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Nov 22, 2012

Halloran the next Thompson: Roar coach

Lightning quick Brisbane winger Ben Halloran has been hailed soccer's next Archie Thompson by his Brisbane A-League coach Rado Vidosic.

Halloran was one of three Roar players drafted into national coach Holger Osieck's expanded squad for next month's East Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Hong Kong.

The 20-year-old has a great opportunity to further impress with a bold attacking game against the ladder-leading Central Coast Mariners at Gosford on Sunday.

Osieck will be in the crowd casting his eye over several players before he trims a 25-man squad to 20 on November 29.

Thompson has beaten the goalkeeper 62 times in his 143-game A-League career and is still a weapon up front for the Victory.

To be compared to one of the competition's deadliest finishers is a big rap for Halloran, who only delivered his maiden goal for the club last week against Sydney FC.

It was a classy strike from the former Gold Coast attacker, his fifth in 32 A-League outings.

"We know what Ben can do and what he can achieve. He's still very young and he's still learning the game," said Vidosic, whose son Dario also made Osieck's extended squad.

"What he's got, not many other players have got.

"He reminds me of a young Archie Thompson 15 years ago .... no sorry, not that long, maybe 10 years ago."

Vidosic speculated Osieck had deliberately added some youth to have a look into the future.

"Maybe that's Holger's plan to see what these younger boys (can do). Who can they replace, what similarities do they have and start to bringing them into the team," he said.

Halloran's goal against Sydney FC has convinced Vidosic he has found the confidence to back himself more often in attack, especially in one-on-one situations when he can use his speed.

"He hasn't started scoring goals as regularly as Archie did when he was younger," he said.

"But playing in an attacking part of the field, his speed, his directness, taking on players. They've all been good features of his game.

"Hopefully now he can start scoring more goals and get himself even close to playing in the national team."

Brisbane will need all their goal-scoring tricks against the Mariners on Sunday but they do boast a flawless record on the Central Coast.

They haven't lost a game there in 13 visits, winning nine times and drawing four.

"It's a venue we love to play at but they are a much better side this season and what has happened in the past is history," said Vidosic.

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