Last week it was announced by the Indian Super League (ISL) committee that every team needs to have at least one Asian player in their roaster from the upcoming season. Thus, the ISL sides are in search of the ideal Asian player for their team and it seems A-League has now turned out to be a favourite pool for the recruiters in this respect. The Bridge comes up with the top four A-League footballers who are in the ISL clubs' radar in this transfer window.
#1 Joshua Brillante
The 27-year-old Aussie represented A-League giants Melbourne City FC last season and has been a regular starter for the City owned group football entity. Brillante is a right footed midfielder and has majorly played the role of a defensive mideo and has occasionally played as a central mideo at his last club.
Apart from his club career, Brillante has been a regular in the Australian national team and was a part of the 26-man World Cup Squad announced for FIFA World Cup 2018. The Gold Coast united graduate spent a major part of his career playing in the A-League for New Castle Jets and Sydney FC before he joined Melbourne City last year. Apart form A league Joshua has also bags the experience of playing in the top tiers of the Italian football league.
Though the medio has scored very few goals, his off the ball movement and good positioning sense makes him a levelled-up choice for the Mumbai-based ISL franchise. It seems that the City group, MCFC’s major stake holder, is playing a crucial role in making this move a reality.
#2 Nigel Boogard
The current Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogard has been one of the best stoppers of the A-League last season. The 33-year-old Aussie has been regularly named in A-League's teams of the week during the season due to his sheer dominance in the Jet’s defence. Boogard has played 12 matches so far before the season was brought to a halt due to the ongoing pandemic.
The Newcastle Breakers academy graduate spent almost more than half of his career playing for the Jets as he very recently achieved the 100-match feat for Newcastle. Aerial duals and good positioning sense are the assets of the Aussie who prefers to play with his left foot.
Sources close to the player confirmed The Bridge that after spending more than ten years in Australia Nigel has now decided to explore overseas opportunities and ISL is a top priority among his next career destinations. The defender is in close contact with a couple of ISL franchises like FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC and is expected to feature in the Indian soils next season.
#3 Scott Neville
The Perth Glory Academy graduate, Scott Neville, is a 31-year-old stopper who plays for A-League side Brisbane Roars. He is the son of former English Football League pro, Steve Neville. Though born in Devon, England, he has an Australian Citizenship which makes him eligible as an Asian quota player.
Brisbane Roar is currently fourth in the league table with 35 points from 22 matches. Arguably, they have been one of the best defensive sides in the Australian league this season with Scott being a regular name in the lineup. He has played 21 and has 7 clean sheets under his name. Apart form being a central back, Scott, who prefers to play with his right foot, can also play as a side back. He has also played for Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory before joining Brisbane Roars.
Clinical clearances and apt tackles are the strengths of the Aussie which make him a feasible choice for the ISL franchises. Sources close to the player have confirmed that Scott is in close contact with the current ISL shield winners FC Goa.
#4 Bradden Inman
The 6ft tall and 28-year-old player has been a key man for the Roars in the midfield. The Aussie has played 21 matches for his current side scoring 4 goals and assisting 7 times this season. Brad comes up with a versatility on the midfield as he can play both as a winger and a central mideo.
Having graduated from the Premiere League outfit Newcastle United's academy, Bradden has spent major part of his career playing in League One in England before joining Brisbane Roar. Born in Scotland, Inman also has an Australian citizenship and has represented both the national teams.
Three time ISL champions ATK FC have been in search of an Asian player for midfield and tried to poach away Eric Paartalu from Bengaluru FC. However, with Paartalu signing a contract extension, it seems they have set their sights on Inman, who has showcased a great quality of pressing and distribution across the midfield. Sources close to the development can confirm the Bridge that the Kolkata based ISL franchise are in close contacts with the Aussie and if things go right, he can soon be seen donning the ATK-MB jersey next season.