Roar primed for derby

Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou and his new-look side are looking forward to turning the tables on Gold Coast United when the local rivals meet in Round 1 action at Skilled Park on Sunday.

Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou and his new-look side are looking forward to turning the tables on Gold Coast United when the local rivals meet in Round 1 action at Skilled Park on Sunday.

The Roar lost all three of their derby matches with the Gold Coast in the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season, conceding nine goals and scoring just one, but according to Postecoglou those figures will have no bearing this weekend.

"Everyone's pretty aware that (GCU) had the wood on us last year, and good luck to them, they deserved to, to be honest," he said

"Our challenge is to show we're the better side this year and that's what you love about sport - it starts 0-0 not 3-0."

"It's not like there's a 20-year hoodoo we have to beat, we lost three games."

While Postecoglou admits GCU had the Roar's measure last season, Brisbane will head into the season opener as an unknown quantity, impossible to scout according to opposition coach Miron Bleiberg.

After a turbulent 2009/10 season that Postecoglou describes as 'disastrous', the Roar have completely rebuilt and encouraging pre-season form from new recruits has Brisbane shaping as the Hyundai A-League's big improvers.

Particularly eye-catching has been young Kosta Barbarouses. The 20-year-old New Zealand native struggled to cement a spot at the Wellington Phoenix last season, but has impressed since linking with the Roar, and was the only man to score against Everton in their recent tour of Australia.

Another key to Postecoglou's confidence has been the Roar's extensive three-month pre-season, which he says has them primed and ready to meet the fast-starting United side.

"I think we started earlier than everyone else, so we've had a good three months preparation for this," he said.

"There's no doubt that we'll be hoping to improve as the season goes along, but we'll certainly be ready for Sunday, and certainly in terms of what we want to achieve from the game we'll be more than ready for that."