Wen­zel-Halls poised to boost Roar fire­power

NT News - - SPORT - MARCO MON­TEVERDE

DY­LAN Wen­zel-Halls scored goals for fun in the NPL, and now he’s poised to get the chance to open his A-League ac­count af­ter be­ing in­cluded in Bris­bane’s squad for the Roar’s clash against West­ern Syd­ney Wan­der­ers at Mudgee to­day.

The for­mer West­ern Pride marks­man was among the 17man squad that headed south yes­ter­day, with mid­fielder Daniel Leck omit­ted from the 18-strong list.

One more player will be left out of the squad to­day, but it won’t be Wen­zel-Halls, who is set to be named among the five sub­sti­tutes. Roar coach John Aloisi has been care­ful to take his time with Wen­zel-Halls, but says the 20-year-old striker is ready for A-League foot­ball.

Aloisi will have no hes­i­ta­tion in throw­ing Wen­zelHalls into the fray this af­ter­noon, par­tic­u­larly if Bris­bane – yet to win this sea­son – is des­per­ate for a goal late in the con­test.

“He’s a fin­isher,” Aloisi said of the player who scored 23 goals in just 11 games for the Pride this year be­fore sign­ing with the Roar in May.

“Get the ball to him in and around the box, and he knows where the back of the net is.

“He scored three goals in an in­ter­nal game we had last week – if he gets the chance to play (to­day), he’ll be ready for it.”

Aloisi said Wen­zel-Halls had been through “ups and downs” since the start of pre­sea­son train­ing five months ago. “But that’s nor­mal for a player who moves from a semi- pro­fes­sional en­vi­ron­ment to a full-time en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

“They have to get used to train­ing ev­ery day, and the need to be con­sis­tent ev­ery day.

“He needed to de­velop, and he has.”

Aloisi will de­mand a bet­ter start from his play­ers to­day, with Bris­bane’s dis­ap­point­ing haul of just two points from three matches not hav­ing been helped by a fail­ure to click into gear straight from the open­ing whis­tle this sea­son.

“I ex­pect a re­ac­tion from the play­ers,” Aloisi said.

The Roar squad were per­mit­ted to visit the Glen Wil­low Sports Sta­dium last night to en­sure they would not be to­tally un­fa­mil­iar with the sur­round­ings to­day.

“That’s im­por­tant, par­tic­u­larly for some­one like (striker) Adam Tag­gart, who likes to visu­alise where he might be in re­la­tion to the sets of goals dur­ing the match,” Aloisi said.

In-form Roar goal­keeper Jamie Young said the Wan­der­ers would pro­vide a “good chal­lenge” for a Bris­bane side out for re­demp­tion af­ter last Sat­ur­day’s 2-1 away loss to Perth Glory.

“We’re re­ally de­ter­mined. We’ve worked hard and that’s what you need to do in re­act­ing to any loss,” Young said.

JOHN ALOISI

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