Aussies Abroad: October review

The European leagues really kicked into gear in October and there were plenty of Aussies in the thick of it.

Around the Clubs It was a fairly average month for the Aussies in the English Premier League with Tim Cahill-s Everton continuing to slide down the table as our man remains scoreless this campaign. Cahill is unfortunately joined in the bottom half of the table by Mark Schwarzer, doing his best for a patchy Fulham, and injured Vinnie Grella's struggling Blackburn. The standout has been the starting appearances of Chris Herd at Aston Villa over the latter part of the month. After having a dodgy red card rescinded on appeal, let's hope he can now string together a few games.

In the Championship, our Aussies at Middlesbrough find themselves well placed in third place, with Rhys Williams and Scott McDonald cemented in the starting line-up. A strong month by Mile Jedinak-s Crystal Palace has seen them move into the playoff positions as well.

Leeds have been inconsistent, however, with Paddy Kisnorbo in and out of the starting lineup. Despite winning constant praise at Reading, Adam Federici-s team are not getting much needed wins, and with Bristol City really struggling, Neil Kilkenny could be in for a long season.

The boys at League One Oldham (Alex Cisak and James Wesolowski) have been starting every game as their side slowly move up the table, with Wesolowski nailing a brace in the recent fixture away to Preston North End. Aaron Downes is currently starting for a Chesterfield side that sits in the relegation places.

Carl Valeri has played every minute in every game he has started this campaign, so reasonable to suggest he has been instrumental in Sassuolo now sitting a point shy of automatic promotion to Italy's Serie A.

Two young Aussies continue to make great progress and start each week in Serie C2. Francesco Stella (Borgo a Buggiano) is yet to break his scoring duck, while Christian Esposito (FC Catanzaro) scored twice during October.

Over in Germany, Qantas Nikita Rukavytsya has just returned to the starting line-up at Hertha Berlin, after scoring in a cup tie and Hertha are having a reasonable season after winning promotion, and currently sit 10th in the Bundesliga. Mitch Langerak continues to receive high praise from management at Dortmund, despite sitting on the pine for the first team. He did start a cup tie late in the month and kept a clean sheet, however.

In 2. Bundesliga, a solid month sees Fortuna Dusseldorf top of the table with Robbie Kruse back in the starting XI.

Brett Holman has been leading the charge as AZ currently top the Eredivsie in Holland, although he is currently out injured. The boys at Utrecht have had a poor month after losing the past three games; it seems as though Oar, Sarota and Zullo are rotating through the team, with Zullo and Oar seeing a similar number of starts this season.

There's not a great deal to get excited about from an Aussie perspective in the Scottish Premier League. Although Rangers are three games clear of Celtic, Matt McKay has had nothing to do with that. A similar story for Ryan McGowan at Hearts, they are currently fifth after dropping the past two games, with Ryan seeing limited minutes.

In the Scottish second division, Beau Busch (Arbroath) and Matthew Park (East Fife) both start every week as their respective sides are currently in the play-off positions.

The Greek Super League season is up and running at the top level but the lower leagues are yet to kick off. Both Nathan Burns (AEK) and Apostolis Giannou (PAOK) are seeing limited time off the bench, with their teams sitting fourth and fifth respectively.

James Troisi (Kayserispor) had an interesting month in the Turkish Super Lig, collecting seven out of nine points at one stage, only to lose the next two games. James is in and out of the starting XI at the moment.

In Croatia, Hajduk Split now sit seven points adrift of Dinamo Zagreb in the 1. HNL, with young midfielder Steve Lustica having made more starts than the often injured Ljubo Milicevic. Another youngest making an impact is Tomi Juric, with five appearances off the bench, and he's has managed to score twice with those 69 minutes. Lokomotiva are just clear of the relegation places at the moment.

The stand out season continues for Caleb Patterson-Sewell in Portugal's Liga de Honra. After eight starts in eight games, Atletico remain top of the league and have conceded only three goals (none in October) with Caleb in goal.

It's been a mixed month for Dinamo Moscow in the Russian Premier League, now third, with Luke Wilkshire approaching 2300 minutes in his 26 starts. Last fixture is next weekend.

In the Serbian Super Liga, a poor run of results has seen Aleksander Jovanovic-s Hajduk Kula slip to mid table. However, he has played every minute since making his debut back in September.

Four consecutive wins has seen Basel return to top of the league in Switzerland, but Scott Chipperfield has had minimal impact though, making just two appearances from the bench so far this season.

