It was classy entertainment that had Roar fans applauding and highlighted the positive momentum Brisbane will take into tomorrow’s Hyundai A-League clash against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.
The Roar players turned on all their skills at an open training session for the club’s members and fans this morning – and one passage of play stood out above all the rest.
During an 11-on-11 drill, Roar players including captain Matt McKay, international marquee Thomas Broich, young fullback Corey Brown and crowd favourite Henrique strung together a series of snappy passes to slice through the opposing defence.
It was pure brilliance and vintage Roar.
And the fans in attendance loved it with many breaking into huge smiles as they loudly applauded the skilful display.
After the Roar players signed autographs and posed for photos at the conclusion of the session, Broich reflected on the growing confidence within a squad that has not tasted defeat in the Hyundai A-League since the AFC Asian Cup break in January.
But the German warned that tomorrow’s game could be the toughest test yet as the Roar look to consolidate their place in the top six.
“We have a big game coming up . . . facing a really strong opponent. We have to make sure we get something out of the game,” he said.
“We have a very good structure, people are working very hard at the moment. We are confident but in football things can change very quickly. We can’t afford to take our foot off the pedal.”
Tomorrow’s game begins a period where the Roar will play twice a week for a month as they meet their Hyundai A-League and AFC Champions League commitments.
Broich said the squad was ready for the challenges ahead.
“We have had a good lead up into this game. We’ve had enough time to work on stuff properly. Everyone is putting in and our success at the moment is due to that collective effort,” he said.
Broich has been in sublime form since returning from ankle surgery and has provided the assist for six of the club’s last 11 goals. He said he was enjoying his current role in the midfield.
“This little tweak to the system is working well for us . . . we are strong defensively and we are getting in behind opposition defences . . . there are many promising signs,” he said.
But with defensive midfielder Luke Brattan suspended this week, the Roar engine room will change for tomorrow’s match. Adam Sarota and Steven Lustica are vying for the Starting XI nod.
With Jade North still battling a groin strain, new Socceroos selection Luke DeVere and Olyroo James Donachie are likely to be the centre back pairing.
Jamie Young will continue in goals with Michael Theo still sidelined, also with a groin strain.
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar FC
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 4pm (Brisbane time)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV: FOX SPORTS 505. Radio: Online/ABC mobile phone app.
Sydney FC squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Nikola PETKOVIC, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Christopher NAUMOFF, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Alex GERSBACH, 17.Terry ANTONIS, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21.Mark JANKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 25.Aaron CALVER, 26.Jacques FATY, 27.Mickael TAVARES, 34.Robert STAMBOLZIEV ***two to be omitted***
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE, 34.Shannon BRADY, 36.Fraser CHALMERS ***two to be omitted***