Club Preview - Brisbane Roar
We preview the re-branded Brisbane Roar in our look at the clubs for this Season
New name and new rivalries are what awaits fans of football in Brisbane in the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League season. And no doubt Frank Farina and his team will be hoping that means going that extra step further and getting to the Grand Final after bowing out at the penultimate stage in the previous two seasons. Gone is Queensland Roar and they will now be known as Brisbane Roar, with the Hyundai-s A-League two new teams Gold Coast and North Queensland, now giving Roar fans derby matches to salivate over.
Farina has largely stayed away from the transfer market during the off-season, with only three players signed, while four have left. Of the four that left, Tahj Minniecon, who went to opening round rivals Gold Coast, is the most significant and his pace and adventure will be missed. Inaugural player Hyuk Su-Seo is another to depart, having given four outstanding years to the club. Brazilian Henrique earned a full time contract after he brief spell with the club at the end of last season, while Matt Mundy and Adam Sarota have moved up from the Youth Team.
Roar-s squad is a mix of experience and youth with the likes of Craig Moore, Charlie Miller, Danny Tiatto, Josh McCloughan, Andrew Packer and Sergio Van Dijk providing plenty of experience. Matt McKay is arguably one of the premier midfielders in the competition, although he will miss his mate Massimo Murdocca who miss a fair chunk of the season with a knee injury.
One of the biggest problems facing Farina, could be come September and October and the number of players he could lose to the Qantas Young Socceroos (Under 20-s) with Luke DeVere, Mitch Nichols, Isaka Cernak and Tommy Oar all strongly fancied to make the squad for the FIFA World Youth Cup. Moore once again will be the leader with which the team is based around and with a World Cup spot on the line, he will be out to impress national coach Pim Verbeek. Miller though could hold the key, as he has the knack of getting into terrific scoring positions and also setting them. Van Dijk, once he hit his first goal never looked back and if he gets on a role early, he could well finish as the leading goalscorer this season.
The pre-season hasn-t been that good to Queensland with Murdocca-s major injury and several other players with niggly injuries and players away on international duty. They pretty much won the games they had too, but lost 3-0 against Celtic in front of over 30,000 fans, which was the highlight match of their pre-season. But Farina has a squad that showed last season that it was not far away and with the younger players hopefully on the improve, can they go that extra step? Many believe they can.
Current Squad: Isaka CERNAK, Luke DEVERE, David DODD, Henrique, Josh McCLOUGHAN, Matt McKAY, Griffin McMASTER (gk), Charlie MILLER, Craig MOORE (c), Matt MUNDY, Massimo MURDOCCA, Mitch NICHOLS, Tommy OAR, Andrew PACKER, Liam REDDY (gk), Reinaldo, Adam SAROTA, Timothy SMITS, Danny TIATTO, Sergio VAN DIJK and Michael ZULLO.
Re-signed: Craig Moore (1 year), Matt McKay (2 years), Massimo Murdocca (2 years), Mitch Nichols (2 years), Andrew Packer (2 Years), Danny Tiatto (1 year), Michael Zullo (2 years).
In: Henrique (Formiga, Brazil - 1 year), Matt Mundy (Brisbane Roar NYL - 2 years), Adam Sarota (Brisbane Roar NYL - 3 years) .
Out: Chris Grossman (North Queensland Fury),Tahj Minniecon (Gold Coast United), Hyuk-Su Seo (released), Ben Griffin (released).