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Friday, November 16, 2012
Brisbane Roar's Halloran a scoring weapon

By Wayne Heming

Star imports Alessandro Del Piero and Besart Berisha stole the headlines with some spectacular goals but a new star emerged in Brisbane's win over Sydney on Friday night with young winger Ben Halloran notching his maiden A-League goal for the Roar.

It wasn't just a close range goal with a bit of luck either.

The 20-year-old's curling strike on the stroke of half-time from an acute angle across the face of goal was the work of a class marksman who has many more A-League goals to come.

When the Gold Coast folded, Halloran's was the most sort after signature of all the club's young guns.

His speed and slick footwork was a constant threat to Sydney FC's fragile defence and he finally notched the breakthrough goal his admirers had been craving for from the talented Australian under 20s representative.

A much happier Roar coach Rado Vidosic praised young Halloran who has a big future in the game.

"Excellent. He did really well. He just needs to believe in himself a little bit more," said Vidosic.

"When he is in a one-on-one situation he needs to take charge of it.

"We know he's got skill, he's got speed and once he gets behind opponents, nobody can catch him.

"He needs to back himself a little bit more and the goal definitely helped his confidence, after which he was brilliant for us."

Cairns-born Halloran, who made his debut with the Gold Coast originally, has been earmarked as a genuine scorer.

But until his goal on Friday night, the pressure and expectation had mounted on his young shoulders as his A-League drought continued.

"It's just good to have the monkey off the back and hopefully I can score a few more now," admitted the young speedster.

"I wasn't feeling any pressure from the club. The boys and Rado have been very patient with me.

"But I want to score goals for my team, that's part of my job."

Halloran got a close up look at one of the game's best ever finishers, Del Piero, who banged home two cracking goals to join the League's leading scorers with five for the season.

Sydney FC's stand-in coach Steve Corica put on a brave face after his side's tally of goals conceded in the past three games hit a worrying tally of 14.

He said his side couldn't rely on Del Piero to win them games and needed to tighten up defensively and quickly.

"We're leaking too many goals. You can't concede that many goals and expect to win," said Corica who is uncertain how long his tenure will last with the club scouring for a replacement for Ian Crook.

"It wasn't a great result for us, but we're not giving up.

"We've got three home games to turn things around and we need a few clean sheets."

The Sydney FC Board of Directors held its monthly board meeting in Brisbane on Friday and the club says it has been inundated with references and applications for the coaching role.

"The board met in Brisbane today as was always planned and we took part in some robust and productive discussions about the head coach role," said Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata.

"We have been pleasantly surprised by the number of candidates, both local and overseas-based, and we will start making further enquiries in relation to some of the applicants.

"No timeline has been set for the recruitment of the head coach but we are looking to appoint the best person to take the football club forward under the football philosophy we have in place."




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