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Brisbane Roar have been dealt a blow with the news that striker Besart Berisha has agreed to join Melbourne Victory. The striker had entered into the last six months of his contract, which made him eligible to talk with other clubs. He has been a major player for the club over the last few years and he was the main reason behind their 2011-12 title success. Mike Mulvey have been stating in recent weeks that he hoped that the striker Berisha would consider staying at Brisbane Roar, but such hopes have now been crushed following this announcement.
Berisha was not subjected to transfer interest from Melbourne Victory alone. As a free agent, he drew interest from the likes of Newcastle, Sydney, and even Japanese clubs. However, Melbourne Victory have emerged successful in the race for the striker and it is a major coup for the manager Kevin Muscat. He has stated that this is a great news for the club since Berisha has proven over the years that he is a consistent and proven goalscorer.
Brisbane Roar are currently top of the table having taken 31 points from the opening 15 matches, while Melbourne Victory are struggling to get into the final series qualifying spots. The signing of Berisha, who has six league goals, may help Victory push on from now onwards.
“Besart has been performing at the highest level week-in, week-out for Brisbane and has caused plenty of headaches for opposition defenders and coaches, including myself. He’s a proven goalscorer and a player that we can’t wait to welcome to Melbourne Victory. It’s certainly well documented how competitive Besart is, and that is something every A-League fan surely admires about him,” said Melbourne Victory manager Kevin Muscat.
Berisha scored 21 goals in his debut season for Brisbane Roars, as they won the title.
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The match between Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar on Sunday was played in very poor conditions at the Hunter Stadium. Heavy rains made it very difficult for both teams to play attractive football, but it was the home team that came out on top after a double from Adam Taggart. Brisbane Roar were coming into the match with the hope of going top of the table, but their aspirations were destroyed as a result of this comeback victory for Newcastle. Brisbane opened the scoring in the 39th minute courtesy of Brattan’s goal.
It looked like they were heading for a comfortable three points, as they went into the half-time break with the lead intact. In the second half, though, Newcastle roared forward to equalise through Taggart in the 51st minute. The goal in the 74th minute put the home team ahead in the match. Even though they had Jaliens sent off in the 87th minute, the home team held on for a victory that would push them closer to Brisbane Roar in the table. They are in the third position right now, while three points separate them from the second placed Brisbane Roar.
Brisbane Roar, meanwhile, are a further three points behind table leaders Western Sydney Wanderers. “It’s not the usual Newcastle weather, in the end the weather has probably helped us. We’ve ended up scoring with the ball holding up. It was great to great the three points. I thought we defended really well, and when we had the ball we really did something with it,” said Taggart after the match. Even though the away team had much better possession, they were unable to utilise it partly because of the tough conditions that made it favourable for the home team.
Brisbane Roar will now be taking on top of the table Western Sydney in the next match.
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Brisbane Roar have been one of the important teams in the A-League over the last few years. Under the management of new manager Mike Mulvey, they will be hoping to return to the former glory days. Mulvey is confident that the successes that the team has achieved in the past will be able to propel them to even more success in the future. It was not long ago that Brisbane Roar was able to win the league title by managing to stay unbeaten throughout the season. They went through the whole 36 game campaign without suffering a defeat.
Mulvey recently was appointed as the manager of the team that had been suffering disappointing results under Rado Vidosic. Mulvey managed to turn the season around and guided the team into the semifinals of the competition. He has said that the strong finish to the end of the campaign will be able to push them to more success this season. The team will be starting the new campaign with an away match against Wellington Phoenix on the opening day of the season. They already have several tough matches in the opening few weeks of the campaign because they will be facing the likes of Melbourne Victory during this period.
“What’s happened in past years just makes me more enthusiastic to try and recapture those glory days, if anything. We finished strongly at the end of last season and I’ve got every faith that this group of players can do it. They have all come back focused and hungry and the challenge for them is to maintain that attitude throughout the season. We haven’t set a goal as such in terms of where we will finish in 2013-14 but we are determined to make a statement that for every minute,” Mulvey said yesterday