Brisbane Roar FC have announced their 29-man squad for the 2015 AFC Champions League, with the club set to begin its campaign on Wednesday.
The Roar’s opening match, which kicks off at 7.30pm at Gold Coast Stadium in Robina, is against 2014 Chinese Super League runners-up Beijing Guoan.
Alongside a host of players who played in the club’s 2012 AFC Champions League campaign, the squad includes the likes of AFC Asian Cup winning-Socceroo Matt McKay and defenders Jade North and Luke DeVere, who have vast experience playing football in Asia.
Reigning Johnny Warren medallist Thomas Broich, the club’s leading Hyundai A-League goal-scorer Henrique and new Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic, who played for Beijing against the Roar back in 2012, have also been included.
While the Roar has five visa players in its Hyundai A-League squad, under the AFC’s 3+1 rule, teams participating in the Champions League are permitted a maximum of four visa players in their squad providing one is player from an Asian nation.
Brisbane Roar Director of Football Ken Stead said that meant not all of the club’s visa players could be included in the Champions League squad.
“It’s unfortunate but we could only pick three players under the rules,” he said.
“That said, as a club, we are excited about this upcoming AFC Champions League campaign and look forward to the challenge of playing against some of Asia’s best teams.”
Also in the Roar’s Group G are two-time Asian champions Suwon Bluewings, from South Korea, and 2007 champions Urawa Red Diamonds, from Japan.
The Roar host Suwon on Tuesday, March 17, and Urawa on Tuesday, May 5. Their away schedule is March 4 (Urawa), April 8 (Suwon) and April 21 (Beijing).
In 2012, Brisbane had three draws and three losses in their first tilt at the Champions League and lost to Thailand’s Buriram United in a qualifying match for the 2013 edition of the tournament.
This is the second time Roar has met Beijing Guoan in the group stage of the Champions League with both the Roar’s home and away matches against the Chinese in 2012 ending in 1-1 draws.
Tickets to the Roar’s three AFC Champions League Group Stage games at Robina are now available through Ticketek. Adults are $10 and children $5 for pre-purchase and $12 and $7 at the gate. A discounted three-game ticket buy is available at $25 for adults and $15 for children.
Brisbane Roar FC members can also take advantage of priority positioning on the halfway line at no extra cost.
The ticket price includes free train travel to and from Robina. Gold Coast-based fans can also travel free to the game on Surfside bus routes, trains and the G-Link tram. Trains will leave Brisbane Central for Robina every 15 minutes from 3.30pm on Wednesday. Go to Translink to plan your journey.
Those intending to drive to the Gold Coast for any of the three matches should consult the stadium website cbussuperstadium.com.au for information on shuttle bus services from various park ‘n ride lots north and south of the venue.
BRISBANE ROAR AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SQUAD: 1. Michael THEO (gk); 3. Shane STEFANUTTO; 4. Adam SAROTA; 5. Corey BROWN; 6. George LAMBADARIDIS; 8. Steven LUSTICA; 9. Andrija KALUDEROVIC; 10. HENRIQUE; 13. Jade NORTH; 14. Daniel BOWLES; 15. James DONACHIE; 16. Devante CLUT; 17 Matt McKAY; 18. Luke BRATTAN; 19. Jack HINGERT; 20. Kofi DANNING; 21. Jamie YOUNG (gk); 22. Thomas BROICH; 23. Dimitri PETRATOS; 26. Lachlan JACKSON; 27. Ben LITFIN; 28. Brandon BORRELLO; 29. Patrick THEODORE; 33. Luke DeVERE; 34. Shannon BRADY; 35. Mitchell HORE; 36. Fraser CHALMERS (gk); 37. Denver CRICKMORE (gk); 38. Nicholas D’AGOSTINO.