A-League 2009/10 preview – Gold Coast United

The self-titled glamour club have made a plethora of quality signings ahead of their inaugural season in the A-League.

The self-titled glamour club have made a plethora of quality signings ahead of their inaugural season in the A-League.

Backed by billionaire chairman and owner Clive Palmer and coached by the outspoken Miron Bleiberg, Gold Coast United look set to take Australian football by storm and have already targeted the 2009/10 championship.

Led by last season’s A-League Player of the Year and leading goal scorer Shane Smeltz and Socceroos star Jason Culina, with help from ex-Hartlepool striker Joel Porter, United look like having the basis of a quality playing squad.

Throw in the unknown quantity of the Brazilian trio of Robson, Milson and Anderson (injury replacement for Jefferson) plus Dutch defender Bas van den Brink and young gun Tahj Minniecon and the new franchise has a legitimate chance of challenging for the title.

Probably best for the club to now let their football do the talking though.

Arrivals: Andrew Barisic (Melbourne Knights), Anderson (Criciuma, Brazil), James Brown (AIS), Zenon Caravella (FC Omniworld, Holland), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven, Holland), Steve Fitzsimmons (Beenleigh), Richard Greer (AIS), Adam Griffiths (Newcastle Jets), Scott Higgins (Eastern Suburbs), Jefferson (Atletico Rorairama, Brazil), Milson (Madureira, Brazil), Tahj Minniecon (Brisbane Roar), Matt Osman (Central Coast Mariners), Steve Pantelidis (Melbourne Victory), Joel Porter (Hartlepool United), Daniel Piorkowski (Newcastle Jets), Kristian Rees (Adelaide City), Robson (Cabofriense), Shane Smeltz (Wellington Phoenix), Michael Thwaite (SK Brann, Norway), Adama Traore (Ecole de Football Yeo Martial, Ivory Coast), Bas van den Brink (FC Omniworld, Holland), Jess Vanstrattan (Verona, Italy).

Departures: nil

Biggest signing: Jason Culina

Biggest loss: nil

Key men: Jason Culina (captain/marquee midfielder), Shane Smeltz (star striker), Joel Porter (striker), Jess Vanstrattan (goalkeeper)

Team list:
Goalkeepers - Jess Vanstrattan, Scott Higgins

Defenders - Michael Thwaite, Daniel Piorkowski, Adam Griffiths, Bas van den Brink, Kristian Rees, Adama Traore

Midfielders - Steve Pantelidis, Robson, Zenon Caravella, Jefferson, Jason Culina, Matthew Osman, Anderson

Forwards - Shane Smeltz, Milson, Joel Porter, Tahj Minniecon, Andrew Barisic

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