Brisbane Roar players Erik Paartalu and Besart Berisha are hoping the excitement that took over the city of Brisbane during last year’s epic Hyundai A-League Grand Final will drive the fans back to Suncorp Stadium for this weekend’s season opener against Central Coast Mariners.
Brisbane Roar players Erik Paartalu and Besart Berisha are hoping the excitement that took over the city of Brisbane during last year-s epic Hyundai A-League Grand Final will drive the fans back to Suncorp Stadium for this weekend-s season opener against Central Coast Mariners.
Speaking at the media launch at Queen Street Mall ahead of Saturday-s Grand Final re-match, the Roar duo were hoping Roar supporters would re-ignite the support that carried the team through the final whistle of 120-minute thriller throughout the upcoming season.
Paartalu and Berisha urged fans to “get their orange back on” by spray-painting a fan orange on stage.
“It was very memorable - something we-ll take to the grave with us,” Paartalu said of the famous victory in March.
“It was such an amazing atmosphere created by the Brisbane public and hopefully they-ll get behind us again”.
New signing Berisha was itching to get out onto the Suncorp Stadium pitch and eager to make a positive first impression in front of the lively Brisbane crowd.
“I saw a replay of the grand final and it was amazing, a full stadium, such a nice stadium and the supporters were fantastic,” the Albanian international said,
“I-m really happy to sign for Brisbane because the way they play, the team and the gaffer-s way of thinking - I really like it and I-m really happy to be here and play for Brisbane.
“For me, it-s good because I love this style of football at Brisbane and for me as a striker, it is very good because it will help me score a lot of goals”.
Brisbane Roar will return to Suncorp Stadium for the first time since March 13 on Saturday night and will face the same opponents in Graham Arnold-s Mariners.
Kick-off for the highly-anticipated Hyundai A-League Grand Final re-match is at 7.45pm. Tickets are available from Ticketek.
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (GK), 2. Matt SMITH (Capt.), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Matt JURMAN, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARATLU, 7. Besart BERISHA, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Kofi DANNING, 10. HENRIQUE, 11. Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN, 16. Mohamed ADNAN, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE, 21. James MEYER, 22. Thomas BROICH. *three to be omitted*
Unavailable: 12. Matt MUNDY (knee injury - 4 weeks), 14. Rocky VISCONTE (hamstring strain - 4 weeks)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Mathew RYAN, 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWJIK (c), 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 10. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Brad MCDONALD, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Michael BAIRD, 19. Matthew SIMON, 20. Justin PASFIELD, 21. Sam GALLAGHER, 23. Adam KWASNIK *Four to be omitted*
Unavailable: 7. John HUTCHINSON (On Loan), 13. Stuart MUSIALIK (Adductor - 2 weeks), 18. Alex WILKINSON (Forearm - 1 week), 22. Mustafa AMINI (Groin - 4 weeks)