroos performance against Iraq? They dominated possession and control, yet until 10 minutes from the end, they looked like being unlucky losers to a goal on the counter attack. Fortunately, victory prevailed and a trip to Brazil is looking more likely. The upcoming fixture against Korea will be fascinating purely because of the personnel on the pitch.  

Several of the more experienced players will be rested, which opens the doors to the fringe and unknown players.  For all those worried about integration of new players before the World Cup in Brazil, I will remind you that we are talking 2014.  

Plenty of time still if we see anybody better than the current batch of Socceroos.  My two cents, the squad that played Iraq could only be improved by around 3-5 players, two of which are Kennedy and Williams. While the U20's lost two friendlies to Portugal, the main game is the AFC U19 Championship coming up in the U.A.E. during November. The prize being qualification for the U20 World Cup next year in Turkey.

Socceroo (capped) of the month - although Utrecht only had 3 games in October, Tommy Oar not only played ninety minutes in each game, he has been playing a huge role in delivering outstanding results to his club as they climb the table.  Not to mention a little cross to Archie for the winner in Qatar.

Under (uncapped) the radar - not sure many people don't know who Richard Porta is these days. Now on his second stint in the Middle East, he is a consistent provider of goals. Adding to that is his height, strength and confidence that make him a significant force.  AC Siena paid 3 miilion Euros for him 5 years ago, that was to be a less than successful European venture.  Will be interesting to see who comes knocking on his door when the next transfer window opens. Similar to his reasons for returning to the Middle East, he has unfinished business in Europe should the opportunity arise.

Young player (U21) of the month -  turning twenty-one during the month, Dean Bouzanis had a great month in goal at Oldham after serving a decent apprenticeship over the past year.  Touted as the next big thing when at Liverpool as a junior, he seems to now be winning the recognition he was destine to one day earn.

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