Compiled by Damian Davies
June/July is always an interesting period given the amount of transfer activity, but this season we have had the added privilege of seeing the Socceroos in World Cup qualification, followed closely by the EAFF Cup. Given very little action at club level over this period, I will focus on the summer transfers that have occurred, resuming the full article in August. With the successful WC2014 qualification for the Socceroos, time also to focus on who will make the touring party twelve months from now.
For a full listing of our Aussies Abroad, please see the attachment.
Transfers:- a massive amount of movement as players chase first team football. No doubt the lure of a ticket to Brazil is on the mind of many. In terms of trends, China and the U.A.E. are the hotspots. With the Hyundai A-League seeing some big names arrive and others go out on loan. With the transfer window remaining open during August expect plenty of rumours around proposed moves as recently released players look for a new home.
Additions/changes to player database:
Aziz Behich (16 Dec 1990) – loan from Bursaspor to Melbourne Heart, Australia
Eddy Bosnar (29 Apr 1980) – transferred from Suwon Bluewings to Guangzhou R&F, China
Dean Bouzanis (2 Oct 1991) – transferred from Oldham Athletic to Aris, Greece
Oliver Bozanic (8 Jan 1989) - transferred from Central Coast Mariners to FC Luzern, Switzerland
Anthony Carter (31 Aug 1994) - loan from Parma to ND Gorica, Slovenia
Billy Celeski (14 Jul 1985) – transferred from Melbourne Victory to Al Shaab, U.A.E.
Alex Cisak (19 May 1989) - transferred from Oldham Athletic to Burnley, England
Simon Colosimo (8 Jan 1979) - transferred from Melbourne Heart to Dempo, India
Albert Edward (19 Nov 1991) - transferred to Des Moines Menance, USA
Ryan Edwards (18 Nov 1993) – loan from Reading FC to Perth Glory, Australia
Joel Griffiths (21 Aug 1979) – transferred from Sydney FC to Qingdao Jonoon, China
Brett Holman (27 Mar 1984) - transferred from Aston Villa to Al Nasr, U.A.E.
Jordan Holmes (1997) - transferred to Bournemouth FC, England
Shane Huke (2 Oct 1985) – transferred from Dover Athletic to Ebbsfleet United, England
Bernie Ibini-Isei (12 Sep 1992) - transferred from Central Coast Mariners to Shanghai SIPG, China
Jack Jones (1997) - transferred to Stevenage FC, England
Kile Kennedy (8 Apr 1989) - transferred to KF Fjardabyggd, Iceland
Josip Konyit (29 Apr 1992) – transferred to CFR Cluj II, Romania
Calvin Lovric (12 Sept 1992) – loan return to Parma, Italy
Sasa Macura (28 Nov 1991) – loan return to MTK Budapest, Hungary
Daniel McBreen (23 Apr 1977) loan from Central Coast Mariners to Shanghai SIPG, China
Scott McDonald (21 Aug 1983) – transferred from Middlesbrough to Millwall, England
Ross Millard (1997) - transferred to Stevenage FC, England
Chris Oikonomidis (4 May 1995) – transferred from Atalanta to Lazio, Italy
Tolgey Ozbey (12 Apr 1986) - transferred from Mohun Bagan to Mohammedan SC, India
Caleb Patterson-Sewell (20 May 1987) - transferred from Vitoria Setubal to Gil Vicente, Portugal
Jovo Pavlovic (16 Aug 1989) – transferred from Mitra Kukar to South China, Hong Kong
Richard Porta (1 Aug 1983) – transferred from Dubai Club to Nacional, Uruguay
Aaron Schneebeli (11 Jan 1993) - transferred from US college to Forest City London, USA
Mark Schwarzer (6 Oct 1972) – transferred from Fulham to Chelsea, England
Mark Schwarzer (6 Oct 1972) – transferred from Fulham to Chelsea, England
Mario Simic (28 Dec 1989) – transferred from HNK Zmaj Makarska to NK Inter Zapresic, Croatia
Giannis Simosis (13 Mar 1991) – transferred from AO Kerkyra to Wacker Burghausen, Germany
Robert Stambolziev (26 Oct 1990) – transferred from Olympiakos Nicosia to AEK Kouklion, Cyprus
Stefan Stanojevic (11 Feb 1994) – transferred to Metalac GM, Serbia
Roko Strika (12 Feb 1994) – loan from GNK Dinamo Zagreb to NK Maksimir, Croatia
Milan Susak (29 Jan 1984) - transferred from Sepahan to Al Wasl, U.A.E
Rocco Visconte (22 Apr 1990) – transferred from Western Sydney to Suphanburi, Thailand
Frane Vladislavic (9 Jan 1994) – loan from Hajduk Split to Hrvatski Dragovoljac, Croatia
Removed from player database:
Luke Adams (Derby County) – transferred to Wellington Phoenix
Andrew Barisic (East Bengal _ transferred to Melbourne Knights, Vic
Michael Cavallaro (FC Lustenau) – transferred to Adelaide Cobras, SA
Nick Carle (Baniyas SC) - transferred to Sydney FC
Corey Gameiro (Fulham) - transferred to Sydney FC
Harry Kewell (Al Gharafa) - transferred to Melbourne Heart
Jamie Maclaren (Blackburn) - transferred to Perth Glory
Dane Milovanovic (Pelita Bandung Raya) – transferred to Bentleigh Greens, Vic
Daniel Moss (Greenock Morton) – uncontracted, whereabouts unknown
Dimitri Petratos (Kelantan FC) - transferred to Brisbane Roar
Chris Ross (Vikingur Reykjavik) – uncontracted, whereabouts unknown
James Sammut (Birzebbugu St.Peter’s) – transferred to Inglewood FC, WA
Chris Sharpe (Colorado Rapids) – retired, now coaching (Colorado Rapids)
Francesco Stella (Bellaria Igea) – loan return to Melbourne Victory
Josh Tanner (FCV Dender) – transferred to Rockedale City Suns, NSW
Marc Warren (Airdrie United) - transferred to Sydney FC
The World Cup contenders:-
The squad from the recent World Cup qualifiers was close to full strength so let’s recap on that. Schwarzer, Langerak, Galekovic, Neill, Wilkshire, Milligan, Ognenovski, Franjic, North, Cornthwaite, McGowan, Bresciano, McKay, Kruse, Oar, Rogic, Vidosic, Holland, Jedinak, Cahill, Holman, Kennedy, Thompson. Barring injury I would think no more than 8 places are debatable. That said, injuries, poor form and bolters will always come into the equation. We have had a sighter of those fringe Socceroos during the EAFF Cup but who from that squad can step up? In no particular order, and apologies to those not listed.
