Aussies Abroad: Asian Review

The season may have come to an end for our Qantas Socceroos in Europe, but for those Aussies playing in Asia, the club year is now in full swing – and they’re enjoying varying degrees of success.

The season may have come to an end for our Qantas Socceroos in Europe, but for those Aussies playing in Asia, the club year is now in full swing - and they-re enjoying varying degrees of success.

In Japan, defender Matthew Spiranovic has found first-team football hard to come by at Urawa Red Diamonds, only getting the chance to prove his worth in the J-League Cup. Spira recently featured in Urawa-s 3-0 defeat of Kawasaki Frontale, but it seems it will hard to break through the preferred defensive pairing of Keisuke Tsuboi and Mitsuru Nagata.

Local fans have been able to see a bit more of Josh Kennedy this season, with the tall striker featuring against Hyundai A-League sides in the AFC Champions League, but struggling with injury, Kennedy hasn-t been a regular in the league for Nagoya.

Last season-s league top-scorer has just three goals in seven starts so far, as his side are caught in the mire of mid-table.

Things have been going a bit better for Alex Brosque at Shimizu S-Pulse, however. The former Sydney FC striker has blossomed during his time in Japan as a first-team regular with four goals so far as Shimizu sit in third place, five points off top spot.

After his stint back in the A-League, Mark Milligan is back at J2 side JEF United, and the defender appears to be enjoying his time, scoring twice in seven games with the third-placed side in the hunt for promotion to the top tier.

Things aren-t so rosy for Jade North, despite the defender being a regular starter for Consadole Sapporo - but his side are rooted to the bottom of the table with the worst defensive record in the J.League.

In Korea, Qantas Socceroos defender Sasa Ognenovski has struggled with injury this season but continues to be an imposing and experienced figure at Seongnam Ilhwa, despite the club currently languishing mid-table and struggling to find goals.

Elsewhere in the K-League, Matt McKay looks to have made the right decision leaving Rangers, with the former Brisbane Roar skipper playing regularly for Busan I ‘Park, currently in sixth place and just six points off first place in a very close competition.

Matt Simon-s Korea move hasn-t been quite so positive, with the former Mariner not getting many opportunities with Chunnam Dragons, despite the side being stuck in ninth place and not exactly banging the goals in.

Teammate and compatriot Robbie Cornthwaite is having a better time of it though, as a regular figure in defence for the Dragons.

Fringe Qantas Socceroo Nathan Burns is finding things tough since quitting Greece, with first-team opportunities hard to come by as his side Incheon Utd joint bottom of the league.

Another former Roar man, defender Luke De Vere is also playing regularly for Gyeongnam but his side are stuck in 11th place and battling to get out of mid-table.

Over in China, Joel Griffiths-s Shanghai Shenhua are doing it tough in 14th place and just a point off the relegation zone, with the former Jet scoring twice in seven games.

Milan Susak-s Tianjin Tida are only going a bit better up in 10th spot but the former Adelaide defender seems to adjusting well to Chinese football, with one goal and five appearances not a bad start to his stint in Asia.

But the Aussie probably enjoying life in China is former Central Coast midfielder Rostyn Griffiths, also playing regularly and scoring for his new club.

Further afield, David Carney has been getting back to his best with Uzbek giants Bunyodkor, and his form has been good enough to convince Qantas Socceroos coach Holger Osieck to recall to versatile left-footer to the international squad.