Culina content with debut

The chance to score more goals was one of many carrots that tempted Qantas Socceroos midfielder Jason Culina to make his landmark move to the Hyundai A-League and the satisfaction understandably beamed from Gold Coast United's marquee man after his performance on Saturday night.

The chance to score more goals was one of many carrots that tempted Qantas Socceroos midfielder Jason Culina to make his landmark move to the Hyundai A-League and the satisfaction understandably beamed from Gold Coast United's marquee man after his performance on Saturday night.

Culina sent the Australian football fraternity into a frenzy after making the move to Australia from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven - some including national coach Pim Verbeek questioned the rationality of such a shift just a year out from the FIFA World Cup.

In the inaugural South-East Queensland derby, United opened their account with a 3-1 win over the Roar and Culina nabbed a vital goal in his first Hyundai A-League appearance.

A softly spoken Culina knows all too well that it will take more than one game and one goal to prove the doubters wrong, but he did take pleasure in having the freedom to get forward at Suncorp Stadium.

"That's been my aim since I've come back, to try and put the ball into the back of the net," Culina said.

"I've been playing more of a controlling game for the Socceroos and my previous clubs."

“Miron has put me in more of an advanced role where I get forward a lot more and I enjoy playing it … to score a goal in my first game in a derby match was very nice."

It had been ten years since the United skipper played a club game in his homeland, having been a Dutch specialist over the last 10 years with Ajax, FC Twente and PSV.

The 29-year-old was given a timely reminder of the pure nature of Australian football, with 10 yellow cards handed out by referee Peter Green in an at times heated derby.

"(It was) very physical," he said.

"Especially Brisbane Roar when you've got the likes of (Craig) Moore, (Danny) Tiatto and big (Bob) Malcolm at the back. You're going to play rough games."

"So it was physical, quick and a little bit hectic at times, but that's probably typical of Australian football."

For a man who has done some of his best work while representing Australia and also in the UEFA Champions League, it was easy to understand why Culina enjoyed the immense buildup and blockbuster-nature of United's season opener.

"These are the games you want to be playing in, all the hype and excitement this game brought was fantastic."

"It was a typical derby match."

"If we could play these games every week it would be great, but we've got another big game next week against North Queensland."

United coach Miron Bleiberg was critical of his side's performance and Culina echoed his thoughts, saying there was plenty of room for improvement.

"They (the Roar) did play better, we just have to admit that and move on."

"We played a lot of preseason games where we played very good football, passing, movement and that wasn't there tonight."

"We hesitated a little bit, it was nerves. It was a big game for us and for a new club we wanted to get a great result."

"Hopefully we can settle down next week and play the football we know we can."

Former Roar coach Bleiberg was reasonably humble after the win.

"The Roar played better and, this may surprise you, but I feel bad for Frank and his boys," Bleiberg said.

Bleiberg still found a chance to give the rest of the competition a warning of what lies ahead though.

"I think we played (at) 40 percent of our capability and we still went away and beat one of the teams that is supposed to be in the final, one of the top teams in the league, 3-1," he said.

"Just see what happens when we play at home against a lesser team with a bit of confidence ... we started something special."