Josh Brindell-South (def) Lions FC; Riku Danzaki (mid) Consadole Sapporo – on loan; Joe Champness (mid) Newcastle Jets – on loan; Jesse Daley (mid) Tacoma Defiance; Masato Kudo (att) free agent;
Scott Neville (r) (def) East Bengal (IND); Brad Inman (r) (mid) ATK Mohun (IND); Max Crocombe (sp) (gk) Melbourne Victory; Daniel Bowles (sp) (def) Brisbane City; Jake McGing (sp) (def) released; Matthew Riddenton (sp) (mid) Wellington Phoenix; Mirza Muratovic (sp) (att) Wellington Phoenix; Aaron Amadi-Holloway (sp) (att) East Bengal (IND); Aaron Reardon (def) released; Danny Kim (mid) Lions FC – on loan;
Roar had high hopes for their season under Robbie Fowler last term, but the style of football preached by the Englishman didn’t win the Tangerines many fans. Not that Roar were not effective by sitting deep and making themselves hard to beat, just this anti-football approach received huge backlash which eventually led to Fowler being sacked during the lockdown break at the end of the season.
Roar still finished 4th and at least took part in the play-offs, but the reality was that neither the players nor the fans were happy with the tactics used.
After Fowler’s sacking, Warren Moon was appointed as caretaker, but as he did well he was given the job permanently in the off-season. This decision was likely helped also by the fact that the owners decided to turn the coming 2020/21 season into a period for developing young local talents.
Moon was clearly instructed to release some players on high wages and so far Roar have parted ways with 10 players, while only 5 new signings are made, 2 of those just loans.
Moon will clearly have to rely on some youngsters at times because of that, especially considering that the only newcomer likely to land a regular starting spot is striker Kudo. He’s an experienced forward and will be helping 37-year-old McDonald up front.
Squad definitely don’t look complete yet and, as the season starts, Roar have just 2 typical centre-backs, single right-back and no left-footed midfielders or forwards. Moon could change that with 2-3 more signings so Roar’s transfer activity in January will have to be closely monitored.
Trusting an inexperienced manager and trimming the squad significantly clearly shows that Roar don’t target major things this campaign and any place in the top 8 will be seen as a great achievement.