For those football starved fans enduring a long off-season in Australia, we have some respite as the big European leagues returned to action in August. Plenty of player movements, so many Aussies trying to establish themselves at new clubs. An international friendly for the Socceroos and the next stage in WC2014 qualifying is nearly upon us. The Young Socceroos are playing a tournament in Asia.
Transfers:- A good spread of destinations for our Aussies Abroad during the European off season. Loan deals have also been reached as players search for first team football, and in the case of Nick Carle, to go chasing a Socceroos berth. Numerous players have pulled the pin on their overseas adventures and have returned to Australia as they look for the next club deal. Still some bigger names like Kewell, Coe and Grella yet to find clubs for the season. Given Kewell and Coe remain in Socceroos calculations, sorting out a playing future is critical.
Additions/changes to database: -
Mark Bresciano (11 Feb 1980) - transferred to Al Gharaffa, Qatar
Nick Carle (23 Nov 1981) - transferred to Baniyas SC, U.A.E.
Travis Cooper (21 Dec 1993) - transferred to VVV Venlo, Netherlands
Kofi Danning (2 Mar 1991) - transferred to CS Vise, Belgium
Houtan Delfi (27 aug 1992) - transferred to FK Proleter Novi Sad, Serbia
Corey Gameiro (7 Feb 1993) - loan to FC Eindhoven, Netherlands
James Georgeff (23 May 1983) - transferred to Torgelower SV, Germany
Liam Graham (14 Aug 1992) - transferred to Ascoli Calcio, Italy
Tom King (20 Jul 1994) - transferred to Bristol City, England
Billy Konstantinidis (21 Apr 1986) - loan to AEP Iraklis, Greece
Calvin Lovric (12 Sep 1992) - loan to Bellaria Igea, Italy
Nick Modaffari (25 Nov 1991) - transferred to Bellaria Igea, Italy
Lucas Neill (9 Mar 1978) - transferred to Al Wasl, U.A.E.
Nikita Rukavytsya (22 Jun 1987) - transferred to Mainz 05, Germany
Giannis Simosis (13 Mar 1991) - transferred to AO Kerkyra, Greece
Francesco Stella (25 Jul 1991) - transferred to Rangers FC, Scotland
Christos Tomaras (14 Jan 1989) - transferred to Apollon Smyrnis, Greece
Adriano Varnier (24 Dec 1989) - transferred to Boavista, Portugal
Frane Vladislavic (9 Jan 1994) - loan to NK Primorac Stobrec, Croatia
Bradley Walker (11 Nov 1989) - transferred to EIF, Finland
Removed from database:-
Nedim Basic (Wuppertaler) - returned to Australia
Oscar Brooks (Kaposvari) - transferred to Chipstead, England (non-league)
Jim Fenlon (AFC Wimbledon) - not eligible to play for Australia
Richard Garcia (Hull City) - transferred to Melbourne Heart, HAL
Ryan Gazet du Chattelier (Stuttgart Kickers II) - returned to Australia
Steve Hesketh (Arema) - transferred to Hume City, VPL
Nikodin Matic (Sheffield Utd) - transferred to Bonnyrigg, NSWPL
Kyle Nix (Tamworth FC) - transferred to Buxton FC, England (non-league)
Matthew Park (Hearts) - returned to Australia
Mike Urwin (TuS Koblenz) - returned to Australia
Nenad Vekic (Tuen Mun SA) - returned to Australia
Milan Zoric (FK Leotar) - returned to Australia
China (Super League) - several impressive contributions so far this season. None more so than Dino Djulbic (Guizhou Renhe) who has made 23 starts and not missed a minute of game time so far this season. Jonas Salley has played every minute in all but one game that he missed through suspension. Joel Griffiths is probably not seeing the minutes he would like, but when you are in same line-up as Drogba and Anelka, life is good. Rostyn Griffiths has now made 15 appearances and seems to have cemented his spot in the starting eleven at Guangzhou R&F. Daniel Mullen has also settled in at Dalian Aerbin.
Japan (J- League) - a quiet month for our Aussies with Jade North and Josh Kennedy having long injury breaks. Alex Brosque continued up front for Shimuzu S-Pulse but hasn't scored a league goal since mid July.
Korea (K-League) - August was a month of mixed fortunes for our Aussies in Korea. Eddy Bosnar has continued to be a stand out with his trademark free kicks featuring on highlights reels. Twenty-six year old Robbie Cornthwaite (Chunnan Dragons) continues his break out season. Alex Wilkinson and Brendan Hamill are just establishing themselves. Luke DeVere was performing strongly until cut down by injury.
England (Premiership) - veteran Mark Schwarzer just keeps going in goals at Fulham. The gloveman turns 40 in October. An amazing effort to be performing at such a high level for so long. At the beginning of his career is Chris Herd. He has been in and out of the Aston Villa squad because of injury. Not so for team mate Brett Holman who is developing a reputation for his tenacity. Other Aussie goalkeepers in the Premier League are Adam Federici (Reading), who was shaky earlier but has fought back and Brad Jones who has been a regular on the pine at Liverpool.
