Brisbane Roar is continuing its QLD first approach in the Liberty A-League after 11 of the 16-player squad in Sunday evening’s Western Sydney Wanderers clash represented QLD at a junior level.
Head Coach Garrath McPherson is pleased to be a part of the process of bringing people through the junior Football QLD system, giving them opportunities to grow as professionals.
He aims to provide these players with more experience in the final two rounds of the Liberty A-League season.
14 players on the squad have participated in the QLD NPL competition in the last two years, with three involved in the QLD NTC side at the youth championships late last year.
Brisbane Roar strives to promote youth and aims to provide opportunities for growth and pathways to give players a shot at playing at the highest level in the Liberty A-League, and McPherson is playing his part.
“It makes you feel proud. It’s unique. It’s probably the reason why I feel it’s important. The club made that decision after departures of fully-fledged Matilda’s and players that have headed over into international comps,” McPherson said.
“We are very committed to providing opportunities for the next generations of Katrina Gorry’s and Clare Polkinghorne’s.”
McPherson is pleased that Brisbane Roar is focusing on those that have played in Queensland representative programs and in the junior levels to implement ways to improve and develop them into their best form as a football player.
“We would expect now that this core group, that have come through the elite pathways, come through the NPL systems, that it’s going to take a period of time to adapt to the competition and it’s nice that the club are prepared to give them time,” he said.
“Queensland’s unique in that we are a one-club state, and it’s a very big place. There are a lot of talented female footballers and I think for the club’s and coaches that work in the representative programs, see all the work that is going into developing them and how it is ultimately giving them a chance of playing in A-League football, which is the goal.”
McPherson shares that he has anticipated this period when the rebuild is occurring within the squad but hopes aspiring talent get their chance to showcase themselves as players and make names for themselves.
“We knew this season was coming, we knew Katrina was going to be out of there at some point and we are aware that Larissa going into a World Cup was likely going to need to leave before registration windows closed overseas,” McPherson said.
“We made decisions that this would be the period of time where these players got their own chance, make their own names and stand up and show all the hard work they’ve done at training and in the gym,” he added.
Coming away from the Western Sydney Wanderers match on Sunday evening, McPherson says the squad was disappointed with the result but takes the experience as a learning curve moving forward.
“They have stayed committed and focused, and this is their time now. The message this week for us after the Western Sydney match, we were disappointed that we didn’t take points away from that game,” he said.
“A couple of errors in set pieces proved a difference, but I was very proud of what they did, and I think that was a moment to learn.”
McPherson is instilling into his squad the message of making their own name at Brisbane Roar and showing why they were chosen over other players trying to make it into the Liberty A-League.
“It’s their job to stand up and show everybody that this is why it was me that was given the contract and the opportunity to grow in this comp and not one of the other very talented players that are existing out there of the same age”,” McPherson said.
“The message for the last two games is you stand up and make your own name in the orange. Forge your own legacy.”