Henrique will play his 100th Hyundai A-League match when Brisbane Roar host Melbourne City at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night with the little Brazilian keen to make the most of the starting berth handed to him by Head Coach Mike Mulvey.
Henrique joined the club back in February 2009 and despite making the majority of his club appearances as a substitute, he’s been a key figure in Brisbane’s success in recent seasons - scoring the crucial penalty in the dramatic 2011 Grand Final and the winning goal against Western Sydney Wanderers in this year’s competition decider.
After a strong, injury-free pre-season, the diminutive speedster has been a bright spark in the club’s opening three losses including scoring a cracker against Perth Glory in Round 2 from outside the box.
Henrique started on the bench against Adelaide United in the club’s season opener before starting against the Glory and Sydney FC last time out with Mulvey confirming he will be in his starting eleven to face Melbourne City tomorrow night.
“He brings that little bit of X-factor, last year he did a lot of it off the bench to great effect,” Mulvey said.
“Tomorrow night we are asking him to start and do what he usually does for half an hour, for 90 minutes.
“I love having him in the squad and I hope to see him here for a long time.”
When he takes the field tomorrow, ‘the Slippery Fish’ will become the ninth Brisbane Roar player to notch up 100 Hyundai A-League appearances for the three-time Champions, joining Massimo Murdocca, Matt McKay, Mitch Nichols, Michael Theo, Ivan Franjic, Thomas Broich, Matt Smith and Shane Stefanutto in the centurion club.
Whether he’s starting for the Roar or handed the responsibility of impacting off the bench, the Brazilian said he was happy either way.
“I am in a select group who have played 100 games for this beautiful club and I am very proud of that,” Henrique said.
“I am here to play football, that’s what I love to do. I always said no matter what position, what kind of game, I just love being out on the field.
“Of course my job is to score goals and I’m focused on that so I’ll try to do my best.”
He admitted he never thought he’d tally that many matches for the club when debuting five and a half years ago but couldn’t be happier to have made Brisbane his new home.
Two-year-old daughter Bruna and six-week-old son Davi were both born in the Queensland capital with Henrique saying his family’s happiness have played a big role in his decision to stay in Australia long-term.
“I never opened the opportunity to go to another club,” Henrique said.
“I love this club, I love this city and the people here. My family are very comfortable here so I’m very happy.”
Brisbane Roar host a Hyundai A-League – Westfield W-League double header tomorrow, Saturday, 8 November at Suncorp Stadium. Brisbane Roar W-League host Adelaide United W-League at 3.30pm before the Hyundai A-League match against Melbourne City kicks off at 6.30pm.
Saturday, 8 November 2014
Brisbane Roar FC v Melbourne City FC
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 6:30pm local time
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 4HD & FOX SPORTS 4 from 7.00pm (AEDT), Live Coverage on SBS HD & SBS One from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local radio Queensland, 774 ABC Melbourne, Local Radio VIC, Grandstand Digital, Grandstand Online/A-League Live Mobile phone app
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 2.Matt SMITH (c), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Mensur KURTISHI, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 30.Matthew ACTON ***two to be omitted***
Ins: Corey BROWN, Daniel BOWLES (both promoted), Matt McKAY (returns from suspension)
Outs: Liam MILLER (released)
Unavailable: Michael THEO (wrist – four weeks), Adam SAROTA (knee – two weeks), George LAMBDARIDIS (knee – two weeks)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 5.Erik PAARTALU, 6.Aaron MOOY, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 11.Damien DUFF, 14.James BROWN, 15.David WILLIAMS, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Nick KALMAR, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (C), 25.Jacob MELLING, 26.Marc MARINO, 27.Ross ARCHIBALD ***two to be omitted***
Ins: 7.Iain RAMSAY (promoted), 14.James BROWN (promoted), 22.Nick KALMAR (promoted), 21.Stefan MAUK (promoted), 26.Marc MARINO (promoted)
Outs: 8.Massimo MURDOCCA (groin - 1-2 weeks), 9.David VILLA (not available for selection), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (hamstring - 2-4 weeks),
Unavailable: 10.Robert KOREN (calf – 3-5 weeks)