Roar aim to capitalise on Premier League experience in Australia Cup clash

Warren Moon knows Brisbane Roar’s enjoyable Queensland Champions Cup experience will be remembered even more fondly if it ends in Australia Cup progression.

The Head Coach had plenty of positives to reflect upon following last week’s narrow 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in Townsville, which came after a 2-1 defeat to Leeds United on the Gold Coast.

His side were extremely competitive in both encounters despite coming up against a cast of Premier League stars in what amounted to intense, tough and unique preparation for Wednesday night’s Round of 32 trip to Heidelberg United.

Brisbane did well to limit the clear-cut chances afforded to the touring teams and found joy at the other end against Leeds in particular, scoring once in the first half and going close on multiple occasions in the second.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity for the club and for the players,” Moon said.

“We brought the players back early in readiness for the two games and knowing we had an Australia Cup game coming up. Everything is a building process and about putting things in place.

“We’ll gain a lot of positives [from the Queensland Champions Cup] but it all counts for nothing unless we get the result against Heidelberg.”

Kai Trewin’s successful entry into midfield and a developing partnership at the back between Connor Chapman and captain Tom Aldred were among several positive takeaways from across the showpiece pre-season fixtures.

The coaching staff will hope those encouraging signs continue and can be complemented by further attacking evolution against Heidelberg, especially after Charlie Austin’s debut off the bench at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

“Every team at this stage of the season is working on things with the ball and without the ball,” Moon said.

“It’s very early days but what we’ve tried to implement and put into practice we’ve been able to take into the Leeds game and improve on [against Villa]. We take a lot of confidence from that leading into the Heidelberg game.”

Austin added: “I just need to get match minutes now. [The Australia Cup] is important for the football club. Big game, opportunity to go to the next round, but we know it’s going to be tough against Heidelberg.

“I’m excited. It’s something I’m looking forward to.”

Kick-off at the Olympic Village on Wednesday is set for 7:30pm, with broadcast coverage live and exclusive on 10 play.