A-Leagues Life: Roar boss plans for a new era in Brisbane, Mariners champion wanted abroad

Welcome to A-Leagues Life, where KEEPUP brings you all the latest news and goings on at your club. This is how the week is shaping up across the A-Leagues and beyond.

Aloisi era underway

Ross Aloisi oversaw his first training session as Brisbane Roar head coach and the former Yokohama F.Marinos assistant outlined his plans for the squad and the club.

After working alongside A-Leagues great Kevin Muscat and Shaun Ontong at Japanese champions F.Marinos last season, Aloisi has his first senior coaching role having permanently replaced Warren Moon following Nick Green’s interim tenure at the backend of 2022-23.

Brisbane finished eighth and five points outside the finals places for the second straight season.

With Adelaide United great Aloisi at the helm in Brisbane, where he previously served as an assistant to brother John, the 50-year-old is placing an emphasis on young talent while instilling a winning mentality at a club craving a return to their glory years.

Brisbane have won three Championships, though they have not reigned supreme since 2013-14.

“It’s been pretty good, all the players and coaching staff are all up-beat,” Aloisi said via the club’s official website on Monday.

“We had our talk with the playing group about our culture, and what we’re looking to implement here as far as training sessions go with our playing style, and our club values.

“That’s exactly what today is about, having the players here understanding what we’re looking to achieve as a playing group and as a club, and having that winning mentality and to get started on the training field.” 

Brisbane have farewelled Joe Knowles, Robbie Kruse (retired), Josh Brindell-South, Marcel Canadi, Jordan Courtney-Perkins (end of loan and Jordan Holmes.

The Roar are yet to bring in new recruits, though they have re-signed Jez Lofthouse and Louis Zabala.

Featured Image: Brisbane Roar

Another Mariners star to Hearts?

If reports are to be believed, Sammy Silvera is set to make the move to Hearts in the Scottish Premiership.

Silvera enjoyed a standout Isuzu UTE A-League season, filling the void left by Garang Kuol’s Newcastle United departure in January as he helped Central Coast Mariners sensationally win the Championship earlier this month.

The 22-year-old attacker has now caught the eye of Hearts after scoring a career-high eight goals, including a goal in the decider, and supplying five assists.

According to Edinburgh News & The Scotsman journalist Barry Anderson – also a columnist for KEEPUP – Hearts are pursuing Silvera. The Scottish club signed Kye Rowles from Central Coast ahead of 2022-23 and brought Kuol in on loan from Newcastle in January.

Hearts are also reportedly eyeing Japanese winger Kanji Okunuki but the Evening News claims interest is stronger in the Australian, who “would likely cost a six-figure transfer fee” to prise from the Mariners.

The Australia youth international has spent time abroad previously via Pacos de Ferreira in Portugal, where he did not make an appearance as he was loaned out to Casa Pia, Sanjoanense and Newcastle Jets.

Liberty A-League legend to be recognised

Melissa Barbieri will be awarded the PFA’s Alex Tobin OAM Medal at the 2023 Oakberry Players’ Award on July 17.

The Liberty A-League great and Melbourne City goalkeeper has been a pioneer for Australian football at club and international level with the Matildas, and she joins Alex Tobin, Johnny Warren, Joe Marston, Craig Johnston, Mark Viduka, Frank Farina, Mark Schwarzer, Cheryl Salisbury, Harry Kewell and Paul Okon as legends of the game.

Barbieri has eclipsed 100 A-League Women appearances after 26 seasons, while she was part of the City team that won the 2020 Grand Final.

Last season, the 43-year-old played 10 games for semi-finalists City.

“It’s hard to fathom you can have a place in history, accepting an award like this,” Barbieri said.

“I’m truly humbled. When you work through it all you look back and (think): ‘I might deserve it’, but when you’re going through the rocky roads of a career, you certainly don’t look to having these awards at the end of it all. It’s lovely to be acknowledged.”

Barbieri’s name will now forever sit alongside some of the legends of Australian football to have been awarded the Alex Tobin OAM Medal, including Johnny Warren (posthumously), Joe Marston, Craig Johnston, Mark Viduka, Frank Farina, Mark Schwarzer, Harry Kewell, Cheryl Sailsbury and Paul Okon.