Brisbane Roar players are feeling refreshed and rejuvenated ahead of Sunday’s final pre-season fixture against Central Coast Mariners after a short training camp on the Sunshine Coast, according to club captain Matt Smith.
Brisbane Roar players are feeling refreshed and rejuvenated ahead of Sunday-s final pre-season fixture against Central Coast Mariners after a short training camp on the Sunshine Coast, according to club captain Matt Smith.
The weekend-s match will be hosted at the coast-s Stockland Stadium and in a joint verdict by the leadership group and coaching staff, the players ventured up the Bruce Highway yesterday, three days early, for some team-bonding time before the Hyundai A-League season kick-off in two weeks.
Staying at the Palmer Coolum Resort, the Brisbane players spent yesterday afternoon – their official day off for the week – indulging in a full round of golf together before they got back to work on the training paddock this morning.
With just the one game remaining before the highly-awaited Grand Final re-match against Perth Glory at Patersons Stadium on October 7, Smith said it was important to have their collective mindset right both on and off the pitch.
“With some new faces that have joined the squad, twinned with us being at Ballymore day in, day out this pre-season, it-s a nice change to come away for a few days,” he said.
“It freshens up the team and re-focuses us and re-motivates us as well.
“It-s a great occasion when we can come away as a team for some bonding, relaxing, getting some sun, bit of golf and of course, some football.
“Golf yesterday was quite funny actually – we found out we had some swimmers and bush-hunters in the group by the way some of the balls ended up!
“Mass [Murdocca], Bes [Berisha] and Acto [Matt Acton] talked themselves up a bit but the surprise of the day was Jack [Hingert].”
Central Coast pose a familiar threat to Brisbane having played them 11 times in the past two Hyundai A-League seasons, among those games is the famous come-from-behind victory that sealed the Roar-s first ever Championship trophy.
After a solid pre-season 5-1 win – and more importantly, an impressive performance – over Sydney FC last weekend in Mackay, Smith said there was no reason the Roar couldn-t do the same against the Mariners in front of their Sunshine Coast fans.
Head Coach Rado Vidosic has consistently waved away the importance of pre-season results, instead focusing on the tactical and conditioning development of his side over the course of the campaign, and Smith echoed his manager-s words.
“It-s our last hit out before the season starts and we want to grow from the performance last week,” he said.
“The end result doesn-t matter during this period but we-re happy with our progress so far.
“Sunday against the Mariners is about building on last week, improving, developing and continuing our hard work because that-s where our success has stemmed from.
“There are still areas we can improve on so it-s about playing at a high standard, consistently.”
Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners kicks off at 3pm on Sunday, 23 September 2012 at Stockland Stadium, Nicklin Way, Bokarina. Gates open at 1.30pm. Tickets available here.