Season preview | Brisbane Roar

Back-to-back titles and a history making run; can Rado Vidosic create a Roar dynasty?

Back-to-back titles and a history making run; can Rado Vidosic create a Roar dynasty?

Despite the departure of talismanic coach Ange Postecoglou, Brisbane Roar are still major favourites to win the Hyundai A-League and make it three in a row. But the pressure is on former no.2 Rado Vidosic to uphold the Roar-s impeccable standards of the last two seasons.

Most people are tipping that Vidosic, after being with the club since day one and being heavily involved in Postecoglou-s rebuilding of Brisbane, has what it takes to step up but it wouldn-t be the first time a former assistant coach has found the transition harder than expected - see Mehmet Durakovic at Melbourne Victory last season.

But in his favour is the Roar-s all-conquering and all-but-unchanged squad. Brisbane have made the fewest transfers of any A-League club during the off-season, except for a few additions in important areas, most notably former Gold Coast United midfielder Ben Halloran, Japanese defender Yuji Takahashi and South Korean winger Do Dong-Hyun.

There is a school of thought that the best teams strengthen when they-re on top, to stay ahead of the pack. Time will tell if the Roar-s decision to stick, rather than twist, will pay off.

There is no doubt the Roar have set the benchmark for the competition but they are also now the target; every club has strengthened their own squads and adapted their strategy in Brisbane-s wake, and everyone will be out to beat the champions.

Brisbane are used to this by now but the A-League is evolving quickly - Brisbane can-t afford to stand still. Vidosic, in his first season as head coach, has the unenviable task of improving on Postecoglou-s unmatched achievements and making his own mark in history if the Roar are to retain their title.

Key player: Thomas Broich The German playmaker-s importance to Brisbane cannot be overlooked; it-s not that they-re a bad team without him - but they are much, much better with him.

That the 31-year-old signed a new four-year contract recently speaks volumes of his relationship with the club. Such long-term deals are rare in the A-League and that arguably the finest imported player should commit himself for so long is a huge boost to Brisbane.

Keeping Broich fit is crucial to Brisbane-s season. They-re no one-man team but it-s they did struggle to assert their dominance in games during the German-s injury absence last season.

Coach: Rado Vidosic Most commentators believe that Vidosic should have no problems taking over from Postecoglou, and he has already indicated, somewhat worryingly for the opposition, that his Roar side will be a bit more direct than his predecessor-s.

Vidosic has all the weapons at his disposal he needs to mount a serious title defence, but Roar fans have also come to expect a certain style and belief in their football team. Anything less will see the pressure increase very quickly on the old new guy.

X-Factor: Ben Halloran The attacking midfielder became the most sought-after player in the competition following his stellar season with Gold Coast United and the club-s subsequent demise.

Beating Melbourne Victory and former boss Postecoglou to the 20-year-old-s signature was probably one of the best transfers of the season, as Halloran can add another dimension to an already impressive Brisbane midfield.

Fast, smart on the ball and with an eye for goal, Halloran looks tailor-made for the Roar style, and he will learn a great deal playing alongside the likes of Broich and the maturing Mitch Nichols.

Transfers In: James Donachie (NYL), Yuji Takahashi (Kyoto Sanga, Japan), Do Dong-Hyun (South Korea), Ben Halloran (Gold Coast United), Matt Acton (NYL) Out: Kofi Danning (Cercle Sportif Vise, Belgium), Mohamed Adnan (released), Andrew Redmayne (Melbourne Heart), Issey Nakajima-Farran, Matt Mundy (released - Rochedale Rovers)

Key fixtures Round 1 v Perth Glory (A) What a way to kick off the new season. It-s like the sequel to some Hollywood blockbuster with a cliffhanger ending. Glory are out for revenge and Roar will have to at their best from the first whistle.

Round 7 v Sydney FC (H) The visit of Sydney is always a raucous occasion at Suncorp Stadium, and the attendance of one “ADP” against the team who set the standard for the rest of the competition should make for fascinating viewing.

Round 24 v Melbourne Victory (H) Roar do host former boss Postecoglou-s new side in round 2 but at a rematch so late in the season could have a big outcome on the title.

Stat Shot Most goals (57), most assists (45), and most passes (15,077 - 5505 more than closest rivals Central Coast), it-s easy to see why Brisbane were so dominant last season.

Prediction: First (This is not the author-s prediction but an average of contributors.)

The Hyundai A-League 2012/13 season kicks off on Friday 5 October with the season-s first Melbourne derby at Etihad Stadium. Click here for tickets to all the matches.

The official Hyundai A-League 2012/13 fantasy football game and tipping competitions are also open - so sign up now.