With the A-League home and away season coming to an end numerous clubs around the league have a view towards next season with numerous clubs beginning to release out of contract players.
Brisbane took exception to that heading into a new era with Robbie Fowler at the helm cutting a total of 13 players at the conclusion of their loss to Adelaide United.
Among those 13 are some prestigiously talents who could be swooped upon next season – so which players should be targeted heading into the new campaign?
Arguably the pick of the 13 with the highest ceiling and potential.
After bursting onto the scene at the age of 18 under John Aloisi – Caletti quickly became a starter and featured heavily towards the tail end of his first season as a professional. Showing immense class on the ball and smarts, the diminutive midfielder failed to seize his opportunity at the senior level with more experienced heads being preferred over the past two seasons.
Now at the age of 20 and on the search for a new home is uncharted territory for the youngster who has been criticized for not having the aerobic capacity needed to play in the centre of the park. However, his potential would be a high selling point for an A-League club screaming out for a central midfielder next season.
Potential home: Central Coast Mariners, Western United, Western Sydney Wanderers
One of the more surprising cuts is the former grand-final winning utility who once again heads into the new season without a home.
After playing an all-important role in the Melbourne Victory’s run to a Championship in 2018, he was surprisingly released and was snapped up by the Roar which was a move that made sense after having a break-out season. However, minutes came only sporadically for the former Victory full-back who only featured nine times and was in and out of the team most weeks. Once again, Nigro finds himself without a home and will be hoping he can find a third A-League club after two successive seasons of being forced to test the open seas.
At only 22, the versatile full-back can play on either side of the back four along with slotting into midfield and has showed willingness to get forward along with superb defensive work-rate. With full-back being a weak spot for many teams in the A-League – don’t be shocked to see his name floating around the team-sheets next season.
Potential home: Newcastle Jets, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory
The classy Frenchman presents an interesting and tantalizing prospect for many A-League clubs on the lookout for some polish in the final third.
After two solid seasons up north, Bautheac seems poised to stick around with the Melbourne Victory looming as a potential destination. The 31-year-old scored seven goals this season and finished the season in ripping form scoring six of them in his final seven games. The former Lille and Nice attacking midfielder has shown his ability to not just score but create too with his brilliant nose for picking out a pass and creating opportunities from dead-ball situations being a big-part of his overall repertoire.
However, his temperament has let him down over the journey, sustaining two red cards and being given a yellow card on 16 occasions since his move down-under. If Bautheac does join the Victory, he would be an almost like-for-like replacement for the seemingly outbound Keisuke Honda to play on either the right side of a three-man midfield or further up as a ten.
Potential homes: Melbourne Victory
Have we got another contestant in A-League bingo? Maybe so.
After four clubs and a lack of stability, the towering centre-half looks on the move again. Failed moves to both the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Roar this season has now left the 22 year-old at a career crossroads. Previously, Tongyik had shown plenty of promise at Melbourne City and was a highly rated youngster at Adelaide who seemed like he had all the tools to become one of Australia’s best young players. However, now he will be looking for club number five with the options very limited heading into next season.
If a club is willing to take a punt on the centre-half, Tongyik could prove to be a viable asset for a team looking to build for their long-term future.
Potential homes: Western United, Wellington Phoenix, Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC
A veteran who has fallen to a never-ending injury curse who is in need of a fresh start. Any takers?
After two stints at the Roar, DeVere has mixed success with his first stint catapulting him towards Socceroos calculations with his uncanny speed for a defender and superb aerial ability. This also culminated in being selected in the A-League PFA Team of the Season for the 2010-11 season after playing an important role in their Championship success before leaving to join Gyeongnam FC before the finals series. However, after returning from his spell in Korea, the 29-year-old only has played 47 times since 2015 and has showed when he’s fit that he can still be an asset in the heart of defence.
Now, without a club and with a range of experience, DeVere presents an interesting option for any takers out there needing a veteran centre-half.
Potential homes: Western United, Adelaide United, Sydney FC