2023/24 Isuzu UTE A-League BRFC Season Review

Local youngsters took centre stage as Brisbane Roar competed in their 18th Isuzu UTE A-League campaign in 2023/24, finishing just short of finals football in ninth position after a historic Australia Cup run that saw the club reach the final for the first time.

Roar returned to Brisbane, playing 12 home matches at Suncorp Stadium and one at Ballymore Stadium throughout the league season which saw crowd numbers up by nearly half from the previous campaign with more than 8,300 members signing on.

In the Australia Cup, wins over Newcastle Jets, Sydney United, Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Knights saw Roar reach their first ever final where they were edged out 3-1 by Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

Thomas Waddingham, an 18-year-old striker who came through the club’s NPL program shot to stardom in the sides cup run finding the back of the net four times including in the final against Sydney FC.

Waddingham showcased Roar’s new DNA – a focus on promoting young Queensland talent and providing a platform for them to shine in the top-flight.

The teenage striker found the back of the net seven times in his debut A-League season, finishing as Roar’s equal highest goal scorer alongside Henry Hore and Jay O’Shea.

Waddingham, who also earned an Olyroos call-up following his return of seven league goals finished just one behind Nestory Irankunda, who set a record as the highest scoring teenager in a single A-League season.

Keegan Jelacic, who returned to Brisbane on loan from Belgian club Gent was another to earn an Olyroos call-up and was part of the side that competed at the U23 Asian Cup in Qatar in April.

At the other end of the park, Macklin Freke was given the opportunity as the club’s number one goalkeeper and grabbed the chance with both hands becoming the first player to come through the club’s NPL program to be crowned as the Gary Wilkins Medallist.

The 25-year-old also took out the Fans’ Player of the Year and Outkast Outstanding A-League Men’s Player of the Year awards.

Kai Trewin, who was Freke’s teammate in the youth side became the first player from the club’s NPL program to play 100 A-League matches for the club.

Another youngster who caught the eye in 2023/24 was Quinn MacNicol, who became Roar’s youngest ever player after debuting against Newcastle in the Australia Cup Round of 32 and goalscorer after finding the back of the net against Sydney United 58 in the following round.

The 16-year-old midfielder, who made two A-League appearances earned a Joeys call-up, scoring in both matches for Australia in games against Switzerland and Inter Milan in April.

17-year-old, Rylan Brownlie followed in the footsteps of his dad, Royce to become the club’s first father-son duo, making 11 appearances and becoming the club’s youngest ever A-League goal scorer when he found the back of the net against Melbourne City in December.

At the other end of the age scale, 33-year-old Jack Hingert became just the second player to surpass 250 A-League appearances for the club and after inking a one-year contract extension is on track to break Matt McKay’s record of 272 games next season.

The fullback also made his international debut for Sri Lanka this season, playing against Bhutan and Papua New Guinea during the March international window.

Another defensive stalwart hitting a club milestone was Corey Brown, who became the seventh player to reach 150 A-League games for the club.

Jay O’Shea, who is in line to be next player to hit that milestone finished as the club’s equal highest scorer alongside Waddingham and Henry Hore with seven goals and was selected in the A-League All Stars after another standout season in orange.

Hore’s most prolific A-League season in front of goal to date saw him earn a nomination for Isuzu UTE A-League Fan’s Player of the Season.

Florin Berenguer, who partnered O’Shea and Hore in midfield scored the club’s fastest ever A-League goal when he found the back of the net against after just 32 seconds against Wellington Phoenix in Round Three.

Brisbane Roar extends a huge thank you to all those who supported us throughout the season, we’ll be back bigger and better in 2024/25.

Memberships for season 2024/25 are on sale now. Get yours HERE

Brisbane Roar 2023/2024 A-League Men Season

Position: 9th
Wins: 8
Losses: 13
Draws: 6
Goals Scored: 42
Goals Conceded: 55
Biggest Win: 5-1 vs. Melbourne City (H) (10 February 2024, Round 16)
Highest Home attendance: 10,115 vs. Sydney FC (6 January 2024, Round 11, Suncorp Stadium)

Top Goal Scorers:
Henry Hore: 7
Jay O’Shea: 7
Thomas Waddingham: 7
Nikola Mileusnic: 5
Florin Berenguer: 3
Jonas Markovski: 3

BRFC 23/24 A-League Men’s Squad:

Goalkeepers: 1. Macklin Freke, 29. Matt Acton

Defenders: 2. Scott Neville, 3. Corey Brown, 5. Tom Aldred (C), 19. Jack Hingert, 21. Antonee Burke-Gilroy, 27. Kai Trewin, 32. James Nikolovski, 44. Ryan Lethlean

Midfielders: 6. Joe Caletti, 7. Florin Berenguer, 12. Taras Gomulka, 13. Henry Hore, 18. Shae Cahill, 23. Keegan Jelacic, 26. Jay O’Shea, 30. Quinn MacNicol, 35. Louis Zabala, 

Forwards: 8. Jonas Markovski, 10. Nikola Mileusnic, 11. Jez Lofthouse, 14. Rylan Brownlie, 16. Thomas Waddingham, 17. Carlo Armiento, 20. Marco Rojas, 22. Alex Parsons, 99. Ayom Majok

Award Winners:
Gary Wilkins Medal: Macklin Freke
Golden Boot:
Henry Hore, Jay O’Shea, Thomas Waddingham
Young Player of the Year:
Thomas Waddingham 
Players’ player of the Year:
Jay O’Shea
Fans’ Player of the Year:
Macklin Freke
Outkast Outstanding A-League Men Player of the Year:
Macklin Freke