Can two rising stars make a difference for the Jets and the Wanderers in season 2012/13?
As the Hyundai A-League season races ever closer, this week we-re looking at some of the key signings who could have a big impact for their clubs and on the closest title race yet. Today, it-s a couple of rising stars...
8. James Brown Brown made his name at Gold Coast United last season, bursting onto the scene with a number of memorable goals and forming a partnership of much potential with Ben Halloran, now of Brisbane Roar.
The 22-year-old attacker is certainly one of the most eye-catching young players in the Hyundai A-league, and his move to Gary van Egmond-s youth Newcastle Jets side should have Squadron members excited by the opportunity to see him tucked in behind Ryan Griffiths.
Although they might have to wait a while, with Brown recently undergoing surgery for a bone spur in his ankle, which will keep him on the sidelines for at least a month.
With Jeremy Brockie returning to New Zealand, the Jets will be looking to their younger players to weigh in with some goals. Striker Marko Jesic has recovered from injury, and alongside Griffiths, Brown the creator could be in for a big season on the Hunter.
7. Aaron Mooy Touted as a future star of Australian football, Mooy left for England when he was just 16 years old to join the academy at Bolton Wanderers, before heading north to the Scottish Premier League with St. Mirren.
After 30 appearances for “the Buddies”, Mooy was tempted back to Australia as one of Tony Popovic-s key signings for Western Sydney Wanderers, and on pre-season form it could yet prove to be the best bit of business Popa has done with the new club.
Mooy is already the lynchpin of the Wanderers midfield, and at 22, he-s quick, calm and controlled, distributes well and has plenty of skill on the ball with an eye for goal.
Without wanting to be overly critical Popovic-s squad might have a lot of starch but not a heap of individual brilliance; Mooy possesses the quality and class they might otherwise be missing and he has to take responsibility for driving the team forward.
Everyone who-s seen him in the Wanderers- pre-season games has been impressed by his ability and maturity, and he looks set to be vital to the new club-s chances in their debut season.
This article was amended to correct the numbers assigned to the players.