Preview: Brisbane Roar
Over the last few seasons, Brisbane Roar have taught Australian football fans that you can play the beautiful game and win. The tag ‘Roarcalona’ has been thrown around when describing the team, and it’s a justified tag.
Brisbane will be around the mark again this season. The team showed signs of being human last year with a mid-season losing streak, but then showed the football world what a champion team they were by winning back to back titles.
PREDICTION: 2nd. Expectations are high, but the Roar will fall just short of creating history. As Meatloaf said, two out of three ain’t bad…
BEST FINISH: Champions in 2010/11 & 2011/12.
THE SIGNING: Young Korean Do Dong-Hyun, from all reports, has settled in Brisbane well and is full of pace and skill. He should fit in well in what is the standout midfield of the league.
THE LOSS: Not a player, but the coach. Ange Postecoglou will be a bigger loss than most think up in Brisbane, his ability to get the best out of the players and creating a belief that they can win from any position – as proven in their extended winning streaks and recent success.
THE STAR: Thomas Broich. Who else but the best player in the league? Broich is the main reason why Brisbane have won back to back titles, and will be a driving force in their search for the three-peat. Broich’s ability to create through midfield produces no end of problems for opposition coaches.
THE X FACTOR: Last season, Besart Berisha took the league by storm, continually finding the back of the net. But can he do it again one year later? Much was made of his celebrations when the controversial penalty was awarded in the dying stages of the grand final last season. His first appearance of the season in Perth could give him an early instalment of what to expect at venues around Australia.
OFF THE PITCH: Can Brisbane maintain their ‘Roarcelona’ status in the A-League? Under the watchful guise of new boss Rado Vidosic, Brisbane will look to their polished midfield to continue their domination. After hosting yet another grand final last year, Brisbane fans should continue to turn out and support the most watchable team in the league.
GOLDEN BOOT: Berisha should win this in a canter. Eric Paartalu and Thomas Broich may contribute to the scoresheet now and again, but Berisha is the most recognised scorer for the Roar.
THE MATCH: The opening fortnight is massive for the club, with a trip to Perth to contend with first up. Perth will be looking to seek some sort of revenge after the way the Grand final ended last season. Follow this up with the return of Ange to Suncorp Stadium. It will be interesting to see how the fans react to their one time leader when they face off against Melbourne Victory.
THE START: See above for the opening fortnight and follow that up with a tough trip to Wellington. The Roar should be confident of taking six points away from their next two home clashes against Western Sydney and Adelaide.