A final pre-season hitout before the new season gets underway awaits Brisbane Roar on Sunday evening with a fixture against A-League rivals Western United on the Gold Coast (4pm kick-off).
The clash will be the Roar’s second pre-season fixture against A-League opposition in as many weeks, following last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Newcastle Jets in Coffs Harbour.
Warren Moon’s men remain unbeaten throughout pre-season, but the focus remains on ensuring the squad are ready to rumble come the opening round clash against Wellington Phoenix on Tuesday, 29 December.
“It [Sunday’s pre-season game] is our final preparation so we want to put a strong side out,” Moon said.
“We’ve had a couple of untimely injuries in pre-season so it’s a good chance to get a few of our senior boys back in and get as many minutes as they need going into Round 1.”
Border restrictions have minimised opportunities for the Roar to test themselves against A-League opposition during pre-season, but two fixtures in as many weeks on the eve of the season is just the preparation the squad needs according to the Head Coach.
“It’s great to we got that opportunity [to play the Jets last weekend]. Other states have had the luxury of playing more matches against A-League opposition but given the border restrictions it was a bit trickier for us.
“That’s no excuse, we had a good hit out last week in tough conditions and we’re looking forward to another one on Sunday.”
Last Saturday’s date with the Jets also brought about an opportunity for new signing Riku Danzaki to earn his first minutes in orange.
The 20-year-old, who recently joined on loan from J1 League outfit Consadole Sapporo, has impressed in his brief time down under so far.
“Riku has come in and been embraced by the squad. He has that J-League experience which is terrific for a young player, and we’ve already seen his quality in training and in the short cameo he had last weekend.”
Entry for Sunday’s fixture against Western United is free.