With our clash against Brisbane Roar less than 48 hours away, here’s what the opposition camp are talking about leading into Thursday’s curtain-raiser.
Whilst a very palpable excitement continues to build around Wanderland on the cusp of the new season, Brisbane Roar have on the contrary experienced a less than ideal build up to the new campaign.
The three-time Hyundai A-League champions are currently engulfed in what feels like the tipping point of an ownership crisis that has plagued the Queensland club for several seasons.
The off-field drama centres on the Bakries Group’s ownership and their crippling mismanagement of the club which has left the Roar millions of dollars in debt and delayed wages to players, staff and creditors.
It’s a situation that has and continues to threaten the clubs existence, and it’s understandably left the fan base disillusioned with the club’s top-level management, something that was made abundantly clear in a ‘fiery’ forum last Wednesday.
The aura of discontent looks set to spill over into Thursday’s season-opener at the very least, something Roar playmaker Thomas Broich admitted earlier this week:
“I completely understand that everybody is a bit nervous in terms of our situation,” Broich told The Courier Mail on Monday.
“(But) that’s the positive of any crisis in the world – you hit rock bottom and there’s only one direction, that’s up again.
“We’re still very proud to be part of this club and that’s all that matters to us players.”
In other news, John Aloisi has challenged his fullbacks to fight for a place in the starting eleven, with Jack Hingert, Corey Brown, Shane Steffanuto and Jerome Polenz all vying for starting positions. The new Roar manager also shed some light on how the Roar will look to play this season via a fan forum held on Wednesday night.
With Luke Brattan gone, there’s immense pressure on Corona to plug the huge gap left behind by the Socceroo. But Thomas Broich has been talking up the Spaniards prospects to The Courier Mail.
“He’s very composed on the ball and he’s got great vision … it clearly shows at training.
“He can slow the game down when we need it and he can break lines when we need it. I’ve got a lot of faith in him.”
Overall, after a long off-season, an otherwise welcome return to matters on the pitch could prove to be a bittersweet one for Roar fans, who will hope that Thursday’s match improves the mood north of the border.
One fan, however, has found the perfect solution to all of Brisbane’s problems.