Brisbane Roar will be bolstered by the return of a number of key players for tomorrow’s Hyundai A-League clash against Western Sydney Wanderers at ANZ Stadium.
For the first time since suffering a serious knee injury in February, central defender Daniel Bowles has been named in the squad as has defending Gary Wilkins medallist Corey Brown.
It has been a long road to recovery for Bowles, who has thrived on support from family and friends to be contention to make his first Hyundai A-League appearance in almost 10 months.
“It’s been a while so I’m looking forward to being back with the boys,” Bowles said.
“There are definitely difficult moments coming through a serious knee reconstruction but I have had a lot of support around from me from the club and my family so I always remained positive and knew I would be back out on the pitch.
“We have a great medical team here who have done everything to help me get back playing as soon as possible.”
Attackers Corey Gameiro and Petros Skapetis have also been included in the 18-man squad to travel to Sydney.
Head Coach John Aloisi has praised Bowles’ resilience and determination to return to the pitch and is excited by the prospect of returning players creating more competition for places.
“It was a serious injury [Bowles’]. Even though it seems like a quick return, he has put a lot of hard work in and it shows the character of the person when he comes back looking so strong and fit,” Aloisi said.
“The season before he was one of our best players so it’s great to have him back in the side.
“We have a few players starting to come back from injury, and when that happens, all of a sudden there is more competition for places.”
A win against the Wanderers could catapult the Roar inside the top six and Bowles is expecting a strong performance after an intense week on the training park.
“Every week you want to win. We’ve had a really good week on the training pitch and hopefully we come away with the three points,” Bowles said.
Hyundai A-League 2017/18: Round 9 - Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar
Saturday, 2 December (4:35pm KO QLD time)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC Squad: 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Josh RISDON, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Jacob MELLING, 7.Steven LUSTICA, 8.Roly BONEVACIA, 9.Oriol RIERA, 10.Alvaro CEJUDO, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 14.Jumpei KUSKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathon ASPROPOTAMITIS, 24.Raul LLORENTE, 30.John HALL (gk), 33.Michael THWAITE **two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Jack CLISBY (promoted), 7.Steven LUSTICA (returns from injury), 22.Jonathon ASPROPOTAMITIS (promoted)
Outs: 18.Robbie CORNTHWAITE (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk) (shoulder), 25.Chris HERD (overseas)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 2.Dane INGHAM, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Massimo MACCARONE, 11.Corey GAMEIRO, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Mitchell OXBORROW, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 18.Joe CALETTI, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG(gk), 22.Eric BAUTHEAC, 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 31.Brendan WHITE(gk), 33.Petros SKAPETIS, 77.Ivan FRANJIC **two to be omitted**
Ins: 4.Daniel BOWLES (returns from injury), 5.Corey BROWN (returns from injury), 11.Corey GAMEIRO (promoted), 33.Petros SKAPETIS (promoted)
Outs: 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS (suspended), 10.Brett HOLMAN (knock – 1 week)
Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (gk) (finger – 2 weeks), 3.Luke DEVERE (knee – 10 weeks), 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – 1 week), 20.Shannon BRADY (broken foot – TBC)
HOW DO WE SHAPE UP AGAINST THE WANDERERS?
- Head-to-head: Wanderers wins: 7, draws: 5, Roar wins: 7
- This will be Brisbane Roar's first ever Hyundai A-League match at ANZ Stadium.
- We are undefeated in the last four games against the Wanderers - the last being a win on penalties in last season's Elimination Final.
- There have been 14 goals in our last three away games against Western Sydney.
- Jamie Young has made 4.3 saves per game so far this campaign, the second-most of any keeper who has played more than one game.