Halloran one of many off-contract players on Roar radar says Fowler
Robbie Fowler played down speculation linking Ben Halloran with a return to Brisbane Roar and confirmed the Adelaide United forward is one of a number of out-of-contract players the club are considering.
Halloran was on the scoresheet against his former employers at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday but maiden Hyundai A-League goals for substitute Mirza Muratovic and Roar captain Tom Aldred completed the turnaround as Brisbane claimed a 2-1 win.
Ahead of the game, Reds boss Gertjan Verbeek had accused Fowler of being ‘impolite’ for revealing a conversation has happened about bringing Halloran back to Queensland for the 2020/21 season.
Following the Round 18 win, which lifted Brisbane into the top six for the first time since Round 8, Fowler aimed to settle the score about the Cairns-born 27-year-old’s future.
“This talk of us signing Ben Halloran is far from the truth,” Fowler said.
“I was asked a question in a press conference, will we sign him? The simple answer is, he’s off contract.
“Any player who is off contract, any club in the A-League will talk about... because they are trying to build a squad for the next season.
“That is all we have done. He has been mentioned in a conversation and that is as far as we’ve gone.
“Are we going to sign him? We’ve had a chat. That is it. But we’ve had chats about lots of other players as well.”
Reds head coach Verbeek admits that he understands the interest in Halloran, who played for Roar during the Hyundai A-League 2012/13 season before sealing a move to German club Fortuna Dusseldorf.
“I can understand a few clubs are chasing him, because he’s a good player,” said Verbeek.
“We are also chasing some players and hopefully we get some but we won’t get all [of them].
“I think Ben has enjoyed [his time] with our club. Of course, I’ve told all my players about contracts it’s about the director Bruce [Djite] so you have to ask him.”
Verbeek handed a debut to 15-year-old substitute Mohamed Toure, who became the third youngster player in competition history when he took to the pitch for the last eight minutes.
The younger brother of the Reds’ 19-year-old breakout star Al Hassan Toure showed flashes of his talent but Verbeek admits he may have to be patient for more first-team opportunities.
“For me, the age is never a problem if you have certain qualities,” Verbeek said.
“We will see next week. Hopefully we have some players coming back from injury – Michael Marrone, George Blackwood, maybe James Troisi – then the numbers are different.
“Then for Toure it’s difficult to get on the bench again. It’s nothing to do with what he has shown us.
“He’s shown us that he is talented but he’s only 15 so has several years to go to grow up and be ready for the A-League.”
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Friday, 14 February 2020
Kick-off: 7pm local, 7.30pm AEDT
Western United v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 16 February 2020
Kick-off: 4pm AEDT