Roar draw reasonable in ACL

Brisbane Roar have received a relatively kind draw for their inaugural AFC Champions League campaign in 2012, drawing the runners-up from the K-League and Chinese Super League as well as the yet-to-be determined winner of Japan's Emperor's Cup.

Brisbane Roar have received a relatively kind draw for their inaugural AFC Champions League campaign in 2012, drawing the runners-up from the K-League and Chinese Super League as well as the yet-to-be determined winner of Japan's Emperor's Cup.

Roar, the 2010-11 Hyundai A-League champions and favourites to defend their title, come up against Beijing Guaon, which features Johnny Warren Medallist Joel Griffiths, as well as Ulsan Hyundai, who finished second in the Korean league this year.

It is Beijing's fourth attempt at the tournament, having progressed from a group including Melbourne Victory in 2010, their last appearance. Ulsan will be making their third appearance having not qualified in the past two campaigns.

Their third rival will not be determined until the Emperor's Cup is decided on New Year's Day.

Central Coast Mariners, who qualified as the second placed team in last year's Hyundai A-League, have a tougher assignment against Korean FA Cup champions Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, who feature Socceroos defender Sasa Ognenovski, Josh Kennedy's 2010 J-League runners-up Nagoya Grampus and Chinese FA Cup winners Tianjin Teda.

Seongnam won the Champions League in 2010, while Tianjin are making their fourth appearance and Nagoya their third.

The Mariners are the least experienced team in the group in terms of ACL.

Adelaide United, the third-placed A-League side from last season, were gifted a place in the main group stage when Chinese club Liaoning Whowin withdrew and they received a favourable draw.

While they will face Gamba Osaka, the team who thrashed them in the 2008 Champions League final, and Bunyodkor, the Uzbek side who they defeated at the semi-finals stage three years ago, they also get the winner of the playoff between third-placed K-League outfit Pohang Steelers and the Thai FA Cup champions.

Gamba Osaka finished third in the J-League this year, while Bunyodkor won the 2011 Uzbek League by eight points.

Roar coach Ange Postecoglou said he was excited to have drawn clubs from three of the most competitive leagues in the Asian Football Confederation.

"It's exciting , that's the main thing," Postecoglou said.

"We're in it, we're in an important international competition and that-s what we want as a club."

"You want to play against the big clubs and big countries to really test yourself."

"We've got a team from Japan, China and Korea which are all strong football countries with strong club football sides."

Mariners coach Graham Arnold was positive about his team's chances.

"Obviously the teams we play will be difficult, but if you look at where they are located the travel aspect has become a bit easier for us," Arnold said.

"Tianjin is close to Beijing, as is Seongnam to Seoul and Nagoya to both Osaka and Tokyo."

"With the A-League starting later and the final rounds of the competition overlapping with the ACL we hope the dates of the games will be nice to us," he said.