In the Danish Superliga both Sonderjyske and Brondby have slipped down the table, with Nathan Coe starting every game while Brent McGrath has been coming off the bench.

It's not been a particularly great month for Mlada Boleslav (5th) in the Czech Republic or for young striker Kerem Bulut, who made just two starts.

Despite racking up good minutes, Danny Invincibile-s team sit bottom of Cyprus's 1. Division, and the goal tally for the attacking midfielder is currently sitting at zero.

It's worth noting that Aussies Marko Banic, Jack Turner and Oscar Brooks have all made their season debuts for Kaposvari Rakoczi II in Hungary's NB III.

And plenty of Aussies seeing game time as the Chinese Super League season concludes. None more so than Beijing Guoan striker Joel Griffiths, who moved to double figure goals for the campaign as his side currently sit second on the table. A good run by Dean Heffernan-s Liaoning Hongyun sees them third and looking like qualifying for the Asian Champions League, with Dean chalking up 20 starts and nearly 2000 minutes for the season.

A goal in the latest fixture for Dino Djublic as his team sits mid-table after his 25 appearances. Unfortunately Chengdu Blades look like being relegated again, but Jonas Salley (25 appearances) and Brendon Santalab (a goal average of one every two games) have had decent campaigns.

In Japan's J League, it's a tight battle for Josh Kennedy on several fronts with Nagoya Grampus three points off the league lead with four games to go, and tied for first in the race for a second successive Golden Boot. A much quieter month for Alex Brosque as Shimizu S-Pulse dropped off the pace, coinciding with his absence on Socceroos duty.

Eddy Bosnar is up to 28 starts for the campaign! Matt Spiranovic also missed some domestic football due to national commitments as Urawa slipped into a relegation battle. To make matters worse, they lost the League Cup final in extra time.

In Japan's second division, Mark Milligan continues in defence for JEF United. A total of one point from their past six games means promotion is now beyond them. Tokyo (Jade North) are now four points clear at the top of the table. For 70 minutes game time this campaign, could be the easiest bit of silverware Jade ever collects.

The regular Korean K-League season has now concluded with all of our Aussies finishing outside of the play-offs except Iain Fyfe (Busan I-Park). Robbie Cornthwaite (17 starts), Sasa Ognenovski (23 starts) and Luke DeVere (30 starts) all made good contributions during the season.

It's been a great month for Singapore Armed Forces (Goran Subara), winning the past four games, Goran starting those games and scoring once. Although near the bottom of the table, Mark McGough scored four goals for the month to move his team clear of relegation.

The UAE season has just commenced in the “new” destination for Aussie footballers, with Neill, Bresciano and Porta all making their debuts.

While our Aussies are getting great minutes in Hong Kong's HKFA 1st. It's still early days so we can-t read too much into the table but Karl Dodd (TSW Pegasus), Dane Milovanovic (Sun Hei FC) and Nenad Vekic (Tuen Mun SA) are all starters, with Vekic yet to miss a minute of the season.

Injury List Long-term injuries still rule out Garcia (knee), Ireland (thigh), Tombides (cancer treatment), Mooy (back), Gulum (knee) and Ucchino (glandular fever), however training has now resumed for some of these players. A few recent problems have arisen with Holman (groin), Milicevic (back) and Usai (ankle) also on the sidelines. Matthew Leckie has just made his comeback from injury with the second team at Monchengladbach.

Club Competitions Europe (UEFA Champions League) Only two Aussies remain in the group stages. Scott Chipperfield came off the bench for Basel, while Mitchell Langerak remained on the bench for Dortmund. (UEFA Europa League) slightly more Aussies in this competition with Nathan Burns (AEK) and Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) getting starts, while James Holland was an unused substitute in AZ-s tie.

Up & Coming During the month, at the “NextGen Series”, we saw Massimo Luongo (Tottenham) and Jackson Irvine (Celtic) get starts. Reece Caira (Aston Villa) came off the bench while Nick Feely (Celtic) remained there.

Some of the other younger players making good progress in youth teams are Costa Andricopoulos (Anorthosis), Aryn Williams (Burnley), Alex Baird (Newcastle), Aden Luz (Athletico Clube Portugal) and Jon Stynes (Kilmarnock).

Transfers A few more destinations, perhaps off the predominate football track, are now seeing Aussies arrive. The annual pilgrimage to NZ during the State League break in Australia has also commenced as that league starts their new season. Expect to see a little more movement in Greece and Indonesia as the domestic situation in those two markets becomes clearer.