Gloves off at Roar

Ordinarily a punch-up at pre-season training would be cause for concern for any Hyundai A-League club, but it was all above board for Queensland Roar players on Thursday when they traded blows in the ring with champion boxer Mark 'Chopper' Burgess.

Ordinarily a punch-up at pre-season training would be cause for concern for any Hyundai A-League club, but it was all above board for Queensland Roar players on Thursday when they traded blows in the ring with champion boxer Mark 'Chopper' Burgess.

Every fit man on the Roar's list was summoned to a boxing ring for two minutes of sparring with Burgess, a former Australia Super Heavyweight Title holder, and a further two minutes facing a training partner.

As one would expect, few of the footballers were able to land a telling blow as Burgess dictated terms, often shouting obscenities as he hunted them around the ring.

Roar skipper Craig Moore was blunt with his assessment of how he fared against Burgess.

"I'm definitely not a boxer," Moore laughed.

"I feel alright, but it's a different level of fitness that, completely different fitness to what we're use to."

"It sounds like a little bit of work, (only) four minutes, but you come out breathing out your backside."

"For me personally, it was more my legs from trying to move about more than the likes of Chopper, who does that day in, day out, it's an extremely good work-out."

Some of the Roar players looked like they were punching out of their weight division against the formidable Burgess, but it was the smallest on the list, Brazilian Henrique, who impressed Moore the most.

"There are a few boys that went all right, Henrique went in towards the end there and was quite lively," he said.

The Socceroos defender was confident the drill had been a successful team-building exercise.

“It's not really a football issue, it's more about bringing the team together and building team spirit," he said.

"It's about being taken out of your comfort zone, and for a lot us today that was most certainly the case."

The Roar has had eventful pre-season in the boardroom, with former chief executive Lawrence and Football Federation Australia purchasing 51 percent of Roar shares.

Moore said he was never worried about his playing future at the Roar.

"I mean to be honest, there has been changes ongoing at the club, but us as players, that's not really our concern," he said.

"We're concerning ourselves with our pre-season and getting ourselves fit and I'm sure the club will certainly be able to look after itself, especially now with the backing of the FFA."