Brisbane Roar right-back Jerome Polenz has been waiting for a re-match with former club Western Sydney Wanderers and he’ll finally have it tomorrow at Suncorp Stadium.
Polenz played 47 Hyundai A-League matches in red and black, including last season’s Hyundai A-League Grand Final, and tomorrow marks the first time he’ll line up against his former employers since leaving the club at the end of last season.
“Of course I had a little look to see when we would be facing them,” the Berlin-born defender said.
“Sunday is the day and I’m really looking forward to it. I know they don’t like to play against me!”
Polenz said his omission from the club’s AFC Champions League squad has a silver lining – allowing him to concentrate fully on the club’s Hyundai A-League duties with the reigning Champions sitting just outside the top six.
The Asian Football Confederation only allow clubs to name three foreigners, plus one player from an Asian nation, in their Champions League squads and Polenz missed out after German playmaker Thomas Broich, Brazilian speedster Henrique and new Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic were picked for the Roar’s squad of 29 players.
This mean Polenz, and Costa Rican attacker Jean Carlos Solorzano, stayed behind in Brisbane this week while their teammates battled to a 1-0 win over J-League club Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan and he said he was feeling fresh ahead of tomorrow’s clash against the Wanderers.
“Everyone wants to play in the big games, the Champions League games,” he said.
“Of course, I would have been happy to be a part of that Champions League squad but the fact is it’s not like that. You have to accept it, life goes on.
“I’m very happy to play in the A-League and have all strength for the A-League.”
Brisbane sit just outside the top six, positioned seventh on the Hyundai A-League ladder just two points behind Melbourne City but with one match in hand.
A win over the Wanderers tomorrow would take the reigning Champions back into the top six if City draw or lose to Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium earlier in the day.
The 28-year-old said it was important to be mindful of the Wanderers’ strengths and weaknesses of this Hyundai A-League campaign – Tony Popovic’s men have scored just 15 times in 17 matches and conceded 27 goals in the process.
“I think they’ve got a bit more attacking fire this year, so instead of defensive stability, they have the offensive power now,” Polenz explained.
“They are lacking a bit of defensive structure this year and we have to exploit that.”
The only other meeting between the two sides this season was a 1-0 win for Brisbane on Pirtek Stadium on Wednesday, 3 December with Henrique’s fifth minute penalty the difference.
Interim Head Coach Frans Thijssen has used Jack Hingert at right-back for the club’s two AFC Champions League matches to date and after the arduous travel this week, Polenz is expected to line up at right-back tomorrow as he has done since joining the club in the January transfer window.
Sunday, 8 March 2015
Brisbane Roar FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 4:00pm local
Referee: Yudai Yamamoto (JFA)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:00pm AEST
Radio Broadcast: Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE ***two to be omitted***
Ins: Shane STEFANUTTO (promoted), Steven LUSTICA (promoted), Jack HINGERT (promoted)
Outs: Corey BROWN (suspended – 1 week)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 3.Yusuke TANAKA, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Antony GOLEC, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Yojiro TAKAHAGI, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14.Kerem BULUT, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 25.Sam GALLAWAY ***two to be omitted***
Ins: 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (promoted), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (returns from suspension), 8.Mateo POLJAK (returns from suspension)
Outs: 5.Brendan HAMILL (injured – 1 week)
Unavailable: 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite), 2.Shannon COLE (collar bone – 7 weeks), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder – indefinite)