England (Championship) - both Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) and Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough) spent time wearing the captains armband during August. Australian highlights have not been that common in this league. The exception being a strong start for Massimo Luongo at Ipswich Town and steady games from Shane Lowry (Millwall) down back.
England (League One) - the Aussie presence at this level is covered by Oldham, Preston North End and Portsmouth. Cisak has been the starting keeper which relegates Dean Bouzanis to the bench at Oldham. The two starting centre-backs at Preston North End are now Aussies Bailey Wright and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff. The youth bridage at Pompey has seen both Andy Higgins and Alex Grant make senior debuts.
Italy (Serie A) - early days, but great to see James Troisi (Atalanta) make his debut in the first game. Seems to have been awhile since Bresch and Grella were running around in this league.
Germany (Bundesliga) - Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf) finds himself in the starting elven. Quite a rapid rise to fame given he was in and out of the team last campaign. Would be fantastic to see an extended run and good game time.
Germany (2. Bundesliga) - Matthew Leckie has continued on his strong pre-season with a solid start to his loan period at FSV Frankfurt. He is currently on the sidelines with injury, but hopefully only a short break.
Netherlands (Eredivisie) - in terms of the Australian interest, all about young players. Possibly headlined by Jason Davidson (Heracles), but also Adam Sarota and Tommy Oar at Utrecht. These guys are all seeing good minutes, under the age of 25, and being rewarded with exposure to the Socceroos.
Scotland (Premier League) - all of a sudden, an important league in terms of Australian development. We know about Ryan McGowan at Hearts, he has picked up where he left off last season. The influx of new talent is pleasantly surprising. Young midfielder Jackson Irvine (19) has just made his senior debut at Celtic after coming through the youth set-up. Dylan McGowan (Hearts) and eighteen year-old keeper Alex Baird (Dundee) find themselves in the senior match day squads.
Scotland (First division) - seems as though Marc Warren is making the most of his transfer north of the border, having made a handful of starts already.
Portugal (Primeira) - Caleb Patterson-Sewell (Vitoria Setubal) has made his starting debut. Unfortunately he conceded seven goals in the first two games and was then dropped to the bench. Sure that he will bounce back quickly.
Ireland (Premier) - Mark Griffin has now scored three is his last two starts for Dundalk.
Ireland (First Division) - Dylan Mernagh (Waterford United) has now made over 20 appearances as his club remain in the race for promotion.
Iceland (1. Deild) - Twenty-three year old Chris Ross (Vikingur Reykjavik) seems to have won the confidence of his manager having started the past 4 games.
USA (MLS) - Tim Cahill is making his presence known at the NY Red Bulls. Having opened his scoring account and broken somebody's nose with a stray elbow, has been an interesting start to his American adventure.
Injuries:- A few injuries to players that are well and truly in the mix for the Socceroos qualification process. The biggest of which is arguably Rhys Williams. Looks like he will be out for the remainder of 2012. Both Matthew Leckie and Luke DeVere were making strong plays towards the national set-up, but will have to wait a little longer. Mainstay Carl Valeri has done a hamstring and will be out for a few weeks. Pleasing to hear that both Nathan Burns and Dylan Tombides have returned to training.
(UEFA Champions League) No Aussies appeared however Celtic (Jackson Irvine) have progressed to the group stages.
(UEFA Europa League) In the 3rd round of qualifying, numerous Aussies saw game time, Giannou (PAOK), Jones (Liverpool), Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow)and Lustica (Hajduk). All progressing to the playoff round except Hajduk. Unfortunately the playoff round was not as successful. While Giannou, Jones, Wilkshire, McGowan all played good minutes, only newcastle (Good and Inman) has gone through to the group stages.
(AFC Cup) - Andrew Barisic (Arema) remains in the competition but the next fixture is not until September.
(Asian Champions League) - Same situation for David Carney (Bunyodkor FC) in the Champions League.
(CONCAF Champions League) - Andy Rose (Seattle Sounders) scored one and had two assists in his team's first group game. They are currently leading the group after two games.
Reserves and Youth:- Most of the youth competitions are just resuming so a more extensive report next month. The Next Generation league has kicked off with two Aussies particpating in August. Giancarlo Gallifuoco started for Tottenham, while youngster Thomas Strain sat on the bench for Aston Villa.
International level :- The Socceroos played a friendly against Scotland during the month. The result wasn't what we wanted but no damage done. The important ties are coming up in September in the Middle East. Great to see a little more new talent introduced to the fold with Jason Davidson and Ryan McGowan both making their debuts. The U19's have just commenced a tournament in Vietnam.
Compiled By Damian Davies