Grand Final re-match kicks off title defence

A home clash with Grand Final opponent the Central Coast Mariners will kick-start Brisbane Roar’s title defence in the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season.

A home clash with Grand Final opponent the Central Coast Mariners will kick-start Brisbane Roar-s title defence in the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season.

More than 50,000 fans packed Suncorp Stadium for last season-s Hyundai A-League Grand Final and witnessed one of Australia-s greatest sporting moments when Brisbane fought back from two goals down in extra time to eventually win the game on penalties.

Brisbane Roar CEO Eugenie Buckley said the club was extremely happy the draw, particularly the opportunity to continue developing the rivalry between Brisbane and Central Coast.

“A home Grand Final re-match is a perfect way to start our season,” Buckley said.

“Fans in Brisbane will still feel the excitement and euphoria form that amazing match on March 13 and it is the ideal platform to launch our championship defence.

“The New Year-s Eve clash with Melbourne Victory also allows us to create a major event around what is one of our marquee fixtures for the season.

“We-re very excited and hope the fans are too.”

Brisbane will play three blockbuster clashes in the opening three weeks of the season with the Roar set to head to Sydney to face their traditional rivals in Week 2 before returning to Suncorp Stadium for the local derby against Gold Coast United in Week 3.

In all Brisbane Roar will play 13 home games at Suncorp Stadium, including a blockbuster New Year-s Eve clash with Melbourne Victory.

Brisbane-s home schedule features four Friday night fixtures, seven Saturday matches and two games to be played on Sunday.

This season-s home fixtures have a very family feel to them, with the latest kick-off time for a match scheduled for 7.45pm.

Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou said he was very happy with the draw, particularly the regular home and away nature of the of the fixtures.

“For the players, it-s very important to maintain that regular contact with our home fans,” Postecoglou said.

“Our fans were amazing last season and were an important part of helping us to turn Suncrop Stadium into a fortress.

“Building consistency in our preparations allows us to maintain momentum during the season.

“I think it-s a fair draw for everyone.”

To view Brisbane Roar's full season draw click here.