• Christian Marchetti

Aussies Abroad: Socceroos strikers in form as Muscat closes in on the title

September was a big month for a bunch of Australian footballers and coaches overseas. Whilst a couple of Socceroos based in Japan continued to push for a starting spot at the World Cup, a former A-League manager is edging closer to taking out the ultimate prize in the country.


Looking at 12 different categories, FPF reviews the 150+ Aussie players and managers who plied their trade abroad in September.


In a rich vein of form


Quite a few Aussies had an impressive month in September, particularly in Asia.


In Japan, Adam Taggart scored twice across four starts for Cerezo Osaka, helping his claim for a starting spot in Graham Arnold's Socceroos side. However, one of his competitors, Mitch Duke, also had a good month, scoring twice and picking up one assist across four appearances for Fagiano Okayama.

Staying in Asia, Ryan Edwards picked up two assists across five appearances for Korean second-tier side Busan IPark. Meanwhile, in South-East Asia, Ryan Lambert scored three times across five starts for Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur City, whilst former Brisbane Roar winger Nicholas Olsen scored twice and picked up two assists for Vietnamese side Saigon FC.


Speaking of former A-League players, ex-Sydney FC striker Charles Lokolingoy, now playing in Malta, had a great month for Zebbug Rangers, scoring twice and picking up one assist across two full games.


There were also good performances in the UK and Scandinavia.


In England, promising youngster Cameron Peupion scored once and provided an assist across four full games for Brighton's U21 side. Meanwhile, Bolton Wanderers duo Gethin Jones and Jack Iredale had a good month. Jones scored once and provided an assist across three full games, whilst Iredale picked up two assists across three starts for the club.

Tete Yengi is continuing his rise to prominence in Finland, picking up two assists across three full games for Vaasan Palloseura. Meanwhile, Joey Gibbs continues to flourish in Iceland, scoring twice and picking up one assist across three full games for Keflavik IF. Hassan Jalloh, also based in Iceland, scored twice across three starts for second-tier side HK Kopavogur.


Finally, Lachlan McLean scored once and picked up an assist across three appearances for third-tier American side Northern Colorado Hailstorm.


Playing the ninety


There were a host of Aussies who may not have played every game for their clubs in September, but managed full games when they did so.


Starting in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Ante Bakmaz played one full game for FK Buducnost Banovci. Staying in Southern Europe, Thomas Galletti played three full games for Italian fourth-tier side ASD Salsomaggiore, whilst Samuel Vella played one full game for Maltese second-tier side Swieqi FC.


Elsewhere in Europe, Mat Ryan played five full games for Danish giants FC Copenhagen, and Joel King, also based in Denmark, played one full game for Odense BK, scoring once. Alex Gersbach played two full games for French second-tier side Grenoble, whilst Jackson Irvine played three full games for German second-tier side St. Pauli, and also scored once. In Romania, Harrison Devenish-Meares played one full game for third-tier side CS Tunari.

In the UK, Lucas Scicluna played one full game for Wolverhampton's U18 side. Elsewhere in England, Jacob Chapman played two full games for fourth-tier side Salford City, whilst Reagan Ogle played three full games for fifth-tier side Scunthorpe United. In Northern Ireland, Ryley D'Sena played two full games for third-tier side Bangor FC. In Wales, Harry Arnison played three full games for Aberystwyth Town, and also scored once.


In Scotland, Aziz Behich played two full games for Dundee United, Martin Boyle played two full games for Hibernian, scoring once, and Keanu Baccus played two full games for St. Mirren.


There were also a handful of Aussies who played full games in North America last month.


In Canada, Tass Mourdoukoutas' move to the Canadian Premier League seems to be going well, with the former Wanderer playing four full games in September. In the MLS, Milos Degenek played five full games for Columbus Crew. In the American third tier, Mitchell Osmond played five full games for Forward Madison FC, whilst Joshua Phelps played four full games for Tormenta FC, and also scored once.

Plenty of Aussies also played full games in Asia.


In India, Aleksandar Jovanovic played four full games for Bengaluru, picking up one assist, whilst Osama Malik played two full games for Odisha. In Japan, Taiga Harper played one full game for Kashiwa Reysol, and Mitchell Langerak continues to be an ever-present in the J-League with four full games for Nagoya Grampus. In the Japanese second tier, the revitalised Thomas Deng played three full games for Albirex Niigata.


Alongside a debut for the Socceroos in September, Harrison Delbridge played five full games for Incheon United in Korea, picking up one assist. In Malaysia, Shane Lowry played three full games for Johor Darul Ta'zim, whilst former A-League journeyman Giancarlo Gallifuoco played six full games for Kuala Lumpur City, scoring once. Trent Sainsbury continues to prepare himself for the Socceroos' 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with two full games for Qatari side Al Wakrah in September.


