Roar revel in Semi-Final excitement


If stability is the essence of a strong Finals campaign, Brisbane Roar are in good shape as Head Coach John Aloisi today named the same 18-player preliminary squad for the third consecutive week.

Two players will be omitted before the Roar take on Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium in a Hyundai A-League Semi-Final on Sunday (5pm KO).

The Roar will head to Sydney on Saturday morning knowing whether they are playing for a home Grand Final.

If fourth-placed Melbourne City beat first-placed Adelaide United in their Semi-Final at Coopers Stadium on Friday night, and the third-placed Roar down the second-placed Wanderers on Sunday, Brisbane as the highest-ranked remaining team will earn the right to host the Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, 1 May (4pm KO).

If Adelaide wins on Friday night, the Grand Final will be played on Sunday, 1 May at Adelaide Oval – irrespective of Sunday’s outcome.

Aloisi has urged his players to focus solely on Sunday’s match and concentrate on playing within the structures that have served them so well throughout the season.

The Roar have worked tirelessly in training this week, reinforcing those structures and preparing for the various scenarios they expect to face on Sunday.

Tommy Oar

Defender James Donachie says the sell-out crowd will ensure there is plenty of pressure on the home team.

“It is more on them to come to us,” he said.

The Roar players had a day off today and will train twice more before Sunday. Donachie says it is important to maintain their season-long routines.

“We won’t change too much during the week, we will keep doing what we are doing,” he said.

“Hopefully we will go down there and play like we did in the second half (against Victory) and come out on top.

“It will be difficult but we definitely have the people here to stop them for sure.

“I’m happy and confident we can go down there and take something off them.”

Jade North

Fellow defender Jade North (above) says the Roar cannot start slowly or nervously as they did against Victory.

He believes the Roar has the playing staff and form to go into the match with confidence.

“We’ve got great combinations not only in the backs but all across the park as well,” North said.

“We’ve just all got to turn up on the day and hopefully we can defend really well down there.

“Finals is something we love to play in, it’s going to be a great game.”

Jamie Maclaren

Western Sydney Wanderers FC (2) v Brisbane Roar FC (3), Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta, Sunday, 24 April 2016 (5pm KO)

Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 24.Tommy OAR, 28.Brandon BORRELLO. **two to be omitted**

Ins: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO (promoted), 8.Steven LUSTICA (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil


Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Romeo CASTELEN, 8.DIMAS, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.ALBERTO, 18.ANDREU, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.Jacob PEPPER, 30.Liam REDDY (gk). **two to be omitted**

Ins: 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (promoted), 21.Jacob PEPPER (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

Dimitri Petratos

Referee: Peter Green; Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo; Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham; Fourth Official: David Walsh; Additional Assistant Referee 1: Ben Williams; Additional Assistant Referee 2: Kris Griffiths-Jones.

TV: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4.30pm (AEST), SBS TWO from 5:30pm AEST and Sky Sport Pop-Up (New Zealand)

Radio: 702 ABC Sydney*, 666 ABC Canberra*, 612 ABC Brisbane* Grandstand Digital (Syd, Canb & Bris)* Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio) *Following the NRL/Super Rugby coverage

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tags #WSWvBRI #ALFinals

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets