Fan forum a roaring success

Brisbane Roar’s community engagement program has taken another significant step with the highly successful Brisbane Roar Fans’ Forum at Griffith University’s Southbank Campus.

Brisbane Roar-s community engagement program has taken another significant step with the highly successful Brisbane Roar Fans- Forum at Griffith University-s Southbank Campus.

The club-s Head Coach Ange Postecoglou, CEO Eugenie Buckley and Club Captain Matt McKay sat on the panel to provide an insight into the club via questions from its fans.

Brisbane Roar defenders Shane Stefanutto and Matt Smith were keen observers, watching and listening intently from the gallery with the Brisbane Roar fans.

High on the list of questions from the Brisbane faithful were those pertaining to the on-field direction Postecoglou would take his side this campaign as they sought to successfully defend the Hyundai A-League title.

Buckley was honest and informative in her answers to off-field issues and McKay responded to questions from a player-s perspective.

Player recruitment for both the Hyundai A-League season and inaugural AFC Champions League campaign was high on the agenda and Postecoglou responded by saying the club has demonstrated in the past they look outside the square for recruitment and would not rule out bringing an Asian player into the squad.

Postecoglou mapped out his philosophy for the club and developing young players.

The Head Coach explained he would treat the ACL as an extension of the Hyundai A-League and not two separate campaigns which meant he saw it as integral to play well in the domestic league so the momentum was carried into the intercontinental competition.

He highlighted the importance of the club-s youth players over the coming season and said he intended to utilise the same squad of 25-26 players for both competitions.

The Harry Kewell saga was also thrown into the ring and while Postecoglou said he would welcome Kewell to the Hyundai A-League, it was neither in the club-s philosophy nor his own to sign stars for the sake of it.

“We want to find and develop the next generation of Harry Kewells,” Postecoglou said.

He had the same response to a question regarding marquee spots and repeated that the ability to fit into the team-s style of play would be the most significant factor for any new player.

“I would rather have a marquee team, instead of a team of marquee players,” Postecoglou said.

The long-term financial stability of Brisbane Roar was a key point for Buckley during the night.

The club-s CEO said the administration team had been working hard to improve key off-field areas and confirmed Football Federation Australia, who currently own the club, have been conducting negotiations with well-credentialed parties interested in the club.

Questions regarding match day experience were plentiful and Buckley reassured fans that the club will continue to be in regular contact with Suncorp Stadium regarding the match day experience at a Brisbane Roar game.

“Passion really sets football apart from other sports, it is important for us that everyone has a good time as long as it is not disruptive to others or anti-social behaviour,” she said.

Buckley said Brisbane Roar was also in talks with hotels, including along Caxton Street, with the aim of having designated places for pre and post-match festivities for fans, corporates and other stakeholders and intimated the club was likely to have its own bar within the stadium.

Buckley also announced the club had plans to bring the Westfield W-League more into the fold in the upcoming season.

The club had already produced a double-sided champions poster which had images from both the A-League and W-League trophy presentations and Buckley explained the W-League side would continue to feature prominently in the club-s collateral.

She also highlighted the W-League side would wear the same strip at the Hyundai A-League and National Youth League squads and would benefit from supplier agreements such as the recently signed deal with compression garment company 2XU.

Finally, Buckley told the fans the Westfield W-League side would play a key role alongside the Hyundai A-League side in the club-s continuing community engagement program.

Club Captain Matt McKay said the players were working hard to replicate last season-s success, but warned the competition would be fiercer than ever.

“Every team want to knock off the champions but we want to be the first A-League club to go back-to-back and win the championship again,” the Qantas Socceroo said.

“We also know we have tons of room for improvement.”

The documentary on Thomas Broich, Tom Meets Zizou, is in the process of having English subtitles added so that it can be shown in Australia with Brisbane Roar expecting to host an exclusive club preview before it goes to air publically.

The final question of the night was posed to supporters with the club asking what can be done to encourage friends and families to attend more Brisbane Roar home games.

The responses were both mixed and informative, with the fans naming free-to-air television advertising, easier access to seats close to their membership seats for accompanying friends and family and more incentives and inclusions in their memberships and tickets as the key points.

In closing, the three panellists thanked the attendees with Postecoglou leaving a lasting mark on the evening with his final words.

“To take from JFK, ask not what the club can do for you, but what you can do for your club,” he said.

“You are an important part of sending our message and you guys are great advocates for the club.”