Finally, Blake Ricciuto played two full games and scored once for Tanjong Pagar in Singapore, whilst ex-Perth Glory midfielder Brandon Wilson played one full game for Lampang FC in Thailand.


Regular starters


It was great to see many Aussies start regularly at club level in September, particularly in the UK and Europe.


Starting in Austria, where James Holland made three starts for FK Austria Wien, whilst Mate Barisic started once for third-tier side Allerheiligen, scoring once. Not far away in Belgium, Jason Davidson started three times for KAS Eupen.

Meanwhile, in Estonia, Aamir Abdallah started once for FCI Levadia's Reserves. In France, Mohamed Toure started twice for Reims II in the fourth tier, scoring once. Although his brother Garang is stealing all the headlines at the moment, Alou Kuol had a decent month in terms of playing time, making three starts for Stuttgart II in the German fourth tier.


In Italy, Jahce Novello made two starts for Cosenza Youth. In Montenegro, Andrew Marveggio made two starts for FK Jezero. In the Netherlands, ex-Melbourne Victory defender Dylan Ryan started once for second-tier side Den Bosch. In Serbia, Darko Stanojevic made five starts for second-tier side FK Loznica, scoring once. Finally, Max Ogawa started once for Spanish fifth-tier side CD Torrijos.


Four Aussies playing in Croatia made starting appearances for their clubs in September. Doni Grdic made three starts for second-tier side Bijelo Brdo, whilst Oliver Kalac, son of former Socceroos goalkeeper Zeljko, started once for third-tier side NK Medimurje Cakovec. In the fourth tier, Luka Skoko (the son of former Socceroo Josip Skoko) started once for NK Urania Baska Voda, whilst Saad Moukachar started once for Segesta, and scored once.


There was also a fair few Aussies starting regularly for their clubs in the UK.


Starting in England, where Kenny Dougall started three times for Blackpool, Callum Elder made four starts for Hull City, and Riley McGree made three starts for Middlesbrough, scoring once. In the third tier, Cameron Burgess started twice for Ipswich Town. In the fourth tier, Caleb Watts started once for Morecombe FC, picking up one assist. In the sixth tier, Joel Rollinson made four starts for Hungerford Town, whilst Lewis Miccio started twice for Oxford City. Finally, youngster Matthew Dench, who briefly played for ECU Joondalup in Western Australia as a junior, started once for Charlton Athletic's U21 side.

Elsewhere in the UK, Cameron Devlin made four starts for Hearts in the Scottish Premiership, picking up one assist. Meanwhile, Ryan McGowan started twice for St. Johnstone, and Ryan Strain started twice for St. Mirren, picking up one assist.


In Scandinavia there were also a few Aussies starting matches regularly. In Finland, Harrison De Nicolo started three times for third-tier side FC Vaajakoski, and scored once. In Iceland, Alex Baker started three times for third-tier side Throttur Reykjavik. In Norway, Cameron Crestani started three times for third-tier side Strommen IF.


Finally to Asia and the Indian Super League, where Brendan Hamill started once for ATK Mohun Bagan, whilst Rostyn Griffiths made three starts for Mumbai City. Elsewhere in Asia, Stefan Mauk started once for Japanese second-tier side Fagiano Okayama, scoring once. In Korea, Alex Grant made four starts for Pohang Steelers, scoring once, and Aaron Calver also made four starts and scored once for second-tier side Gwangju FC. In Malaysia, David Rowley started once for Pahang. Finally, in Thailand, Joshua Grommen made three starts for Khonkaen United, whilst ex-Central Coast Mariner Jordan Murray also started three times for Nakhonratchasima.


Regular appearances


A decent portion of Aussies who play overseas generally achieve their game time through a mix of starting matches or coming off the bench. A high number found themselves in this situation during September.


Starting in Belgium, where James Jeggo made three appearances for KAS Eupen. In Denmark, Panos Armenakas made two appearances for second-tier side Vendsyssel, whilst Con Ouzounidis made four appearances for third-tier side Esbjerg. In Germany, Mark Rizoski made three appearances for fifth-tier side BCV Glesch-Paffendorf, whilst Nicholas Simpson made three appearances for Fortuna Koln II. In Israel, Nikita Rukavytsya didn't score in September, despite appearing five times for Maccabi Haifa FC.


Staying in Europe, where Socceroos lynchpin Ajdin Hrustic made two appearances for his new Italian club Hellas Verona. In Italy's second tier, the Serie B, Fran Karacic made two appearances for Brescia, picking up one assist, whilst Alessandro Circati made three appearances for Parma. In the Netherlands, Joshua Rawlins made four appearances for FC Utrecht's U21 side. In Norway, Aiden Harvey made three appearances for third-tier side Strommen IF. In Sweden, Peter Makrillos made three appearances for GIF Sundsvall.

