Brisbane Roar Vice-Captain Jade North is proud to be part of Indigenous Football Week, as the Roar prepare for a Sunday night hit out against Central Coast Mariners (7pm KO).
Brisbane will be looking to make it back-to-back home wins with just three regular season rounds remaining in this season’s Hyundai A-League competition.
North is one of only three Indigenous players in the A-League and understands the importance of providing an example for aspiring young footballers.
“We’ve got to have pathways and opportunities for First Australians,” said North.
“Having an Indigenous following, my job is to be a role model and say, ‘you can make it, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.’”
While North would like to see more Indigenous players at the top level, although Roar’s key defender believes progress is being made.
“Football is the fastest growing game, there is a big opportunity for us all,” North said.
“Hopefully one day we can get some more Indigenous players playing for the Socceroos.”
North will wear the armband on Sunday night, as club captain Matt McKay remains sidelined with a knee injury.
“It’s an honour to captain the side, but nothing changes from my perspective. I approach it like I do any other game,” said North.
The Roar are still jostling for finals positioning, with the goal to secure a place in the top three and a home final.
Ahead of Sunday’s match against the Mariners at Suncorp Stadium, North is relishing the high pressure of late-season football.
“This is the business end of the year – we want to go all the way and win the Grand Final.”
“We can’t let anyone get in the way of achieving our goals.”
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Round 25, Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners, Sunday, 2 April 2017. Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Kick-off 7:00pm (QLD time).
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 3.Luke DEVERE, 5.Corey BROWN, 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 13.Jade NORTH (c), 15.ARANA, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Joe CALETTI, 43.Tomislav BILIC (gk), 46.Cameron CRESTANI **two to be omitted**
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX (c), 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 26.Steve WHYTE, 27.Lachlan WALES **two to be omitted**
Referee: Daniel Elder; Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald; Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin; Fourth Official: Alex King