Brisbane Roar training today began with a round of applause for two youngsters and ended with one of the club’s most-awarded players giving a huge thumbs up to the entire squad.
Roar Head Coach John Aloisi opened the session by congratulating Brandon Borrello and Jack Hingert after they had committed to new contracts with the club over the last week.
Their team-mates responded with a huge and prolonged round of applause.
“The important thing is the players are enjoying it. They enjoy the environment and they believe it is the best environment for them to play their best football,” Aloisi said.
“That’s why these players are re-signing (along with goalkeeper Jamie Young last month). It’s nice for us because we can then start to plan for the future as well.”
After training, goalkeeper Michael Theo – celebrating his birthday today – told the media how highly he rated the current Roar squad.
“I think we’ve got the best squad since I’ve been here in terms of depth,” the five-time Hyundai A-League champion said.
“Everyone in team plays their role. We are all pushing each other and whoever is coming in is doing a job.”
Theo said Aloisi had created the right balance within the playing group.
“There’s a great blend of experience and the young boys coming through and it is fantastic to see these guys really step up, especially young Brandon,” Theo said.
“He got his opportunity last year and he’s taken it and he’s come on in leaps and bounds in terms of his development.
“It helps when you’ve got the likes of the Broichs and McKays in there to learn from every day and it is fantastic to see him re-sign for another two years.
“It shows what the coaching staff have done, the environment they have created. We have a strong group here and a good work ethic and everyone wants to be part of it moving forward.”
While it was celebrations all round – and Corona’s birthday to come on Friday – everyone agreed the perfect present would be another three points when the Roar host the Jets at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night (7pm KO).
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The Roar are expecting a confident Newcastle side after the Jets upset Melbourne City last weekend.
They are also wary of reported comments from Jets Head Coach Scott Miller that they may sit off the Roar in the first half and try to catch them on the counter in the second 45 minutes.
They will make it tough for us,” Aloisi said.
“Whatever they do, we are prepared for everything. We just want to put on another good performance at home.”
Theo said the most important thing was for the Roar to concentrate on their own game and continue on from the impressive performance against the Mariners last weekend.
“We’ve got to make sure we turn up with that desire and the game plan to implement that John wants us to,” he said.
“In the past two weeks we have really shown that, the guys have been up for it in both boxes, we’ve been scoring goals and keeping it tight at the back and hopefully that continues tomorrow night.”
Hyundai A-League Round 19, Brisbane Roar FC v Newcastle Jets, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Friday, 12 February 2016 (7pm kick off)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO **two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Devante CLUT (promoted), 20.Shannon BRADY (promoted); Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 6.Jerome POLENZ (quadriceps – 8 weeks), 11.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (quadriceps – 6 weeks)
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (Gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Cameron WATSON, 7.Enver ALIVODIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 10.LEONARDO, 14.Mitch COOPER, 16.Steven UGARKOVIC, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Ben KENNEDY (Gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Nicholas COWBURN, 28.Ryan KITTO **two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (return from injury), 28.Ryan KITTO (return from injury); Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 11.Labinot Haliti (knee – season)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones; Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham; Assistant Referee 2: David Walsh; Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett.
TV: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 6.30pm (Qld time), SBS TWO from 6:30pm (Qld time) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio: 612 ABC Brisbane, 1233 ABC Newcastle, ABC Local Radio Qld, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio).
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