Meanwhile, in Croatia, four Aussies made regular appearances for their clubs in September. Alongside a maiden Socceroos call-up, Tyrese Francois made three appearances for HNK Gorica. In the second tier, Marc Tokich made two appearances for Bijelo Brdo, whilst Gabriel Popovic made two appearances for NK Rudes, and scored once. In the youth leagues, Tomislav Glavan made three appearances for NK Istra 1961.


To the UK, where Dylan Scicluna made two appearances for Wolverhampton's U21 side. Elsewhere in England, Callum Kealy made three appearances for sixth-tier side Worthing FC, picking up one assist. In Scotland, Aaron Mooy is yet to nail down a starting spot at Celtic, but did make four appearances last month. Nathaniel Atkinson made two appearances for Hearts, picking up one assist. In Wales, Joe Faux made four appearances for Caernarfon, and scored once.


In Asia, Joel Chianese made two appearances for Indian Super League side Hyderabad, whilst Declan Lambert made five appearances for Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur City.


Finally to North America, where former Melbourne Victory youngster Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio made two appearances for York United in Canada, and scored once. In the United States, former Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur midfielder Liam Rose made three appearances for second-tier side El Paso Locomotive FC.


Effective substitutes


In September, there were a handful of Aussies who were able to impact matches effectively as substitutes, particularly in Europe.


Starting in Germany, where Connor Metcalfe scored once across three sub appearances for second-tier side St. Pauli, whilst John Iredale picked up one assist across three sub appearances for third-tier side Wehen Wiesbaden.


In Greece, former Adelaide and Western United striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos picked up one assist across three sub appearances for PAS Giannina. Finally, in Israel, Jordi Swibel scored once across two sub appearances for second-tier side Hapoel Nof Hagalil.


New signings


With the transfer window still open in some corners of the globe, a handful of Aussies abroad were on the move to a new club in September.


The biggest transfer was undoubtedly Tom Rogic, who is no longer a free agent after joining West Bromwich Albion in the English Championship. Rogic will no doubt be looking to impress Socceroos boss Graham Arnold by hitting the ground running at his new club. Elsewhere in England, Kai Calderbank-Park signed for fifth-tier side Wrexham.

Another notable transfer would be Aaron Evans. It is understood that Evans was unsuccessful in a trial at Melbourne Victory, but has found a new club regardless, with NorthEast United in the Indian Super League securing his signature.


Mohammad Ellahi was also on the move last month, signing for Glacis United in Gibraltar. Finally, there was also a couple of loan deals, with Antonis Martis joining Doxa Katokopias in Cyprus on a temporary basis, whilst Emmanuel Pavlis secured a loan to Portuguese fourth-tier side Pedras Salgadas.


Managers


There are currently 11 Australian managers abroad who are in charge of first-team clubs across the globe. The results across the board were decent in September.


Starting in Scotland, where Ange Postecoglou's Celtic picked up one win but unfortunately suffered their first defeat in the league. They are still top of the table, though. In the Champions League, Celtic started their group stage campaign with a draw and a defeat.


Elsewhere in the UK, Jon Brady guided English fourth-tier side Northampton Town to a perfect month in the league, with four wins from four. They are currently third on the table. Unfortunately Brady's side did lose once in the EFL Trophy group stage, though. Things aren't going as well for David Oldfield at sixth-tier side Weymouth, as his side suffered three defeats in September and are currently bottom of the table.

To the rest of Europe, where Zeljko Kalac guided Croatian fourth-tier side NK Urania Baska Voda to two wins from five matches, and they currently sit ninth on the table. Kalac is looking to lead his side to promotion after they were relegated last season. In Italy, Roberto Venturato had an undefeated month in charge of SPAL, but only picked up one win. His side are currently 11th on the Serie B table.


In Norway, Kasey Wehrman only managed to guide third-tier side Strommen IF to one win from four matches, but they are still in a good position, currently sixth on the table.


Meanwhile, in Asia, and specifically Japan, a couple of Aussie managers are doing well. Kevin Muscat and his Yokohama F-Marinos side are closing in on the J-League title, going undefeated in September with three wins. They are currently eight points clear, and Muscat is close to following in the footsteps of a certain Ange Postecoglou by delivering the trophy to the city of Yokohama. Another Postecoglou protégé, Peter Cklamovski, also led his team to three wins in September, with Montedio Yamagata now seventh on the J2 League table.


In Lebanon, Andrew Oakley led Salam Zgharta to one win from three for the month, with his side currently ninth on the table. In Thailand, Aurelio Vidmar led Bangkok United to one win and one draw in September, and his side are currently fourth on the Thai League 1 table.


Finally to the United States, where Central Coast Mariners legend John Hutchinson led second-tier side El Paso Locomotive FC to two wins out of three for the month, and his side currently sit seventh on the table.


International appearances


A couple of Aussies abroad were also on international duty at a youth level in September.


Despite his father being a former Socceroo, it seems as if Noa Skoko may opt to play for Croatia, having made two starts for their U17 side last month.


Meanwhile, Jordan Perez, who plays his club football for AEK Larnaca's U19 side in Cyprus, made three appearances for the Young Socceroos.


Red cards


Only two Aussies abroad were sent off in September. Despite scoring last month, Deni Juric was also shown red once across his two appearances for HNK Gorica in Croatia.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Liam McGing had a dismal month, with one red card across only two appearances for Finn Harps.


Injuries


The only injury to report of from September was to Thymos Caroutas, who suffered a blow on his only start for Spanish fifth-tier side Deportivo Fabril.


Coming off the bench


Unfortunately, there were several Aussies overseas who solely relied on minutes off the bench in September.


Starting in Bulgaria, where Georgi Shalamanov-Trenkov came off the bench twice for second-tier side Strumska Slava. In Denmark, Jing Reec made one sub appearance for AGF's Reserves. In France, Denis Genreau is struggling to work his way into Toulouse's starting XI, and only made one sub appearance last month. Former Adelaide United youngster Yaya Dukuly made two sub appearances for fourth-tier side Reims II.


In Germany, Jamie Percevski made one sub appearance for fifth-tier side Viktoria Arnoldsweiler. In Greece, Bruce Kamau has struggled for regular game time, and only made two sub appearances for OFI Crete last month. In Italy, Cristian Volpato made one sub appearance for AS Roma. In Portugal, former Sydney FC youngster Ryan Teague made one sub appearance for Famalicao U23, whilst Paul Jr Okon-Engstler, the son of former Socceroo Paul Okon, made one sub appearance for Benfica's U19 side.


Meanwhile, Awer Mabil's disappointing start to life in Spain continued last month, with the Socceroos winger making only one sub appearance.

In Croatia, quite a few Aussies were limited to only substitute appearances in September. Anthony Kalik made three sub appearances for HNK Gorica, whilst Kristian Popovic made one sub appearance for third-tier side NK Medimurje Cakovec. In the fourth tier, Nicholas Volarevic made one sub appearance for NK Urania Baska Voda, whilst Nathan Bogadi made one sub appearance for NK Lukavec. In the youth leagues, Noah Slunjski made one sub appearance for HNK Hajduk Split Youth.


To the UK, where Socceroo Bailey Wright could only manage one sub appearance for Sunderland in England. In the third tier, Akiel Raffie made one sub appearance for Fleetwood Town, whilst ex-Adelaide United winger Lachlan Brook made only one sub appearance for fourth-tier side Crewe Alexandra.


Over to Korea, where Lachlan Jackson made one sub appearance for Suwon FC. In Thailand, Maxx Creevey made one sub appearance for Buriram United, whilst Carlos Stack also made one sub appearance for second-tier side Krabi FC.


Finally to Brazil, where Rafael Rech, the son of Adelaide United legend Fernando Rech, made one sub appearance for Juventude.


Unused substitutes


Finally, there were a few Aussies abroad who did not feature at all for their clubs in September, but did make matchday squads as unused substitutes.


Starting in Albania, where Steven Havales was an unused sub once for Partizani Tirana. In Austria, Tristan Hammond was an unused sub once for second-tier side FK Austria Wien II. In the Croatian fourth tier, Kristian Slunjski was an unused sub once for NK Urania Baska Voda, whilst Brandon Slunjski was an unused sub once for RNK Split.


In Ireland, Stevan Stanic-Floody was an unused sub three times for Drogheda United. In the Serbian second tier, Shung-Ngai Kwok was an unused sub five times for FK Macva Sabac, whilst Enzo Campana was an unused sub once for FK Zlatibor Cajetina. In Spain, Tristan Meaker was an unused sub once for third-tier side CD Alcoyano. In Switzerland, Liam Chipperfield, the son of Socceroos legend Scott Chipperfield, was an unused sub twice for FC Basel.


To the UK, where Nicholas Bilokapic was an unused sub three times for Huddersfield Town in England. Elsewhere in the English Championship, Massimo Luongo was an unused sub twice for Middlesbrough, whilst Dean Bouzanis was an unused sub three times for Reading FC.

In Scotland, Lewis Miller's recent move from the Central Coast Mariners to Hibernian hasn't started well, with the fullback being an unused sub twice in September. Another recent departure to Scotland, Phillip Cancar, was an unused sub twice for Livingston. In the third tier, Murray Miller was an unused sub twice for Alloa Athletic, whilst Aaron Lennox was an unused sub twice for Montrose FC.


Finally to Vietnam, where Martin Lo was an unused sub three times for Hai Phong.


Most of the information throughout this article would not have been possible without the work of Damian Davies.


To read more of FPF's Aussies Abroad coverage, click here.