Western United defeated Melbourne Victory 2-1 in A-League action earlier this year. It was a fairly evenly matched game between two teams who have had very difficult seasons. This may be one of the shorter Target Scouting reports as Western only fielded one player under the age of 25 and that player was limited to a small number of moments. But those moments were pretty good. So let’s talk about Noah Botic.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Australian
- Age: 21
- Date of Birth: 11/01/2001
- Current club: Western United
- Career: Illendin, Hoffenheim (Y)
- Position: Striker
- Preferred foot: Right
Noah Botic played as a striker in this match. He was paired with Aleksander Prijovic, meaning Western was playing with two out-and-out centre forwards. But, to an extent, this worked out in Botic’s favour. Western played a very cross-heavy attack and Melbourne’s centre-backs struggled to deal with the two opposing strikers. Botic is not the sort of striker who gets a lot of touches in a game. But he is very good at one thing and that is evading markers in the box. Here is a short compilation of every time he did that:
As you can see, Botic is quite good at getting into a defender’s blind spot. From there he was frequently able to make runs across a defender and get free for a header. But, on his goal, he was also able to drift away to the back post and get a high-danger shot off that way as well. Botic has reasonable technical skills but they are not anything particularly special. His first touch is fine. He does have some dribbling ability, such that he can beat a player 1v1 if he is isolated against them, but he is not going to be dribbling through several players. There was one instance where he received the ball in the box and might have had the opportunity to work a chance for himself with a few moves but he had several defenders around him and instead opted to lay the ball back. Botic seems to be reasonably quick, although balls in behind the defence are not the main way he gets his goals. He did some defensive work but Western United was not pressing particularly high so his main role was to dutifully hold his position in the block.
He might not be the most complete striker ever but Botic has a very solid goal record on a team that has had a chaotic season. I think his movement could potentially be deadly on a better team whether that’s in the A-League or abroad. He has Croatian citizenship which would make it relatively easy for him to move overseas. He has already had one stint abroad in the reserves of Hoffenheim. I can see why they let him go, as the Bundesliga is probably beyond him. But he could certainly be a useful striker in the mid-tier European leagues.