Adam Federici – long regarding as the heir apparent to Mark Schwarzer, the big Reading stopper had a troubled 2012/13 season culminating in his club getting relegated. Dropping out of the Premier League will be an issue, but a return to fitness, and being restored at the number one could be enough.
Dean Bouzanis – sure, this is a long shot, but the promising custodian could get a gig as the third keeper. We all remember that assertions were made that he was one of the best junior keepers in the world. He had a breakout season at Oldham, albeit League One, however he has made the big move to the Greek Super League. If he can cement himself as the number one, will hard not to take notice.
Bolter – Mat Ryan made the off-season move to Europe and has started as first-choice at Club Brugge but needs to continue that form. Will get exposure to Europa League football and may be considered a great investment for the future. For a young keeper, has been well recognised in Australia while at the Mariners
Rhys Williams – the Middlesbrough captain has already made 11 appearances for the Socceroos and was forced out of 2010 South Africa due to injury at the eleventh hour. Known for his versatility, he did not return from injury as strong as he would have liked last season. As a starting point, he needs to be playing each week and at the level of form seen in the past. Questionable if a move to the Premier League would help or hinder his chances at this stage.
Shane Lowry – no doubt Australia has had problems at left back since Chipperfield and Carney left the scene. After switching allegiances to Australia, Lowry is coming off a career best season at Millwall. He seems to have most the attributes you would want for a defender and has the ability to hold down several roles at the back. Time to see what he can do an international level in upcoming friendlies.
Matt Spiranovic – also seemingly anointed as a future lynchpin for the Socceroos, things have gone a little off course over the past few years. Having been a decorated junior in Germany, to a bit player in Japan, and now often starting in Qatar – where to next? After plenty of injury frustrations, Matt needs to get fit and play some games to put himself in the frame. If that is done, perhaps a loan deal to either Australia or Europe could help once he has some starts under the belt.
Bolters – Aziz Behich seemingly made an ill-fated transfer to Turkey. Good management by him/agent has seen him return to Melbourne Heart on loan for the season. He would certainly have learned a few new tricks while in Europe, now hopefully some first team football and he will be back on the radar. He has 5 Socceroos caps already. Ersan Gulum was much publicised a few years ago because of the tug-of-war between Turkey and Australia to secure his services. Now fast forward a few seasons, he is still not tied, but representing one of the bigger Turkish clubs and holding down centre back and can play on the left. Has had Europa League experience so a solid start to this campaign could prove interesting.
Chris Herd – has often been close, but injury seems to have always prevented an appearance in the green and gold. Has now made over 30 Premier League appearances, which is a decent claim to fame. Fairly versatile but is likely to be fighting it out with the defensive midfielders, which is a position we have several good options. Another player who we need to see at international level, but a strong, injury free start to this new campaign is critical.
Aaron Mooy – after playing his junior football at Bolton and in Scotland, he has certainly made an impact once returning to Australia. We recently got a good chance to see him in the EAFF Cup. He certainly brings a X-Factor with his game. Needs to continue his strong domestic form but is another youngster who may get a seat on the bus as a project player.
Bolter – Adam Sarota. Currently out with a knee injury, Adam was enjoying a break out year along with featuring for the Socceroos on several occasions. Brings something a little different to the mix and if he returns shortly and returns to his old form, he may sneak in to the squad.
Harry Kewell – arguably our greatest ever Socceroo, no doubting his pedigree. The problem is his age and lack of first team football. Having signed with Melbourne Heart, this is surely an audition for him. A starting role with the national team seems too far away for him, but an impact player off the bench has worked wonders before. Is that wishful thinking that those days are not beyond him?
Mat Leckie – the former Adelaide marksman has had his share of up’s and down’s while in Germany. Ten goals in 50 appearances over 3 years tells that story. Spending reasonable periods in the medical rooms and rotating on and off the bench. He is back starting and scoring, can he keep that up and start to make a real impact to push his case forward.
Scott McDonald – someone who seems never to have had real problems scoring at club level throughout a ten year career, he has had chances but not made a huge impact at international level. More times than not, the formation and style of play of the Socceroos hasn’t suited him, which may again prove to be a barrier. He has just transferred to Millwall, not sure if that advances his claims or not. He would have to be an outside chance of going to his first World Cup.
Bolter - Mitchell Duke. Having only made his senior debut last season at the Mariners, and then representing Australia at the EAFF Cup, certainly a fairy tale start to his career. Mitch certainly has the ability but maybe not the experience. He has done his chances no harm of late, but a solid domestic season will help his cause even further.
A bit more experimenting over the next few months, but I imagine at least twenty of our World Cup squad will be locked in by early 2014. Plenty of names who I have not mentioned here, and that is the beauty of the next six months. We are bound to be both surprised and disappointed by some of our Top 50 national players. Best wishes to all the players that so nobly fly the Australian flag around the world.