Brisbane Roar will enter the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season with back-to-back wins following a 3-1 victory against PS4 NPL QLD U23 Select on Saturday afternoon.
Two goals for last season’s leading goal scorer Jamie Maclaren, and a second goal in a week for midfield maestro Thomas Broich secured the victory against the NPL’s best Under 23 players.
Head Coach John Aloisi says there are plenty of positives to take from the 3-1 win - the Roar's second in the space of four days.
"The boys haven’t had a short turnaround like this during this pre-season so it was demanding on their bodies but that what we need," Aloisi said.
"It was good to see Jamie [Maclaren] on the scoresheet with two goals and Thomas [Broich] scoring again too.
"Dimi [Petratos] was causing issues for the opposition. There were a lot of positives from today’s game."
The Roar controlled proceedings from kick-off, creating regular chances and dominating possession throughout the 90 minutes.
Thomas Broich (below) opened the scoring after 24 minutes with a thunderous header, assisted by a Petratos corner before Jamie Maclaren finished off a precise build-up play between Petratos and Holman to double the Roar’s advantage 11 minutes later.
Just before the hour mark the NPL Select breathed life in to the contest with a well taken goal to Joe Duckworth.
NPL Select continued to press high and minimise space for the Roar, before Maclaren restored the Roar’s two-goal advantage in the final 10 minutes of the second half.
Brisbane’s attacking trio of Jamie Maclaren, Brett Holman and Dimitri Petratos were amongst the Roar’s best and provided the Roar faithful with reason for optimism for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season
Holman showed glimpses of the skill that earned him 63 Socceroos caps in his first minutes in Orange. His pin-point passing and ability to create space caused issues for the NPL Select throughout his 45 minutes on the pitch as well as capping off his Roar debut with an assist for the Roar’s second goal.
Dimitri Petratos was at his elusive best throughout the encounter and played a pivotal role in attack for Brisbane, coming close to adding to his first-half assist on numerous occasions throughout the second half.
Luke DeVere played a full 90 minutes partnering strongly with Jade North and Daniel Bowles in the centre of defense. The Roar back four were rarely threatened with strong performances in the centre of midfield from Matt McKay and Jacob Pepper.
Brisbane were able to draw on their young talent during the second half with Young Roar players Nathan Konstandopoulos, Mark Rodic and Aaron Reardon playing a role during the final 45 minutes.
John Aloisi admitted it wasn't the Roar's best performance but was pleased some of his key players were able to get some valuable minutes.
“It was a tough test for us because they set up well and made it difficult for us," he said.
“Once we figured out their plan we began to create opportunities in the first half.
“The Second half wasn’t as fluid. It’s understandable at this time of the season that some players have their first game of the start of the season, but that are a lot of positives to take from that game.
“Another 90 minutes for Luke DeVere is great especially with a short turnaround after the game against Perth on Tuesday and It was a good opportunity to see some players a little bit out of position and it was a good test.”
On Brett Holman: “He’s going to be really good for us when he gets his match fitness up and match rhythm working. He has an eye for goal but also is able to play that last pass and when he loses the ball he regains it quickly.
“Because he’s playing just behind the strikers, he is roaming a bit more so we just need to be aware in midfield of each other’s positioning. The more that Brett plays with the group, the more they’ll understand his movements.”
Brisbane Roar v PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland Under 23 Select, Queensland Sports & Athletics Centre, Saturday, 24 September
Brisbane Roar FC 3 (Broich 24’, Maclaren 35’, 83’)
PS4 NPL QLD U23 Select 1 (Nickolls 58’)
Brisbane Roar FC: 3. Luke DEVERE, 4.Daniel BOWLES (38.Aaron REARDON 70’) 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN (39.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS 46’), 13.Jade NORTH (37.Mark RODIC 46’), 17.Matt MCKAY (c) (29.Joseph CALETTI 68’), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS
Unused substitutes: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 26.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN,
Yellow cards: Jacob PEPPER 64’, 90+1’
Red cards: Jacob PEPPER 90+1’ (second yellow card)