I was impressed with the overall standard of the opening round. Speed, tactical maturity and attacking intent were on show across Oz. Here’s what we learnt.
1: Brisbane Roar has discovered a gem in Corona
There were a few concerns about just who Roar would get to replace Luke Brattan for this season but in Corona, John Aloisi has his man. What a debut performance from the midfielder in Brisbane’s 3-1 win at Wanderland. No wonder Thomas Broich raves about him.
Was assured in possession and had a touch of class in absolutely everything he did. His wicked, in-swinging corners led to two goals, his positional sense was superb while he got around the pitch excellently for a 34-year-old. This Spaniard is definitely one to keep an eye on this season.
2: Showtime in Gosford = exciting times ahead for Mariners fans
All off-season, Central Coast boss Tony Walmsley promised a more proactive, attacking Mariners outfit for 2015/16. And they delivered on that vow against Glory. The Mariners were arguably the best performed side of the opening weekend, exposing Perth with their vibrant, pacy and high-pressing style.
No wonder Mariners fans were dancing out of Central Coast Stadium on Saturday night. Mitch Austin looks a real prospect on the left, Anthony Caceres looks like living up to his potential while Fabio Ferreira’s speed and flair on the right wing was a real feature.
If they can keep this going all season, it’s going to be fun to watch the Mariners.
3: Jets have solid foundations under Scott Miller
It was the great unknown heading into Round 1. What impact would the A-League’s youngest coach have on the Hunter club? But Scott Miller’s Jets proved they will be more than competitive this season by coming away with all three points from their trip to Wellington.
It wasn’t just their two goals and the way they caused Phoenix troubles going forward which impressed, but more their defensive organisation and solidarity when under pressure. After just three wins in all of last season, Newcastle will be no pushovers in 2015/16.
4: Quality and speed of game is as good as ever
How good is it to have the Hyundai A-League back? If the opening round is anything to go by we’re in for a bumper Season 11. There were 14 goals – and a couple of crackers as well – some scintillating football and plenty of talking points.
After such a long off-season you could excuse the teams for taking time to settle but the standard and pace of the games on the opening weekend were something to behold.
And it’s only going to get better as the season progresses!